Definition labour relationship

definition labour relationship

This included conceptual definition of the PLQ construct, objective measurement of However, most individual labour relationship exchanges will typically occur. Labour relations definition: Labour relations refers to the relationship between employers and employees in industry, | Meaning, pronunciation, translations. Define labour relations. labour relations synonyms, labour relations pronunciation, labour relations translation, English dictionary definition of labour relations. pl.

Traditionally, labour relations systems have been categorized along national lines, but the validity of this is waning in the face of increasingly varied practices within countries and the rise of a more global economy driven by international competition. Some countries have been characterized as having cooperative labour relations models e. Different systems have also been distinguished on the basis of having centralized collective bargaining e.

In countries having moved from planned to free-market economies, labour relations systems are in transition. There is also increasing analytical work being done on the typologies of individual employment relationships as indicators of types of labour relations systems.

Even the more classic portrayals of labour relations systems are not by any means static characterizations, since any such system changes to meet new circumstances, whether economic or political. The globalization of the market economy, the weakening of the state as an effective force and the ebbing of trade union power in many industrialized countries pose serious challenges to traditional labour relations systems.

Technological development has brought changes in the content and organization of work that also have a crucial impact on the extent to which collective labour relations can develop and the direction they take.

This in turn places pressure on established labour relations systems. Newer forms of employee representation and participation are adding an additional dimension to the labour relations picture in a number of countries.

A labour relations system sets the formal or informal ground rules for determining the nature of collective industrial relations as well as the framework for individual employment relationships between a worker and his or her employer. Complicating the scene at the management end are additional players such as temporary employment agencies, labour contractors and job contractors who may have responsibilities towards workers without having control over the physical environment in which the work is carried out or the opportunity to provide safety training.

In addition, public sector and private sector employers are governed by separate legislation in most countries, with the rights and protections of employees in these two sectors often differing significantly.

Moreover, the private sector is influenced by forces of international competition that do not directly touch public-sector labour relations. Finally, neoliberal ideology favouring the conclusion of individualized employment contracts to the detriment of collectively bargained arrangements poses another threat to traditional labour relations systems.

Labor relations - Wikipedia

Abandoning all collective representation would risk returning to a nineteenth century concept in which acceptance of hazardous work was largely regarded as a matter of individual free choice. The increasingly globalized economy, the accelerated pace of technological change and the resultant call for greater flexibility on the part of industrial relations institutions, however, pose new challenges for their survival and prosperity.

Depending upon their existing traditions and institutions, the parties involved in a labour relations system may react quite differently to the same pressures, just as management may choose a cost-based or a value-added strategy for confronting increased competition Locke, Kochan and Piore, Moreover, there is another constant: The employer is seen as having a general duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace and to train and equip workers to do their jobs safely.

Failure to live up to these or other duties can lead to disputes, which depend on the labour relations system for their resolution. Dispute resolution mechanisms include rules governing not only work stoppages strikes, slowdowns or go-slows, work to rule, etc. Additionally, in many countries employers are required to participate in various institutions dealing with safety and health, perform safety and health monitoring, report on-the-job accidents and diseases and, indirectly, to compensate workers who are found to be suffering from an occupational injury or disease.

The field was formed from a merger of scientific management theories, welfare work and industrial psychology around the time of the First World War and has undergone considerable evolution since. Today, it stresses work organization techniques, recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, training, upgrading of skills and career development, along with direct employee participation and communication.

Common forms of employee involvement include suggestion schemes, attitude surveys, job enrichment schemes, teamworking and similar forms of empowerment schemes, quality of working-life programmes, quality circles and task forces.

Another feature of human resources management may be linking pay, individually or collectively, to performance. As described by Reber, Wallin and Duhonthis approach has had considerable success in reducing lost time on account of accidents. It relies on specifying safe and unsafe behaviours, teaching employees how to recognize safe behaviour and motivating them to follow the safety rules with goal setting and feedback.

The programme relies heavily on a training technique whereby employees are shown safe, correct methods via videotapes or live models. They then have a chance to practice new behaviours and are provided with frequent performance feedback.

In addition, some companies offer tangible prizes and rewards for engaging in safe behaviour rather than simply for having fewer accidents. Employee consultation is an important feature of the programme as well. The implications of human resources management for industrial relations practices remain a source of some controversy. In some instances human resources management strategies are pursued alongside collective bargaining; in other cases the human resources management approach seeks to supplant or prevent the activities of independent organizations of workers in defence of their interests.

Proponents of human resources management maintain that since the s, the personnel management side of human resources management has evolved from being a maintenance function, secondary to the industrial relations function, to being one of critical importance to the effectiveness of an organization Ferris, Rosen and Barnum The articles which follow describe the main parties in a labour relations system and the basic principles underpinning their interaction: A natural corollary to freedom of association is the right to engage in collective bargaining, a phenomenon which must be distinguished from consultative and non-union worker participation arrangements.

Collective bargaining takes place as negotiations between representatives chosen by the workers and those acting on behalf of the employer; it leads to a mutually accepted, binding agreement that can cover a wide range of subjects. Worker representatives in consultative bodies may or may not have been selected by the workers and there is no obligation for the state or the employer to follow the wishes of those representatives or to abide by the results of the consultative process.

In some countries, collective bargaining and consultative arrangements exist side by side and, to work properly, must be carefully intermeshed. For both, rights to information about health and safety and training are crucial. Finally, this chapter takes into account that in any labour relations system, disputes may arise, whether they are individual or collective.

Safety and health issues can lead to labour relations strife, producing work stoppages. The chapter thus concludes with descriptions of how labour relations disputes are resolved, including by arbitration, mediation or resort to the regular or labour courts, preceded by a discussion of the role of the labour inspectorate in the context of labour relations. The Actors in the Labour Relations System Classically, three actors have been identified as parties to the labour relations system: To this picture must now be added the forces that transcend these categories: Since the impact of these phenomena on labour relations remains unclear in many respects, however, discussion will focus on the more classic actors despite this caveat of the limitation of such an analysis in an increasingly global community.

In addition, greater emphasis is needed on analysing the role of the individual employment relationship in labour relations systems and on the impact of the emerging alternative forms of work. The State The state always has at least an indirect effect on all labour relations.

As the source of legislation, the state exerts an inevitable influence on the emergence and development of a labour relations system. Laws can hinder or foster, directly or indirectly, the establishment of organizations representing workers and employers.

To take an example, it can provide lesser or greater protection for a worker who refuses to perform work he or she reasonably considers to be too hazardous, or for one who acts as a health and safety representative. Through the development of its labour administration, the state also has an impact on how a labour relations system may function. If effective enforcement of the law is afforded through a labour inspectorate, collective bargaining can pick up where the law leaves off.

If, however, the state infrastructure for having rights vindicated or for assisting in the resolution of disputes that emerge between employers and workers is weak, they will be left more to their own devices to develop alternative institutions or arrangements.

The extent to which the state has built up a well-functioning court or other dispute resolution system may also have an influence on the course of labour relations. The ease with which workers, employers and their respective organizations may enforce their legal rights can be as important as the rights themselves. In many countries, the state has a direct role to play in labour relations.

The state may attempt to invalidate collective bargaining agreements that it perceives as interfering with its economic policy goals. Generally speaking, however, the role of the state in industrialized countries has tended to promote orderly industrial relations by providing the necessary legislative framework, including minimum levels of worker protection and offering parties information, advice and dispute settlement services.

This could take the form of mere toleration of labour relations institutions and the actors in them; it could move beyond to actively encourage such institutions. In a few countries, the state is a more active participant in the industrial relations system, which includes national level tripartite negotiations. For decades in Belgium and more recently in Ireland, for instance, government representatives have been sitting down alongside those from employer and trade union circles to hammer out a national level agreement or pact on a wide range of labour and social issues.

Tripartite machinery to fix minimum wages has long been a feature of labour relations in Argentina and Mexico, for example. In some countries, the very idea of the state becoming involved as a negotiator in private sector bargaining is unthinkable, as in Germany or the United States.

In such systems, the role of the state is, aside from its legislative function, generally restricted to providing assistance to the parties in reaching an agreement, such as in offering voluntary mediation services. Whether active or passive, however, the state is a constant partner in any labour relations system. In addition, where the state is itself the employer, or an enterprise is publicly owned, it is of course directly involved in labour relations with the employees and their representatives.

definition labour relationship

Finally, the impact of regional economic integration arrangements on state policy is also felt in the labour relations field. Within the European Union, practice in member countries has changed to reflect directives dealing with consultation of workers and their representatives, including those on health and safety matters in particular. Employers Employers—that is, providers of work—are usually differentiated in industrial relations systems depending upon whether they are in the private or the public sector.

Historically, trade unionism and collective bargaining developed first in the private sector, but in recent years these phenomena have spread to many public sector settings as well. In Eastern and Central Europe, one of the major challenges of the post-Communist era has been the establishment of independent organizations of employers. In practice, most of this takes place in the ILO, which has responsibility for these questions in the United Nations system.

The IOE also has Category I consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, where it intervenes whenever matters of interest or consequence to employers arise. The IOE is one of only two organizations that the employer community has set up to represent the interests of enterprise globally.

The other is the International Chamber of Commerce, with its headquarters in Paris, which concerns itself principally with economic matters. While structurally quite different, the two organizations complement each other. They cooperate on the basis of an agreement which defines their areas of responsibility as well as through good personal relations between their representatives and, to a degree, on a common membership base.

Many subjects cut across their mandates, of course, but are dealt with pragmatically without friction. On certain issues, such as multinational enterprises, the two organizations even act in unison.

ILO In the private sector, the situation has been summed up as follows: Employers have common interests to defend and precise causes to advance. In organizing themselves, they pursue several aims which in turn determine the character of their organizations. The representative function may occur in the political structure or in industrial relations institutions.

Political representation is found in systems where consultation of interested economic groups is foreseen by law e. The way in which the representative function in the industrial relations system occurs depends very much on the level at which collective bargaining takes place in a particular country.

definition labour relationship

Research is the prime example, since it can be used for multiple purposes. Safety and health is an area in which data and information can be usefully shared by employers across sectors. In developing countries, the main challenge has been the integration of a very heterogeneous membership that may include small and medium-sized businesses, state enterprises and subsidiaries of multinational corporations.

The size of an enterprise is a major determinant in its approach to labour relations, with the employer of a small workforce being more likely to rely on informal means for dealing with its workers.

Where collective bargaining occurs at the enterprise level, it is much more likely to exist in large firms; where it takes place at the industry or national level, it is more likely to have an effect in areas where large firms have historically dominated the private sector market. However, employers find it a much greater sacrifice to comply with the decisions and regulations of their associations, as these reduce their much cherished freedom of enterprise.

Public employers have come to see themselves as such only relatively recently. They later resisted calls to engage in collective bargaining with the argument that the legislature, not the public administration, was the paymaster and that it was thus impossible for the administration to enter into an agreement.

These arguments, however, did not prevent often unlawful public sector strikes in many countries and they have fallen by the wayside. Collective bargaining in the public sector is now a way of life in many developed countries e. The level of employer representation in the public sector depends largely upon the political system of the country. In some this is a centralized function as in France whereas in others it reflects the various divisions of government as in the United States, where bargaining can take place at the federal, state and municipal levels.

Germany presents an interesting case in which the thousands of local communities have banded together to have a single bargaining agent deal with the unions in the public sector throughout the country. The designation of the bargaining agent in the public sector varies considerably by country; it may be the Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Finance or another entity altogether.

The positions taken by a public employer in dealing with employees in this sector tend to follow the political orientation of the ruling political party. This may range from taking a particular stance in bargaining to a flat-out denial of the right of public employees to organize into trade unions. However, while as an employer the public service is shrinking in many countries, there is an increasing readiness on its part to engage in bargaining and consultations with employee representatives.

The origins of trade unions go back as far as the first attempts to organize collective action at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Trade unions reflect the conviction that only by banding together can workers improve their situation. Trade union rights were born out of economic and political struggle which saw short-term individual sacrifice in the cause of longer-term collective gain. They have often played an important role in national politics and have influenced developments in the world of work at the regional and international levels.

Having suffered membership losses, however, in recent years in a number of countries in North America and some parts of Europetheir role is under challenge in many quarters see figure The pattern is mixed with areas of membership growth in the public service in many countries around the world and with a new lease on life in places where trade unions were previously non-existent or active only under severe restrictions e.

The flourishing of democratic institutions goes hand in hand with the exercise of trade union freedoms, as the cases of Chile and Poland in the s and s best illustrate. A process of internal reform and reorientation to attract greater and more diverse membership, particularly more women, can also be seen within trade union circles in a number of countries. Trade unions may be affiliated to umbrella organizations at the industrial, national, regional and international levels.

International Labour Federations The international labour movement on a global, as opposed to a regional or national level, consists of international associations of national federations of labour unions.

There are currently three such internationals, reflecting different ideological tendencies: The ICFTU is the largest, with affiliated unions from countries inrepresenting million trade union members.

These groups lobby intergovernmental organizations on overall economic and social policy and press for worldwide protection of basic trade union rights. They can be thought of as the political force behind the international labour movement. The industrial force of the international labour movement lies in the international associations of specific labour unions, usually drawn from one trade, industry or economic sector. Coverage has traditionally been by sector, but also in some cases is by employee category such as white-collar workersor by employer public or private.

The ITSs concentrate mainly on industry-specific issues, such as industrial disputes and pay rates, but also the application of health and safety provisions in a specific sector. They provide information, education, training and other services to affiliated unions. They also help coordinate international solidarity between unions in different countries, and represent the interests of workers in various international and regional forums. Such action is illustrated by the international trade union response to the incident at Bhopal, India, involving the leak of methyl isocyanate, which claimed thousands of victims on 3 December The report contained recommendations for preventing similar disasters and endorsed a list of safety principles; this report has been used by trade unionists in both industrialized and developing countries as a basis of programmes for improving health and safety at work.

Trade unions are structured along various lines: There are also general unions, which include workers from various occupations and industries. Even in countries where mergers of industrial unions and general unions are the trend, the situation of agricultural or rural workers has often favoured the development of special structures for that sector.

On top of this breakdown there is often a territorial division, with regional and sometimes local subunits, within a union.

Labor relations

In some countries there have been splits in the labour movement around ideological party politics and even religious lines which then come to be reflected in trade union structure and membership. Public sector employees tend to be represented by unions separate from those representing employees in the private sector, although there are exceptions to this as well.

The legal status of a trade union may be that of any other association, or it may be subject to special rules. A great number of countries require trade unions to register and to divulge certain basic information to the authorities name, address, identity of officials, etc. In some countries this goes beyond mere record-keeping to interference; in extreme cases of disregard for freedom of association principles, trade unions will need government authorization to operate.

As representatives of workers, trade unions are empowered to enter into engagements on their behalf. Some countries such as the United States require employer recognition of trade unions as an initial prerequisite to engaging in collective bargaining.

Trade union density varies widely between and within countries. In some countries in Western Europe, for instance, it is very high in the public sector but tends to be low in the private sector and especially in its white-collar employment. The figures for blue-collar employment in that region are mixed, from a high in Austria and Sweden to a low in France, where, however, trade union political power far exceeds what membership figures would suggest.

There is some positive correlation between centralization of bargaining and trade union density, but exceptions to this also exist. As voluntary associations, trade unions draw up their own rules, usually in the form of a constitution and by-laws.

In democratic trade union structures, members select trade union officers either by direct vote or through delegates to a general conference. Internal union government in a small, highly decentralized union of workers in a particular occupational group is likely to differ significantly from that found in a large, centralized general or industrial union.

There are tasks to allocate among union officers, between paid and unpaid union representatives and coordination work to be done. The financial resources available to a union will also vary depending upon its size and the ease with which it can collect dues. Extremely low wages and thus dues there and in developing countries with government-supported unions make it difficult to build a strong independent union movement.

definition labour relationship

In addition to the important function of collective bargaining, one of the main activities of trade unions in many countries is their political work. This may take the form of direct representation, with trade unions being given reserved seats in some parliaments e. In the European Union, trade union federations have had an important impact on the development of social policy. More typically, trade unions have an influence through the exercise of power backed up by a threat of industrial action and lobbying political decision makers at the national level.

It is certainly true that trade unions have successfully fought for greater legislative protection for all workers around the world; some believe that this has been a bittersweet victory, in the long run undermining their own justification to exist. The objectives and issues of union political action have often extended well beyond narrower interests; a prime example of this was the struggle against apartheid within South Africa and the international solidarity expressed by unions around the world in words and in deeds e.

Whether trade union political activity is on the offence or the defence will of course depend largely on whether the government in power tends to be pro- or anti-labour. In other countries there is a traditional interdependence between the labour movement and a political party e. In any event, the power of trade unions often exceeds what would be expected from their numerical strength, particularly where they represent workers in a key economic or public service sector, such as transport or mining.

In some instances they exist alongside trade unions; in others they are the only type of participation available to workers.

The third type of function of trade unions, providing services to members, focuses first and foremost on the workplace. This may involve taking up an individual grievance over discipline or dismissal, or cooperating with management on a joint health and safety committee. Outside the workplace, many unions provide other types of benefit, such as preferential access to credit and participation in welfare schemes. The union hall can also serve as a centre for cultural events or even large family ceremonies.

The range of services a union can offer to its members is vast and reflects the creativity and resources of the union itself as well as the cultural milieu in which it operates. The power of trade unions depends on various internal and external factors. We can distinguish between organizational power how many internal sources of power can unions mobilize?

Visser in van Ruysseveldt et al. Labour relations can occur at different levels, for example, supervisory, departmental, organisational, industrial, national or international. However, most individual labour relationship exchanges will typically occur between individual subordinates and their supervisors within their unique workplace environment.

Such relationships can subsequently be regarded as primary labour relationships, which are different from secondary labour relations that occur between groups of employees, or their representatives, and their employers, or their representatives.

It should be noted that authors often use the term employment relations to describe primary and secondary labour relationships. However, the term primary labour relations will be preferred in this study to ensure focus on labour relationship behaviour in supervisory relationships. In this context, tertiary labour relations will be regarded as relationships between organised groups of employees and employers, or their representatives and the state, as well as other macro-level stakeholders Bendix ; Nel et al.

They should thus be highly alert and cautious when dealing with labour relations challenges, and be especially aware of the negative consequences that socially undesirable behaviour holds for the organisations in which they are employed, as well as the society in which they live Ntimba However, supervisors are not the sole custodians of good-quality labour relationship behaviour. The elimination of undesirable and promotion of desirable relationship behaviours at the organisational- industrial- and societal-level labour relations should be regarded as a critically important responsibility and competency of all labour relations stakeholders, irrespective of their unique roles or relationship environments.

The question that subsequently begs to be answered is: However, in a subsequent paper, Ehlers considered the formal, normative and psychological dimensions of employment contracting, and then proposed that trust, compliance, fairness and good faith are universally desirable social conditions in labour relationships.

The ambiguous term 'justice' was thus replaced by 'compliance', which more specifically denotes observance of applicable laws, agreements, contracts, policies, codes and procedures. It can therefore be confidently expected that perceptions of the levels of compliance, fairness, good faith and trust in labour relationships will be strongly related to assessments of the quality of labour relationships, and for purposes of this study, primary labour relationships between individual subordinates and supervisors.

Research objective Gay and Weaver believed that research into the nature and validity of theoretical constructs can facilitate incremental understanding and explanation of a theory.

They were of the opinion that any advance in the definition, expansion or validation could be regarded as an advancement of knowledge that is aimed at the eventual revelation of scientifically founded truths, and encouraged researchers to undertake more quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research studies relating to theory building.

These views confirmed that quantitative research into validity of the primary labour relationship quality PLQ construct would advance scientific knowledge on labour relationship and organisational behaviour in South African organisations, to some or other extent.

A survey of labour relationship and supervisory behaviour articles in leading South African labour relations and human resource management journals, confirmed that no unique theory on the quality of employment or labour relationship behaviour in supervisory relationships was published in the last 10 years. Overview The contention of this article is that PLQ is a distinct theoretical construct that relates to unique individual labour relationship expectation, perceptions and behaviours in supervisory relationships.

The nature and validity of the PLQ construct, and related concepts, will subsequently be investigated and discussed in the remainder of this article. The following sections contain a literature review on the nature of labour relationship exchanges in good-quality primary labour relationships, and a discussion of the research methodology. These sections will be followed by a discussion of findings on the validity of PLQ as a theoretical construct.

Limitations, recommendations and final conclusions will be discussed in the closing section. Literature review Poor-quality labour relationships Supervisors are key leaders and change facilitators in organisations, and need to ensure that subordinates perform their duties at expected levels, by effectively planning, organising, leading and controlling their activities.

Many South African supervisors, unfortunately, do not appreciate; respect; or promote trust, compliance, fairness and good faith in their relationships with subordinates. Such neglect can result in negative subordinate perceptions of their job security, transparency, job satisfaction and the quality of labour relationships with supervisors and their employers Ntimba The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration CCMA identified numerous forms of illegal and unfair supervisory behaviour since its inception.

These behaviours are believed to be causes of workplace tension, workplace conflict, formal grievances and labour disputes.

These negative outcomes are mostly related to some form of non-compliant, unfair or bad faith behaviour of a supervisor or manager Theledi The following behaviour forms are examples of undesirable supervisor behaviour: Grogan defined a formal employment contract as a voluntary agreement between two legal parties in terms of which an employee undertakes to place his or her personal services at the disposal of the employer for an indefinite or determined period of time in return for a fixed or ascertainable remuneration.

Formal employment contracts empower employers to define an employee's duties and to control the manner in which the employee discharges them, provided that reasonable support is given to an employee. Employers and employees should, however, not exploit each other, and both parties are under a legal obligation to comply with explicitly defined legal and contractual provisions Overell et al. The parties to an employment contract may not change contract provisions without the consent of the other contracting party, and may terminate the contract by serving agreed notice or for other legally sound reasons Grogan Psychological contracting rights and duties are, unfortunately, not as clearly defined as formal contracting rights and duties.

Psychological contracts can be defined as a set of mostly subjective beliefs, expectations or perceptions of what an employee, or employer, should be receiving in a labour relationship, and what the labour relationship partner should be receiving in return. They are based on unspoken needs and expectations that fall outside the scope of formal labour contracts and collective agreements Guest ; Overell et al.

Psychological contracts encapsulate vague and subjective perceptions on the nature and quality of trust, honesty, respect, constructivity, consideration, fairness, good faith and reciprocity in work relationships.

Chapter 21 - Labour Resources and Human Resources Management

Employers and employees form subjective perceptions on the degree to which their expectations in the aforementioned aspects were met by their relationship partners. All four of these social conditions are explicitly or implicitly regulated by South African labour law and related case law emanating from Labour Court rulings and CCMA awards Grogan The following sections contain discussions on the nature of each of the four desirable social conditions in labour relationships.

Coyle-Shapiro and Shore concluded that employees with high levels of trust in their organisations are thus more likely to put greater effort into their roles and co-operate better with others in the workplace, while employees with low levels of trust in their organisations are likely to interact and work less effectively.

Even though trust is regarded as a foundation for effective and harmonious labour relationships, there are no laws that require high levels of trust in a labour contract, rule or regulation to make it valid Williams Employers, however, are under an implied obligation to create certainty, fairness, equity and consistency in workplace relationships, which mostly requires compliance with labour laws and contractual stipulations, legitimate labour policies and legitimate labour procedures Grogan Ehlers and Jordaan were of the opinion that conviction, devotion, support, tolerance and loyalty are core indicators of trust in good-quality labour relationships.

Trust, or perceived trust, is subsequently expected to be strongly related to positive PLQ perceptions of subordinates in supervisory relationships. Compliance in primary labour relationships Actual levels of legal or contractual compliance can rarely be objectively assessed by supervisors or subordinates because of their limited knowledge and understanding of applicable labour laws, contracts and often complicated legal principles Ntimba Figure 1 reflects the relationship between the various sources of labour law, contracts and workplace procedures.

Holtz and Harold concluded that there is a strong relationship between procedural justice perceptions of employees and organisational trust levels.

These perceptions relate to the implementation of formal labour relationship rules and regulations. Research also confirmed that perceived procedural compliance can create powerful mutually beneficial social conditions in labour relationships such as trust and commitment, improved job performance, positive citizenship outcomes, improved customer satisfaction and diminished conflict in organisational relationships Cropanzano et al. Compliance, or perceived compliance, is accordingly expected to be strongly related to positive PLQ perceptions of subordinates in supervisory relationships.

A labour relationship partner could subsequently perceive unfair treatment when these expectations are not met during relationship exchanges.

Kickul, Gundry and Posig found that employees are likely to be more sensitive to issues of fairness and equity when trust levels in the labour relationship are low. Perceived unfairness and low trust levels can trigger undesirable subordinate conduct Southey DiMatteo, Bird and Colquitt further found that procedural or substantive unfairness in the termination of labour contracts were positively related to increased propensities to retaliate and litigate.

The effect on propensities of employees to retaliate or litigate was also amplified when a termination was perceived to be procedurally and substantively unfair. Fairness, or perceived fairness, is therefore expected to be strongly related to positive PLQ perceptions of subordinates in supervisory relationships.

Bad faith will become evident when disinterested, insincere, disrespectful, selfish or obstructive behaviour is adopted in relationship exchanges Shimanskaya The research of Searle and Skinner further confirmed that employee trust levels are determined by individual relationship experiences and subjective perceptions related to management behaviour and other social variables in a labour relationship.

It can thus be confidently expected that general PLQ perceptions will be strongly related to the perceived good faith in their relationship with immediate supervisors. Summary The literature review confirmed that formal and psychological contract expectations, such as trust, compliance, fairness and good faith influence labour relationship perceptions and behaviour in labour relationships. Lower levels, or absence, of trust, compliance, fairness and good faith are related to negative or undesirable primary labour relationships or organisational behaviour forms or outcomes.

Each of the four desirable social conditions in primary labour relationships encapsulates at least five distinct, yet interrelated, behaviour forms. These behaviours promote positive subordinate perceptions of the quality of trust, compliance, fairness and good faith in primary labour relationships see Table 1. The aforementioned social conditions and related behaviours can thus be confidently expected to be significantly related to general subordinate estimates of PLQ.

A literature review and a questionnaire survey were consequently undertaken and quantified responses were captured and statistically analysed from a modernist perspective. The aforementioned procedure will be comprehensively discussed in the following section.

In addition, the survey questionnaire also included valid and reliable measures of workplace self-esteem WSE and quit intention for a related research study. The availability of trustworthy measurements of the latter variables, however, provided an ideal opportunity to test hypotheses on the relationship between PLQ and other organisational variables see section 'Experimentation and hypothesis testing'.

A group of field workers were briefed on the nature of the research study, the survey questionnaire and the ethical aspects of survey questionnaire methods. Field workers were requested to approach potential respondents randomly, explain the nature of the research study and then request potential respondents to read and accept an ethical compliance statement in the preamble of the questionnaire, if they were willing to complete the questionnaire as an anonymous, informed and consenting volunteer.

A sample size of was deemed to be large enough to conduct a meaningful exploratory factor analysis of questionnaire data Hair et al. A variety of general, descriptive and inferential statistical procedures were applied to structure and analyse data.

The following list contains the most important general requirements for effective theory development and validation: Procedures and findings pertaining to each of the aforementioned requirements will be described in the following sections.

Identification of key constructs and variables Primary labour relationship quality was initially conceptualised as a construct that refers to a distinct subjective quality estimate that is assimilated from unique expectations and perceptions that an individual subordinate holds on the quality or levels of compliance, fairness, good faith and trust that an immediate supervisor displays in an individual labour relationship.

The specific components of the above mentioned theoretical assumption should be understood as follows Adapted from general definitions in Oxford Pressand literature views relating to the PLQ theory under investigation: Relationships and theoretical rationales South African supervisors are expected to deal with a multitude of distinctive labour relationship challenges that emanate from transforming social, economic and political systems, in addition to their routine supervisory duties Bendix ; CCMA ; Nel et al.

They should therefore be especially attentive to the promotion of good-quality labour relationships, and make all efforts to avoid undesirable sociopolitical conflicts with subordinates. At least five distinctive but interrelated behaviour forms can contribute to positive subordinate perceptions of compliance.

The same applies to positive perceptions of fairness, good faith and trust in primary labour relationships. Twenty desirable labour relationship behaviour forms can thus be regarded as typical facilitators of good-quality primary labour relationships Table 1.

definition labour relationship

Supervisors should subsequently be ably encouraged to display these core desirable labour relationship behaviours to establish, maintain and promote good-quality primary labour relationships. Neglect of such behaviours can be expected to result in negative subordinate perceptions of PLQ and related negative organisational behaviours and outcomes Cropanzano et al.

Boundary conditions of the primary labour relationship quality theory under development Any new theory should be investigated in the context where it will be applied.