Strategic Variables Facing Management

Managers many times must work with a union. The union may be a long ­standing fixture that was organized in response to problems and abuses of past decades, or it may have recently been organized at a particular company in response to current management or economic conditions.

Regardless of how and why use the company became unionized, the managers must consider several key strategic varnishes in the collective bargaining process. Four of these strategic variables facing management are discussed below.

Strategic variables facing management

A. Harmony

Probably the biggest change that occurred during the 1980s in front of a strategic standpoint is the reduction of the confrontational approach between union and management and an increase in the more collaborative approach. Most managers recognize the value of harmony in creating a work climate that can lead to high productivity. Harmony involves working together on common goals without conflict or discord.

At the same time, experienced managers would also agree that harmony may be a necessary but not sufficient condition for productivity For example; harmony could almost always be achieved in the short run by simply agreeing to every union demand. However, in most cases, short-term harmony would result in financial bankruptcy and business failure.

B. Power

  1. Non-issue: An objective that is insignificant and that may be given up for a symbolic purpose.
  2. Power tactics: Negotiating tactics based on a Sides perception of its power rather than on a willingness rightness to based on lightness or fairness.
  3. Union busting: Management’s removing a union or rendering a union inattentive

C. The Relationship of Corporate Strategy to the Collective Bargaining Process

  1. Grand strategy: A company’s long-term plan and direction
  2. Culture: A company’s or union’s accepted way of doing things
Strategic variables facing management
Strategic Variables Facing Management

D. Management Position toward Unions

Managers have historically held different views toward unions. Some have been opposed to them at any cost and have even engaged in intimidation to avoid entry by a union or to get rid of an existing one.

Although this extreme position is usually rare today management’s philosophy toward unions in the 1980s reflected an increasing hostility, or at least a high level of opposition, toward unions. Some managers may believe that the next century provides an opportunity to correct the negative view they have held toward organized Labor.

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