Industrial Relations

The field of industrial relations (also called labour relations or employment relations) looks at the relationship between the government, management and workers. Traditionally Industrial Relations focused on the roles of the state, employees, employers and their management, and the role organized labour assumes in particular when represented by a trade union, as trade unions could call for industrial action to be taken in an organized fashion that could affect business, industry and commerce.

Industrial relations in the contemporary context, also provides for the aspects of labour relations that encompass individual contractors, individual employment contracts, self-employment, special workplace arrangements, volunteer work, lack of work and investment, lack of payment for work performed, payment provided for funding work that is not performed, the nature of investment, funding, work performed and payment arrangements, and other dimensions of work without organized labour.


Organizational Behaviour

Whenever people interact in or with organizations, many factors can come into play.

Organizational behavioural studies attempt to study, understand and model these factors. Like all social sciences, organizational studies seek to understand, test, control, predict, explain, and develop.

Organizational behaviour is the study of organizations, examining them using the methods of economics, sociology, political science, communication studies, anthropology, and psychology.

Organizational behaviour works with the individual, the individual relationships, groups, organizations, inter-organizational relationships, and their arrangements.

Related practical disciplines include human resources, industrial psychology, applied management and strategic management.


Industrial Psychology

Industrial Psychology is concerned with the application of psychological theories, research methods, and intervention strategies to workplace issues and with respect to the individual needs of individuals, groups, and organizations.

Industrial Relations Services

Management Consulting on Industrial Relations

Advice on Industrial Relations Law

Policies and Procedures for the Management of Industrial Relations, Employee Relations, Contractor Relations.


Industrial Relations:

New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

New Zealand Employers and Manufacturers Association

Employment Agreement Builder

Business New Zealand

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions


Industrial Relations

"Industrial Relations is the general state of relationships between the state, capital owners, society, labour, management, as applied to the problems of work, in business, commerce and industry."

The field of industrial relations also has traditional background at focusing on the relationship between management and workers, and in particular the relationship between business management and groups of workers represented by a union.

Labor relations can take place on many levels, such as the business and industry level, the municipal level, the regional level, the national level, the federal level, the transnational level, international level and global level. The distribution of power amongst these levels can greatly shape the way an economy functions.

Another key question when considering systems of labor relations is their ability to adapt to change. This change can be technological, economic, social or political.

Governments set the framework for labor relations through legislation and regulation.

Industrial Relations



"Industrial Relations is the general state of relationships between the state, capital owners, society, labour, management, as applied to the problems of work in business, commerce and industry."

Industrial Relations, among it's many other functions, is concerned with the process of determining rates of pay for work and the conditions of employment by providing a floor of rights for individual contractors and individual employees, and by providing collective rights for contractors and employees. In addition industrial relations provides a ceiling on the rights of managers, employers and capital owners.

Industrial relations is using the legislative program of the state to regulate the formation of individual contractors contracts, individual employment contracts, employment contracts achieved through collective bargaining, the rights of employers, the role of trade unions, and the institutions and procedures and policies required by which this is done.

Within organizations industrial relations is often one of the duties of human resources management, although industrial relations negotiations and consultations are usually conducted by outside hired industrial relations experts, management consultants, and lawyers.


Unitary perspective

In Unitarianism, the organization is viewed as a team defined by a common purpose through a single source of authority which rules and presides over the organization without redress or rivalry within the organization.

Consequently trade unions, employee rights advocates, contract lawyers, the media, labour laws and labour regulations are considered mutually exclusive to the organizations interests, as the principal owner of the organization prefers to be the sole authority of the organization without challenge.

Author on Unitarism:

"Industrial Sociology and Industrial Relations"
by Alan Fox


Pluralistic perspective

In pluralism the organization is perceived as being made up of powerful and divergent sub-groups, each with its own legitimate needs, rights, obligations, loyalties and with their own set of objectives and leadership demands.

In particular, the predominant sub-groups of in the pluralistic perspective are the managers of the organization and trade unions, and the managers of the organization and lawyers that work for employees and lawyers that work for contractors, and the state and its legislative program and the agents of the state that monitor and enforce the laws and regulations of the state.

Author on Pluralism:

"The Global Evolution of Industrial Relations"
by Bruce E. Kaufman


Marxist Perspective

This perspective sees inequalities of power and economic wealth as having their roots in the nature of the capitalist economic system, where there is a fundamental division of interest between capital and labour.

Conflict is therefore seen as inevitable and trade unions and other forms of providing for organized labour that defends and advances the interests of labour are a natural response of workers to prevent the exploitation of their labour for the benefit of the exclusive interests of the owners of capital.

Marxism asserts that capital should be used to serve the best interests of society, in particular the people and population of society, and that labour and capital owners need to be managed and controlled in order to achieve these social objectives.

Author on Marxism:

"Wage, Labour and Capital"
by Karl Marx