Management of Industrial Relations

5 Main Causes of Poor Industrial Relation

Causes of Poor Industrial Relation

(1) Nature of Work – If the nature of work is uninteresting, it may produce chances of poor IR as the employees raise demands which may be much more than justified to compensate the behavioural problems arising out of uninteresting work. Technology creates isolation if there is poor design of socio – technical system. Alienation is composed of social isolation and self – estrangement.

These together produce the condition of feeling of powerlessness, lack of meaning, loneliness, and lack of attachment to the job work group, and organisation. Generally, alienation tends to be high in mechanised assembly line operations. This alienation of the workers makes him frustrated and forces him to find out the ways for overcoming his frustration and many types of social evils emerge including poor industrial relations.

(2) Poor Wages and Working Conditions – Often poor wages and working conditions, taken together, constitute an important factor for poor industrial relations. Poor wages are a matter of interpretation which is measured in terms of equity. The concept of equity is based on comparison.

When the low – paid employees compare themselves with high – paid ones engaged in similar nature of jobs, frustration is created resulting into poor industrial relations. Similarly, poor working conditions are interpreted by employees as the high – handed approach of management and relationship between management and employees gets worsen.

(3) Defective Trade Union System – Defective trade union system prevailing in the country has been one of the most responsible factors for poor industrial relations in the country.

The existing union system is marked by politicisation, multiplicity, inter – union rivalry, lack of constructive purposes, and control by outside leadership. In this scenario, trade unions become the means for serving the interests of few leaders of the union rather than working in the wider interest of the workers. In fact, many unions do not wish to develop harmonious relations between employees and employers because they see this as a threat to their existence and power to bargaining. In fact, many long – term strikes are the outputs of such an approach of trade unions.

(4) Occupational Instability – Another important factor which sometimes affects good industrial relations is the spectra of change in occupation. Occupational stability makes workers feel secure on their jobs. It produces an exhaustive effect on them. Workers who have held a job for several years, generally win confidence on that job and do not like any change being made in it because they fear the following consequences to ensue –

  • The new job will not give them as much satisfaction as the previous job.
  • The new job will reduce their wages and seniority structure.
  • The new job will require them to undergo some training.
  • The new job will change the existing social relationships.
  • The new job will reduce opportunities for growth and development.

(5) Poor Behavioural Climate – The behavioural climate of an enterprise which is made up of its culture, traditions and methods of action ‘ may be either favourable to the worker or unfavourable. Favourable climate is one which helps him meet his economic, social and psychological wants. It produces a good image of the enterprise in his mind.

On the other hand, unfavourable climate is one which prevents him from meeting his various types of needs and produces in his mind a poor image of the enterprise. This eventually drives him to seek membership of a militant labour organisation where he can give vent to his negative feelings and fight against his employer. This becomes a cause of poor industrial relations.

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