This paper explores the relationship between corporate strategies and the management of employee relations in the multi-divisional company. Both the influence of employee relations strategies on corporate strategies and the influence of corporate strategies on employee relations strategies are considered. Special emphasis is placed on diversification strategies. The paper argues that such strategies tend to lead to specific patterns of employee relations practice. An idealised three-level strategy model is developed in order to explore these strategy linkages. 1. INTRODUCTION In recent years considerable emphasis has been placed on the three levels of organisational analysis in industrial relations: the strategic, the narrower policy level, and the work-place level (Kochan, Katz and McKersie 1986). At the strategic level the debate has, for the most part, been restricted to the corporate response to shifts in product market conditions (Kochan and Chalykoff 1987), the effect of human resource management, and the development of specific strategies towards the management of industrial relations such as, in the USA, avoiding unionisation. In Britain the focus has tended to be on strategic choices in the structure and location of collective bargaining and innovative methods of segmenting the labour force and gaining employee compliance to management initiatives.
British Journal of Industrial Relations – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1989
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