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The Way Forward in Employment Relations

Using Social Dialogue as a Means of Improving the Organizational Effectiveness of a Credit Union

Christa Sankarsingh-Glasgow, Programme Specialist, UWI/Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business
Publication date: February, 2014
The way forwar in employment relations

The idea of co-operation seems to be one that exists only in children's books with no real place in the business world. However, to survive in the times that we live in, the more successful organizations, and indeed nations, are embracing the values of co-operation. In my thesis, "Social Dialogue: The Way Forward in Employment Relations", I studied a financial co-operative, whose founding principles are based on co-operation. The study sought to determine the relevance of utilizing the tools of co-operation such as social dialogue in a dynamic setting. The other variables under consideration were the existence of a very militant trade union as the employees' representative, and environmental factors which were clamoring for a solid response from the organization to determine whether or not it would continue to exist. All of this in a developing country in the sunny Caribbean, with an economy that is dependent on the fickle fortunes of oil and gas.

Case Study Background

The organization at the centre of the study is over sixty years old and has a long history of success through turbulent times and has outlived many more powerful predecessors. Over the years, while other financial co-operatives have developed a more corporate business model, this Credit Union has held strong to the Co-operative Principles. The Credit Union is now challenged by the need to comply with proposed legislation for the governance and supervision of Credit Unions which would require some significant changes to the way that the Credit Union operates. Additionally, fierce competition from other organizations in the financial services sector forces the Credit Union to re-examine its market positioning and determine strategies to ensure its survival. Ultimately, the Credit Union must achieve organizational effectiveness through stakeholder buy-in and participation in order to remain successful.