Queen's University IRC

Human Resources

Relationships by Objectives: The Experience at Petro-Canada

If Canadian industries are to compete successfully in the new economy, unions and management must move away from their traditional adversarial relationships. This study analyzes a conflict resolution method, known as Relationships by Objectives (RBO), that directs unions and management away from conflict and towards cooperation through joint problem solving. RBO was part of the Preventive Mediation Program provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour beginning in 1978.

Managing the Contingent Work Force: Lessons for Success

Many employers are scaling down their regular fulltime, full-year work force and increasing their use of contingent workers to reduce labour costs and meet the fluctuating demands of the global marketplace. But if a contingent work force strategy is to succeed, employers must take steps to alleviate the well-documented negative impact of contingent work on worker health. If employers do not do so, their savings may be offset by a decrease in productivity and in work quality.

A Framework for a Formal Mentoring Program

Mentoring is an ancient concept that experienced a renaissance about a decade ago (Goodson 1992, 19). Mentorships are relationships which provide guidance, support, a role model, and a confidante (known as a mentor) for junior organizational members (known as protégés). An effective mentoring relationship is one in which both mentor and protégé develop a productive level of intimacy, enabling the protégé to learn the ropes and adapt to organizational expectations (Burke and McKeen 1989, 1).

Contingent Work Force Strategy: Guidelines for Success

This overview offers guidelines for managing contingent employees, which may include non-regular part-time workers, temporary workers, independent contract workers, dependent contract workers, and employee leasing arrangements.

The information in these guidelines was extracted from the 1997 IRC Press Publication by Kelly Ann Daly entitled Managing the Contingent Workforce: Lessons for Success, which provides more detailed information on the topic.

Outsourcing and the ‘New’ Human Resource Management

Once believed to be strictly an administrative function low on management's priority list, the human resource function is increasingly involved in strategic management decisions. Intense competitive pressures are forcing it to reexamine its structure, the services it provides, and the competencies it requires. As a result, HR is looking at outsourcing as a way to reduce its workload and concentrate on strategic core functions. Interviews with nine HR executives reported in this study provide a snapshot of how Canadian organizations and their HR functions are changing to cope with the new economic environment.

Employee Involvement, Strategic Management & Human Resources: Exploring the Linkages

There has been very little research addressing the relationship between human resource practices and organizational strategy and culture. Among the questions that frequently arise are: what practices have other organizations implemented?, what HRM practices and organizational strategies distinguish successful and unsuccessful organizations?, and what is the impact of strategy and culture on the success of HRM practices and organizational behaviour? The present study is aimed at addressing these questions.

Job Evaluation: A Quest for Gender Neutrality

The long debated issue of gender bias in job evaluation systems has become even more important with the advent of pay equity legislation in Ontario. This statute requires the use of a gender-neutral job comparison system to identify and rectify wage discrimination in female-dominated jobs. Unfortunately, this legislation provides very little guidance as to what is meant by a gender-neutral job comparison system. This paper identifies the ingredients of a gender-neutral comparison system.

Developments in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Practices in Canada: An Update from the 1980s

This study was undertaken as part of the Structural Change in Canadian Industrial Relations project at the Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto. The Canadian industrial relations system has followed a course of incremental change and adjustment over the past decade that leaves intact the basic institutional framework and relationships among labor, business, and government. Thus, the system, while changing in ways that are similar to employment relations in other industrial nations, has not undergone any dramatic transformation.

Who Gains from Worker Participation?

There is a growing interest in participative management as a way to overcome rigidities in labour-management relations. This implies a higher degree of self-supervision, flatter hierarchies and blurring of the lines dividing workers and managers. In other words, participative management entails a restructuring of the power relation between labour and management. This paper addresses this issue.

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