Queen's University IRC

Human Resources

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.

Parental and Maternity Leave Policies In Canada and Sweden

Sweden and Canada provide two significantly different maternity and parental leave programs. Sweden's Parental Leave program is comprehensive and "progressive", covering all eligible individuals and enjoying an extremely high utilization rate. Canada's Maternity Leave program, in contrast, does not share the Swedish success; only about half the women who bear children each year collect maternity benefits.

 

Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value

Research on the male-female wage differential in Canada has produced evidence of a substantial link between occupational segregation and low female earnings. Because most Canadian labour jurisdictions have enacted equal pay for equal work legislation, this component of the wage gap is unaffected. Consequently, programs which attempt to desegregate occupations and/or resolve pay inequities arising from occupational segregation are being debated.

The Seniority Principle: Is It Discriminatory?

This paper pursues the questionable effects of seniority systems by examining; the remedial powers at the disposal of each legal forum available to an employee to pursue a discrimination claim, the relevant Canadian jurisprudence on discrimination, and the American experience with discrimination claims based on seniority. This paper concludes with a proposal detailing an outline of an affirmative action plan tailored to fit the Canadian situation as it is exposed by the previous sections of the paper.

Psychological Testing in Personnel Selection

This research paper reviews the subject of psychological testing in personnel selection. The history of employment testing is traced from its beginnings in World War I to current day testing practices. Tests are described in a five category classification: intelligence, aptitude, performance, interest and personality tests. Next the various psychometric properties of tests are discussed: standardization of a test, objectivity, the different kinds of norms and reliability, and the different types of validity.

Innovation at Work: The Working with Technology Survey, 1980-91

This summary report provides some of the first results of the analysis of the data contained in the Working with Technology Survey for the 224 respondents who responded to the questionnaires in both 1985 and 1991. Comparisons of establishments' behaviour across the two time periods provides many valuable insights both into tech change and its impacts on workers, and into organizational change. More detailed survey results will be reported later in the course of the Human Resource Management Project.

The Concept of Leisure

This paper was presented at the 1963 Spring Conference Programme of the Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University, at Kingston, Ontario. This paper discusses the origins of the idea of leisure, the need and desire for leisure, while also suggesting that we rethink the whole notion of leisure. It also makes some suggestions about how we might think positively and usefully about the concept of leisure.

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