For Better or for Worse: Employment Relationship Problems under the Employment Relations Act 2000
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The existing grievance literature has tended to focus on employee decisions concerning dispute action in light of Hirschman’s (1970) ‘loyalty voice exit’ (LVE) model. The present research sought to take an alternative approach by exploring the processes associated with grievances and disputes, through following a series of cases covering both employer and employee perspectives of the same dispute. The cases involved individual-level disputes where the parties were still in an ongoing employment relationship at the time that they accessed the mediation services of the government employment agency. The research process involved observing the mediation sessions and then conducting follow-up interviews with all the individuals associated with each case, including the employer and employee, along with union advocates, legal representatives, and mediators resulting in a total of 70 interviews. The findings covered a range of areas which combined to form a new model which reframed the dispute process as a series of choices, events and stages, rather than the single-choice perspective of much existing literature.
The model centres upon three core constructs. The first of these is the Dispute Type, which refers to the nature or substance of the dispute, and identifies three distinct types each of which have their own dynamics and progression, with a significant predetermining effect on the course of employment disputes. The second construct, Power, concerns the relative power of the parties, with a party’s overall power comprising of individual, organisational, and external levels. The series of dispute actions were also found to be driven by power-related dynamics, and this produces a model that both builds upon and also extends, existing models of power in the negotiation literature (Lawler, 1992; Kim et al., 2005). Finally the third construct, Interaction Type, draws on Pruitt and Kim’s (2004) dual concern model, to explore the combined interaction of the strategies and tactics utilised by each side in a dispute sequence. Extending this model into employment dispute situations, the research identifies dynamics which can lead to major escalation of disputes, precluding opportunities for resolution.
The research has significant implications for organisations in their management of individual-level employee disputes, as well as for parties such unions and other representatives who are reframed as agents with the potential to increase or reduce the power of parties.
Subjectsemployment dispute resolution
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Does the employment environment further disable people with disabilities? : a study of selected Christchurch employers and their perspectives of the employment situation for people with disabilities Studholme, Susan Jan (University of Canterbury, 1994)This study examined the employment experiences of people with disabilities and focused specifically on the service industries. In the research (predominantly overseas based) it has been noted that people with disabilities ...
Generation and career concern: their impact on perceptions of employability and job insecurity in a changing employment context McGuigan, Courtney (University of Canterbury. Psychology, 2010)The individual differences literature has suggested that age, generation and career stage are related to a range of individual and organisational outcomes. In an employment context that is becoming increasingly characterised ...
The operation of the Employment Tribunal: An investigation of the personal grievance adjudication procedure under the Employment Contracts Act 1991 Beck, Linda (University of Canterbury. Law, 2010)The passage of the Employment Contracts Act by the National government in 1991 caused considerable controversy amongst trade unions in New Zealand and legal practitioners. I decided to examine whether the government had ...