Human Resource Management Methods

What are the author’s main points?

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The paper discusses Christopher Tomlins’ The State and Unions: Labor Relations, and the Organized Labor Movement in America as well as ‘s The Employee in relation to the different advances and progresses that have transpired in the past 25 years. The main point presented by Hurd, the author, is that the deterioration of labor unions in terms of marginal protections offered under present law labor law and regulations seems to be in tandem with Tomlins’ proposition that the New Deal solely offered a counterfeit liberty to labor. Hurd asserts that the deteriorating aspects of labor demonstrate an indication of rigidity amongst institutions and internal weakness because of external limitations and restrictions. This is owing to poor policies as well as the limitations of the labor law.

Do the arguments presented by the author support the main point? What evidence supports the main point? For example, if Tomlin’s thesis that the only a counterfeit liberty to labor is true, what effect does that have on employee morale?

Yes, the arguments presented by the author support the main point. There are various evidences that support the main points. In particular, the author makes use of formidable points presented by various authors such as Jean-Christian Vinel and Melvyn Dubofsky. For instance, taking into account that Tomlin’s thesis that the New Deal offered only a counterfeit liberty to labor is accurate, this has a negative impact on employee morale. As elucidated by Vinel (2013), the contemporary labor laws considerably go against the necessities of unions as they not only undermine them, but also the employees. It is bent on to disassemble the system of collective bargaining and legal defenses that have signified a considerable part of the work realm. In turn this has a substantial adverse impact on employee morale. For starters, taking into account the suppression of unions, it implies that organizations, most of the time, have their way and this affects employees. On the other hand, Dubofsky goes against the points presented by Tomlin making the argument that the law and its execution and implementation can be comprehended solely in the greater framework of shifting economic and political power relations. He begs the question as to whether a confrontational and aggressive labor movement would have emanated even if conflict had not been guided into the administrative procedures of the National Labor Relations Board.

Briefly describe two collective bargaining strategies companies use when dealing with unions. How can these strategies affect employee morale?

Collective bargaining agreements are covenants entered into by an organization and a union that that oversees important elements of the relationship between the employer and the employee, for instance working hours and conditions, wage rate and others aspects. There are various collective bargaining strategies that companies utilize when coping with unions and these strategies can have an influence on employee morale (Sprangler, 2003). One collective bargaining strategy is the distributive bargaining strategy. In particular, this is the customary approach taken in negotiations. In this strategy, both parties perceive the negotiations as a zero-sum game. This implies that if the union wins, the company loses and vice versa. This can have a significant impact on employee motivation. For instance, if the company wins the negotiations, then it implies that the union wins. Therefore, this can lead to decreased employee motivation as they obtain minimal pay benefits. The other collective bargaining approach is the integrative bargaining strategy. In particular, this approach is utilized when both parties can win (Bryson and Wilkinson, 2001). The notion is that both parties win and benefit, but not at the expense of the other. This leads to a positive sum game and therefore subsequent to negotiations, there is constructive benefit for the company and the employees as well. This can have a positive impact on employee motivation. For instance, the company may choose to increase overtime pay for employees. This will enhance levels of motivation for the employee, leading to greater productivity and thus both parties benefit (Bryson and Wilkinson, 2001).

What is your opinion of the article? What evidence, either from the textbook or from additional sources, supports your opinion?

I am in agreement with the opinions presented by the author in the article. I do agree that botched endeavors at the revival of unions indicate that the diminishing fortunes of labor are as much an indication of the lack of flexibility for institutions and also internal weakness owing to external limitations. Therefore, the implication of this is that the and appearance of liberty presented to the working class in the United States is without doubt, phony. And as Hurd (2013) asserts, the foundation of this forgery is not only the limitation of labor law but also the entire set of neoliberal economic policies. An important evidence that supports this opinion is the perspective presented by Vinel (2013). He points out that the law largely quashes the advanced measures that categorized the mid-twentieth century. Bolstered by degenerating legal decisions over the succeeding half century, the political system is presently trying to disassemble the system of collective bargaining and legal defenses that have signified a considerable part of the work realm, just as it is also aiding to undo the attainments of the civil rights and women’s movements of that similar epoch. This is indicative of liberalism that’s deceived and a repudiated democracy (Vinel, 2013).


Bryson, A., & Wilkinson, D. (2001). Collective bargaining and workplace performance: An investigation using the Workplace Employee Relations Survey 1998 (Vol. 12, No. 01/122). Department of Trade and Industry.

Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History, 54(2), 193-200.

Spangler, B. (2003). Integrative or interest-based bargaining. Beyond Intractability.

Tomlins, C. L. (1985). The State and Unions: Labor Relations, and the Organized Labor Movement in America. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Vinel, J. C. (2013). The employee: a political history. University of Pennsylvania Press.