Today, employees everywhere are affected by the same factors that affect an organization. New issues have emerged, which pose difficulties to the relationship between employees and employers. Some of the issues affecting this relationship include economic, technological, cultural, social and legal changes. These factors affect the workplace and organizations in a difficult way. Many companies are choosing to downsize their labor force to cut costs. As a result, many employees are worried over losing their jobs or being exploited, which raises conflicts with the management. In response to this, Unions and management are coming together to resolve the issues by adopting new approaches that ensure effective services. For the organizations to remain competitive, the unions and management have to find ways of maintaining the relationship with employees considering they are the most valuable asset.

     Personnel theory and practices are concerned with ensuring a good relationship between employer and employee. Mainly, it focuses on industrial, employee and labor relations and activities concerned with handling grievances, negotiations, labor laws enforcement and welfare of employees amongst other activities. From the reading for this week, one can learn that personnel theory and practices are concerned with unions and collective bargaining, whose sole purpose is to establish strong relations between the employers and employees. Unions aim at ensuring grievances of the employees are heard and acted upon through activities such as collective bargaining (Pynes 2009, 340). It is worth noting that unions or organized labor is formed by a group of professionals within the same industry or occupation. The union represents the interests of employees to the management of a company.

     Managing an organization with organized labor poses its challenges to both employers and employees. A labor union will negotiate for all the workers within this profession collectively. This leaves talented employees who could achieve better salaries at the same level with the rest. To the company, they have to pay all workers the same even those who are not competent enough. In addition, to change any rules concerning employment, the company had to go through the union, which could take time. This poses a difficulty in managing such organizations. On the other hand, organized labor has its advantages such as benefits for the employees and eliminating inequality in wages (Fried and Myron 2008, 362).

     It can also be learnt from the readings that personnel theory and practice differs between private, public and not for profit sectors. Managing employees between the three sectors differs mainly due to the goals and objectives of the organizations. While private firms will pursue profits under all circumstances, not for profit organizations seek to provide the best services to communities. For private organizations, the law provided for collective bargaining to protect workers from unfair treatment. It sought to protect their rights. In non-profit organizations, organized labor occurs if only the firm maintains a substantial control over the employment conditions, which in this case allows collective bargaining (Pynes 2009, 344). In addition, collective bargaining in such institutions is only permitted if the organization could affect commerce. For federal government, collective bargaining was blocked in some cases such as Airport screeners because of its potential to jeopardize security of the country.

     In conclusion, there are many things to learn concerning personnel theory and practice from the weeks readings. The first thing to note is that personnel theory and practice is concerned with the relationship between employers and employee. Unions come in as representatives of employee interests to the company. This allows for collective bargaining, where the unions negotiate the salary packages for employees as well as their working conditions. It is important to note the differences between management of organized labor in the three different sectors, private, non-profit and federal government. Objectives of the sectors determine how organized labor can be utilized.


Fried, Bruce, and Myron D. Fottler. 2008. Human resources in healthcare: Managing for success. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Health Administration Press

Pynes, Joan. 2009. Human resources management for public and nonprofit organizations: A strategic approach. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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