Labour Relations and Conflict management
Course Summary:

The objectives of managements, the ways in which enterprises are managed to achieve these objectives and the human resource management (hereinafter referred to as "HRM") and industrial relations (hereinafter referred to as "IR") initiatives in this regard, are affected by pressures, many of which are exerted by globalization. Changes in IR practices (rather than in institutions and systems) such as increased collective bargaining at enterprise level, flexibility in relation to forms of employment as well as in relation to working time and job functions have occurred as a result of such factors as heightened competition, rapid changes in products and processes and the increasing importance of skills, quality and productivity. These factors have also had an impact on HRM policies and practices. In managing change, the key elements include employee involvement in effecting change, greater customer orientation, and ensuring that the skills of employees are appropriate to the production of goods and the provision of services acceptable to the global market. As such, managing people in a way so as to motivate them to be productive is one important objective of HRM. The implications and consequences of globalization include the following:

Course Objectives:

  • Improving the management of people or utilizing human resources better as a means of achieving competitive advantage.
  • The numerous examples of excellence in HRM have created an interest in such models.
  • The traditional role of personnel managers has failed to exploit the potential benefits of effective management of people; neither did personnel management form a central part of management activity.
  • In some countries the decline of trade union influence has opened the way for managements to focus on more individual issues rather than on collectivist ones.

Course Outline

Conflict Resolution and Mediation

  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants assist in resolving problems and conflicts before they escalate and assist in facilitating informal mediation.
  • Conflict in the workplace can arise in a wide variety of ways. It can range from misunderstandings, to very mild interpersonal problems, to serious conflicts
  • The Office of Human Resources also offers formal mediation services. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third party helps disputing parties work through and resolve problems. It is not available for resolving disputes related to promotion and tenure, discrimination, sexual misconduct, serious misconduct/criminal activity, discharge or issues governed by federal or state law.

Corrective Action

  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants serve as objective hearing officers in matters involving corrective action, employee grievances and resolutions of dispute, when applicable.
  • Corrective action is the process used to identify and correct undesirable behavior of employees.
  • The objective of corrective action is to eliminate undesirable behavior and provide employee a fair and just process.


  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants perform objective and thorough investigations of employee complaints in many areas, including discrimination, sexual misconduct and workplace violence.
  • Consultants also investigate allegations that university policies have been violated. Investigations play a key role in the university’s risk management strategies and practices.
  • Through consultations and investigations, the Employee and Labor Relations team provide guidance on key employment practices and laws to ensure a healthy work environment.

Labor Relations

  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants collaborate with human resource professionals to administer and interpret various collective bargaining agreements to ensure integration and consistency across the university, facilitate problem resolution to mitigate risk and work to enhance labor and management relationships.

Performance Management

  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants assist managers and human resource professionals in establishing performance expectations and accountability to ensure productive employees and work environments.
  • Performance management is an ongoing process of communication between a supervisor and employee, focused on helping the employee achieve his or her best workplace results. It requires thoughtful planning, ongoing communication and commitment.

Policy Interpretation and Management

  • Employee and Labor Relations Consultants provide guidance and development on university policies and procedures, including leave programs and reductions in force.