Management cannot be viewed as a passive agent in the formation and structure of employment relations Essay

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“Management cannot be viewed as a passive agent

 in the formation and structure of employment relations”

Management is one of the primary functions of administrative sections especially that of the business organizations. Why is this so? Primarily because of the fact that the major function of this particular sector in business establishment is to manage the way by which the business enterprise deal with the employees which it gets its company strength from. Being able to make amends with the way the management deals with the organization’s workforce is one way by which the business entity is ensured with the success that it aims to achieve in the future. (Greenwood, 2005, 12)

     This is the primary reason why management could not passively deal with the issues that concern the employees especially when dealing with the retail practices of business (Leat, 2001, 21). Particularly in Australia, retail businesses are soaring high and are indeed making a great mark in the country’s industrial statistical reports. To support the claims mentioned above, a study on the Australian retailing industry shall be studied in this paper.

The Australian Retailing Market
The system of retailing business is based upon the process of busying and reselling used or new items to final consumers in the market. This procedure is mainly done by major industries that are not able to manufacture their own products. The idea revolves around the possibilities of creating profit from the manufactured products of several manufacturing organizations through adding a certain amount called interest from the principal or original amount that the products were sold to the retailers. As the products passes through from retailers to retailers, it could be observed that the amount or the price of the product continuously rise as the money aims to suffice the capital or investment placed by the retailers themselves. (ARS, 2006, Internet)

     From this point, it could be observed that the business of retail is primarily based on buy and sell procedures. This has been mostly one of the most appreciated systems of passing products to consumers in Australia. Consumers there find it more practical to receive services from the retailers than getting the products from the manufacturers themselves. Since the retailers are situated in a more convenient location than the manufacturers, consumers tend to choose retailers over these specific producers of goods.

     Annual reports give certainties that today, the retailing industry remains one of the top grossing industry in Australia. From the year 1993 towards the year 2000, retailing employed at least 920,000 people, which is almost 45% of the total number of workforce employed within the said country. It has been noted through reports that through the years 2005 towards the year 2006, the employing capabilities of the retailing industry in the country would increase up to 22% higher than the present statistical data that it presents in the Australian economic industries. (ARS, 2006, Internet)

     As of the latest statistical surveys, it has been carried on that there are at least 70,000 individual retailing business organizations in Australia submitting up to $150 Billion of business profits to the national treasury system. As it could be noted from these particular reports, the retail industry is indeed making up a large part of the entire national economy of Australia. Knowing that Australia holds at least 35% of its population devoted to employing the minorities or the Immigrants, it could be expected that the management policing and practices would naturally be directly affected. (ARS, 2006, Internet)

The following are simply some of the major developmental reports from the retail industry developments noted from Australia:

Melbourne Central

Reopened in September 2004 after a A$200 million redevelopment.

General Post Office (GPO)

The A$50 million GPO refurbishment on the corner of

Bourke and Elizabeth streets is a major Melbourne fashion destination that opened in August 2004. GPO has three levels of specialty stores including a day spa and beauty salon as well as “high end” fashion and food outlets.

Queen Victoria (QV)

The A$700 million QV development, featuring brands such as Hilfiger, G-Star, AG and Ben Sherman, opened in the

second half of 2004. The QV development, part of the broader CBD locale, extends the retail core to include the block bordered by Russell, Swanston, Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets. This project has added more than 130 retail tenancies, a total retail floor space of 46,000 square meters featuring six anchor tenants, 88 specialists including a full line supermarket, bulky good stores and a “laneways” feel.

Galleria Shopping Plaza

opposite the GPO development on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets has been refurbished.

David Jones Foodhall

One of the world’s finest food halls, which reopened in

September 2004 after a major refurbishment.

Bourke Street Mall

Redevelopment due for completion before the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March 2006.

 (Source: Retail Australia.

     The developments that have been mentioned herein gives a definite conclusion that the retail market in Australia passed the year 2004 certainly leaped up towards further advancements and progressive procedures for the sake of employing more and more work force and bringing in higher amount of profit within the national budget. Knowing this particular expectation, it should then occur that the management sectors of the business industries would receive much of the pressures of this particular development. How then are the management teams of the different business organizations able to face this particular challenge?

Management and the Retail Industry
Considering the fact mentioned earlier, the Australian community is made up of a large number of minorities or immigrants who have been entering the boundaries of the country searching for employment. Hence, through this particular truth, it could be observed that the management teams of the business organizations in Australia faces the challenge of dealing with the differences of the people who are employed in the country especially in the retail industry (Leat, 2001, 14). This is particularly the one of the reasons why management and its procedural applications could not simply be passive agent in the foundation of a fine employee relations structure.(Greenwood, 2005, 19)

     The fact that the internal effects of globalization is focused upon the idea of employing people more than ever, the Australian retailing industry primarily aims to commit its services to the people as much as it could. Along with this, the business organizations are given the high privilege of making a difference in the society, aiming to continuously allowing people see the fact that through employment, they could be able to satisfy their needs and their demands with regards an aimed lifestyle that they have always dreamed of for them and their families as well (Kaufman, 2003, 25). This particular truth on employment satisfaction is the primary reason why the management teams are established. TO be able to motivate the employed personnels for them to work with the goals of the organization along with their personal aims as well, It is necessary to develop the ways by which the management is able to provide them with the satisfaction that they need (Kaufman, 2003, 19). This is the way by which an employee relations procedure is established for the betterment of the entire workforce of business organizations.

     Retail Organizations are expected to control a large number of employees as they are mainly empowered by the selling abilities of salesclerks and cashiers and other rank and file positions within the organization. Creating a fine working environment for the employees would certainly help in the establishment of a strong business organization. Through policing and employee relations establishment the said motivational factor that would assist the employees in working their efforts towards the right path of success is indeed needed.(Greenwood, 2005, 56)

     This is where the management procedures practiced by the management teams of different organizations enters the scene. Several retail companies in Australia are paying much to be able to help their workforce have a clear motivation towards their goals as well as with the company’s goals (Bruce, 2004, 21). Through this, the success of the retail industry could be a definite expectation for the future of the Australian economy.

Take note of the following report regarding the future of Australian economic unemployment situation:

     “Australia used to be called the “lucky country,” but an increasing number of Australian young people might not agree with that assessment today. The newspaper The Australian, reporting on a study of young people between 15 and 19 years of age, found they had “an ‘apocalyptic’ vision of Australia’s economic future.” Students in their 9th, 10th, and 11th year in state, Catholic, and private schools were interviewed. “According to the report, the findings suggest ‘quite clearly’ that the current generation of 15 and 16-year-olds are ‘not rushing to embrace the future’—believing society is getting more violent and unemployment will remain high,” the paper said. When asked to describe their lives ten years hence, “most of the respondents identified a deteriorating economy and a society in which individuals had reduced control over their economic destiny.” (Awake! 1998, 13)

     From the report cited above, it could be observed that the negative notions of the young generation of Australia give a clear definition of how the economy appeals to the society. At some point, the said reactions are derived form the fact that the retail industries are at some point lacking the capability to assist their employees in reaching their goals making it harder for the workforce to perform well, which might result to lesser successful accounts of profitable outcome for the Australian economy.

     This is where the importance of human resource management should be strongly applied among retail organizations. From this perspective, it could be observed and thus proven that the management sector of any organization is definitely not a passive agent when it comes to empowering the human relations of certain business companies especially in the Australian Retail Industry (George, 2005, 65). Most often than not, it could be noted that the Management team even has the largest responsibility in creating the possibilities for a larger, more successful employee relations within the retail industry systems.


Retail Australia. (2004). (May 16, 2007).

Australian Retail Snapshot. (2006). (May 16, 2007).

The Australian Economic Situation. (1998). Awake! Brooklyn New York Publishing. Brooklyn New York.

Greenwood. (2005). The Practice of Workplace Participation: Management-Employee Relations at Three Particpatory Firms. IAP – Information Age Publishing Inc.; New Ed edition.

Mike Leat. (2001). Exploring Employee Relations. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Bruce E. Kaufman. (2003). Industrial Relations to Human Resources and Beyond: The Evolving Process of Employee Relations Management (Issues in Work and Human Resources). M.E. Sharpe.

Margaret Bruce. (2004). International Retail Marketing: A Case      Study Approach. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Stephen George. (2005). Process Improvement and Quality Management in the Retail Industry. Wiley; Book and CD-ROM edition.

Chris Thomas. (2005). Employee Management and Customer Service in   the Retail Industry. Wiley.

Growth, trade, and structural change in an open Australian economy. (1978). Centre for Applied Economic Research, University of New South Wale.

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