To What Extent do Line Managers Play a Role in Modern Industrial Relations?

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Townsend, Keith
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2013
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Abstract

Despite significant changes in industrial relations (IR) legislation in recent decades, research has failed to place the line manager at the centre of analysis on IR performance. There is much published about their HR role, but both HRM and IR relate directly to managing people in the workplace. This means that line managers' IR role is also important to understand. This paper asks does the line manager play a role in modern industrial relations and how organisations can support line managers in their IR role. While aspects of IR have been transformed in Australia to a very legalistic process, data from three Australian cases indicate that the training and skills of line managers has a strong impact on their performance in workplace-level IR matters. Furthermore, their level within the corporate hierarchy determines the type of IR activities in which they are involved.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources

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51

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4

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Industrial and employee relations

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