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New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 1. This issue shows the diverse range of employment relations issues in New Zealand. We begin with Markey et al s paper which reports on research into employee participation. and well being in the New Zealand hospitality sector and then compares it to the famous. Danish Model While Danish formal employee participation structures are clearly well. embedded this article shows that there is a more complex picture with several direct forms of. participation available in New Zealand hospitality firms However the article also indicates. that some of the direct forms of participation can be associated with negative well being. This issue also includes two articles on the employment relations policies of the political. parties contesting the September general election As the articles were finished before the last. week of campaigning we will soon know the election outcome and a great deal more about. the new government s plans for employment relations In spite of the fact that there are. considerable differences between the parties regarding employment relations policies and. several new policy proposals on offer it is fair to say that this has been a rather unusual. election campaign and little has been done to facilitate an in depth debate of employment. relations policy differences, The next two articles were originally presented as part of a special symposium at the 2014. AIRAANZ Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Australia and New Zealand. conference in Melbourne Several more articles emerging from that symposium are expected. to feature in New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 40 1 We would like to remind. readers that the February 2015 AIRAANZ conference is in Auckland see. http airaanz2015 org nz, This issue ends on a sombre note First the Nilikant et al article deals with organisational. resilience in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes The devastating earthquakes have. had dire consequences for many people and organisations but the article seeks to distil the. important lessons learnt in terms of surviving and prosperous organisations. Second we pay tribute to Sir Owen Woodhouse the architect of New Zealand s unique no. faults system of compensation for injury Obituaries from Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Mr Ross. Wilson have been re printed with kind permission from the Safeguard Magazine. Felicity Lamm Erling Rasmussen Rupert Tipples, Editors New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. Exploring employee participation and work environment in hotels. Case studies from Denmark and New Zealand,RAYMOND MARKEY CANDICE HARRIS HERMAN KNUDSEN JENS. LIND and DAVID WILLIAMSON, We explore the relative impact of direct and representative forms of participation on quality of the work.
environment based on multi method case studies of two hotels each in New Zealand and Denmark The. degree of direct participation is higher at the New Zealand hotels yet workload and stress is higher than. in the Danish ones This confirms literature that questions whether participation is always beneficial to. the work environment On the other hand representative forms of participation appear to offer greater. opportunities for a better quality of work environment QWE since Danish employees in this study. enjoy greater influence through collective bargaining and cooperation committees and experience less. workload stress than the New Zealanders, Quality of work environment employee participation HRM in hotels direct participation representative. participation,Introduction, It is well described in the literature that employee participation is closely linked to the quality of work. environment QWE or related concepts such as employee well being or job satisfaction Whilst the. brunt of research suggests that participation plays a positive role in the work environment there are also. findings that indicate a negative association It was with this in mind that this comparative study of. Danish and New Zealand workplaces in the hotel sector was undertaken as part of a wider project. including workplaces from a range of sectors Knudsen Markey 2014 Our aim was to investigate. the nature of the relationship between employee participation and work environment quality through. case studies in a number of workplaces The study analysed both direct and representative forms of. participation, Prof Raymond Markey Director of the Centre for Workforce Futures and Professor of Employment Relations Department. of Marketing and Management Macquarie University Sydney Australia. Candice Harris Associate Prof Department of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations Auckland. University of Technology New Zealand, Prof Herman Knudsen Department of Development and Planning Aalborg University Denmark. Prof Jens Lind Department of Sociology and Social Work Aalborg University Denmark. David Williamson Senior Lecturer Department of Hospitality Tourism and Events Auckland University of. Technology New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20.
The field of comparative employment relations is generally underdeveloped Barry Wilkinson 2011. One of the most common approaches is through comparison of employment relations themes across. different countries some consider a number of themes Bean 1985 Eaton 2000 but the extent of. comparison is patchy or underdeveloped Barry Wilkinson 2011 3 and the themes broad and. necessarily selective Other comparisons focus on single issues such as trade unions but these are. normally institutionally based Fairbrother Yates 2003 Frege Kelly 2004 Verma Kochan. 2004 Frege 2007 Very few comparative studies focus on non institutional themes at the. organisational rather than general level through case studies that allow detailed analysis. The rationale for these national case study comparisons was founded on important similarities but. contrasting systems of employee participation New Zealand and Denmark are of similar size and. industry structure Some critical contributors to the work environment notably work life balance and. occupational health and safety OHS problems including stress have recently been major policy. concerns in both countries However the range and depth of representative employee participation is. greater in Denmark than New Zealand and a comparison allows consideration of the possible impact of. this variable, The article is structured as follows First it presents a review of the literature on employee participation. followed by a brief section on how participation interacts with work environment quality The next. section deals with main features of industrial relations in New Zealand and Denmark respectively with a. special view on the hotel sector This is followed by a section on methodology which also includes a. brief description of the four case hotels Subsequently the findings of the study are presented this. includes data regarding participation and work environment and then associations between the two. datasets are explored Finally the conclusion highlights the main findings and discusses these against. relevant parts of the literature Our main focus is to establish whether various forms of participation. impact positively or negatively on the quality of the work environment. Employee participation, The concept employee participation is a generic term covering a diversity of practices These include. suggestion schemes team briefings job autonomy staff meetings works councils trade union. representation collective bargaining and employee representation at board level What binds them. together are basically two shared characteristics, a participation provides opportunities that enable employees to influence decision making in. organisations and, b participation is played out in a decision making context dominated by management prerogative. Knudsen 1995 Wall Lischeron 1977, As formulated by Pateman 1970 68 The whole point about industrial participation is that it involves.
a modification to greater or lesser degree of the orthodox authority structure namely one where. decision making is the prerogative of management in which workers play no part. Below this umbrella definition a number of dimensions of participation and influence can be. conceptualised Blyton and Turnbull 2004 255 56 define the depth of participation as a continuum. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. stretching from no involvement to receiving information to joint consultation to joint decision. making to employee control Employee control may be delegated by management usually at task. level but it may also be control exercised against the will of the employer in the way work is carried. out or more rarely through radical collective action such as picketing or occupation of the workplace. Pateman 1970 distinguished between pseudo partial and full participation Pseudo participation. is linked with management techniques which even though involving consultation of employees aims to. persuade employees to accept decisions that in reality have already been made Partial participation. occurs in situations where employees are able to influence decisions yet do not have the same power as. management Finally full participation is defined by Pateman as a constellation where the parties. involved have equal power Therefore to Pateman participation in capitalist organisations is either. pseudo or partial, The notion of pseudo participation is similar to Heller s 1998a 149 50 identification of inauthentic. and manipulative forms of participation that actually offer little real influence However it is. extremely difficult to determine in practice whether specific forms of participation are pseudo or not It. is possible that management initiatives labelled participation are framed to make employees accept. decisions that have already been made Yet they also may give knowledge resources that empower. employees to influence future decisions or the pseudo participation may result in ideas and decisions. that were not originally part of management s plans It is certainly relevant to attempt to determine. whether a given practice of participation is primarily an instrument for furthering employee influence or. first and foremost a management instrument aimed at controlling the behaviour and performance of. employees Most forms of participation however include elements of both. This discussion can be continued by drawing on the distinction between various types of participation. offered by Hyman and Mason 1995 namely industrial democracy ID employee participation EP. and employee involvement EI Leaving ID aside as it is equivalent to Pateman s full participation. and has only been practised under exceptional circumstances in capitalist society the central distinction. is then between EP and EI According to Hyman and Mason EP is based on rights granted to workers by. way of legislation or collective bargaining Further EP is essentially collective and indirect since it is. played out through union representatives health and safety representatives or other employee. representatives In contrast EI is employer driven and aimed at stimulating motivation and commitment. among employees as a means to increasing organisational efficiency Participation practised as EI is. direct exercised by the individual employee or the team Returning to Pateman 1970 one may say. that whereas EP mainly corresponds to partial participation many of the schemes seen within EI for. instance team briefings quality circles and intensified communication processes seem to qualify as. pseudo participation Thus the forms of participation in the EI basket are of a character where. employees are granted influence not because it is considered a value in itself but as a bi product of. efficiency considerations A further distinction between EP and EI is that while the former primarily. deals with issues at a tactical or strategic level the latter almost exclusively is confined to the. operational or task level the corresponding distinction made by Pateman 1970 is between higher and. lower level management decisions To conclude this discussion EI and EP not only differ regarding. form the former practising direct participation the latter indirect but also regarding scope that is the. range of decisions which employees or their representatives participate in Blyton Turnbull 2004. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. From the points made above it follows that employee participation may be linked to fundamentally. different driving forces and rationales Knudsen 1995 lists three main rationales industrial democracy. social integration and organisational efficiency Industrial democracy is historically connected to the. labour movement and socialist reformers although full industrial democracy has never been fully. achieved An aim to democratise or at least humanise work has also been present in human relations. and socio technical traditions Heller 1998b and in Scandinavian work development programmes. since the 1960s Hvid Hasle 2003, Social integration is the rationale that has driven state interventions to introduce or extend participation. through rights enshrined in law With the aims of avoiding industrial unrest and open class warfare and. weakening radical currents in the labour movement concessions were granted to workers and trade. unions It was demonstrated by Ramsay 1977 that participation has historically surged and waned in. cycles as employers and governments took initiatives to pacify assertive labour movements when they. were strengthened by economic conditions, Organisational efficiency is the third rationale already mentioned earlier This rationale underlies the. EI type employer driven participation As precisely formulated by Blyton and Turnbull 2004 258 it. aims at increased worker commitment higher job satisfaction and motivation and reduced resistance to. change However in spite of the clear distinctions between the diverse rationales specific forms of. participation may well contain elements from all three of these For instance works councils or joint. consultation committees may give employees a say democratisation be a forum for cooperation and. conflict avoidance or resolution social integration as well as an instrument to raise commitment and. reduce resistance to change organisational efficiency. It was the ambition of the study to identify and assess the forms scope and depth Blyton Turnbull. 2004 of all employee participation taking place in the studied workplaces For this purpose employee. participation is defined as all forms through which employees take part in decisions regarding their job. and workplace The degree or strength of participation is determined by its depth as well as its scope As. mentioned above depth may range from shallow to deeper through the mere reception of information. from management to consultation and joint talks and negotiations to self determination at the deepest. level Scope stretches from operational matters related to the job task to tactical matters related to. work organisation technology and pay systems to strategic issues related to company goals. investment, As to forms of participation a key distinction was between direct individual or team based. participation and indirect or representative participation Within the first form the degree of job. autonomy or discretion granted to individual employees and or teams of employees is a key ingredient. Other elements of this form of participation include informal interactions with management and. arrangements such as appraisal interviews quality circles and suggestion schemes Marchington 2005. The second form is indirect participation through elected representatives essentially participation of the. Employee participation and work environment quality. The concept of work environment is broad embracing both the physical social and organisational. surroundings of work It has its origin in Scandinavia where from the 1970s this concept largely. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. replaced occupational health and safety OHS which was associated mainly with physical risks and. hazards at work In particular the concept of psychosocial work environment which denotes how job. demands and social structures and interactions in the organisation influence the psychological well. being of employees opens up for a broad understanding of how people are affected by their. employment whether positively or negatively Hvid Hasle 2003 This broader concept of QWE has. gained currency as the incidence and recognition of psychosocial workplace problems have increased. particularly stress related disease Busck Knudsen Lind 2010. Research into the significance of representative participation where safety representatives safety. committees and other joint committees are studied appears to find a clearly positive connection between. participation and a good work environment Walters Frick 2000 Walters Nichols 2007 Eaton. Nocerino 2000 Nichols Walters Tasiran 2007 Walters and Frick s 2000 comprehensive. international literature review concludes that participation resulting from the combined activity of these. representatives and committees with unionised employees and union support leads to fewer injuries at. work and that the work environment is clearly better at workplaces with organised labour than without. When it comes to direct participation s effects on the work environment research results are more. ambivalent On the one hand increased direct participation in particular in the form of job autonomy. allows employees to exert more influence on their working situation enabling action against physical. and psychosocial threats in their work environment The research of the Karasek school demonstrates a. positive correlation between influence in the form of job control and the psychosocial work environment. as well as health Karasek Theorell 1990 Eller 2003 On the other hand direct participation is often. introduced on the basis of the efficiency rationale with the aim of intensifying work and making it more. productive In recent years it has typically been associated with IT systems benchmarking and. controlling the performance of the individual Andersen Bramming Nielsen 2008 In a Norwegian. study Kalleberg Nesheim and Olsen 2009 found that employees who are organised in teams have. higher stress levels than others suggesting that positive effects of increased job autonomy usually. associated with team work may be counteracted by new pressures built into the organisation of work. North American studies of high performance workplaces characterised by lean or flexible. production and teamwork at times find a negative correlation between these elements of direct. participation and work environment quality for instance as measured by the number of accidents. Although increased direct participation may have some positive effects the intensification of work may. eventually compromise these effects Harrison Legendre 2003 Askenazy 2001 Foley Polanyi. Employee relations and employee participation in Denmark and New Zealand. Denmark and New Zealand are countries of similar population and economic structure but they are. characterised by significantly different employee relations systems especially in relation to employee. participation Representative employee participation may occur through trade unions workplace. committees of various kinds and employee representation on boards of companies Markey Gollan. Hodgkinson Chouraqui Veersma 2001, Comparing the basic structures of labour market regulation in Denmark and New Zealand it is clear that.
the Danish system is based upon collective bargaining to a much higher degree than is the case in New. Zealand In Denmark most workers are covered by a national collective agreement which also grants. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. them the right to elect local union representatives shop stewards Lind 1995 Total coverage of. collective bargaining in Denmark is 70 75 per cent of the workforce LO 2011 Visser 2009 with. national and workplace level agreements In comparison collective bargaining coverage is. approximately 19 per cent in New Zealand where it is largely confined to the public sector Blumenfeld. 2010 Danish union membership density is high at about 70 per cent Visser 2009 compared with 20. per cent in New Zealand Blumenfeld Ryall 2013, Employment relations standards in the New Zealand system are based to a greater extent upon. legislation which during the past two decades has been directed towards securing the rights of the. individual relating to minimum pay leave and the like Foster Rasmussen Coetzee 2013 Geare et. al 2014 Haworth 2004 This leaves at least in theory a relatively stronger space for and application. of HRM practices as the key mode of participation i e a more individual and direct form of employee. participation in New Zealand than in Denmark, Other forms of representative participation apart from trade unions include joint consultation. committees in New Zealand and works councils or cooperation committees in Denmark Danish. legislation has also provided for employee representation on company boards since the early 1970s. Knudsen 1995 Nevertheless in both New Zealand and Denmark the only form of legislatively. mandated workplace employee representation occurs through OHS committees. Whilst both Denmark and New Zealand have legislation for OHS delegates in New Zealand this is. quite recent and wider participative practices are not as well developed by employer union agreement as. in Denmark with cooperation committees Danish OHS representation was instigated by the Work. Environment Act 1975 Knudsen 1995 The threshold for establishment of Danish OHS committees is. 35 employees however Danish enterprises with 10 or more employees must have employee work. environment representatives The Danish committees jurisdiction includes the planning and. coordination of health and safety activities in the enterprise which could include work processes. restructuring and technological change although this only seems to occur in some enterprises. The New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 obliges employers to. negotiate with their employees and any relevant union s to determine an employee participation system. Department of Labour 2002 Hay 2003 Businesses with more than 30 staff must have an employee. participation system and parties to the employment relationship must cooperate in good faith to design. implement maintain and review a system that allows employees to participate in health and safety. matters Department of Labour 2002 Harris 2011 The participation system for businesses with over. 30 staff is usually through representatives on OHS committees Lamm 2010 Ravenswood Harris. Williamson Markey 2013 It should be noted that major reforms of New Zealand s OHS legislation. including worker representation and participation are scheduled for 2015 In particular the selection. and duties of worker representatives the level of worker participation and the function of OHS. committees will be prescribed in a new set of regulations Lamm Rasmussen Anderson 2013a. The fact that both the Danish and New Zealand OHS legislation require only medium and large sized. businesses to have formal worker representation and participation in place raises a number of issues. regarding worker representation and participation within the small business sector For example the. small business sectors in Denmark and New Zealand represent approximately 90 per cent of the business. population and employs 60 per cent of the business population This is a sizable proportion of employees. with no legal entitlement to participatory mechanisms concerning their workplace health and safety. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. Lamm Frick Jamieson Martin Donnell 2013b Moreover the Danish and New Zealand small. business sector have low trade union membership rates and low union density and ipso facto trade union. involvement in OHS worker representation and participation in this sector is minimal There is evidence. that workers in the small business sector are increasingly engaged in low paid non standard insecure or. precarious work Added to this mix is the fact that small workplaces are becoming more culturally and. ethnically diverse Both of these features have the potential to create a working environment that. discourages formal worker representation and participation Lamm et al 2013b. The jurisdiction of New Zealand OHS committees is more specifically limited to OHS and hazard. prevention than in Denmark However a wide international literature argues that OSH committees of the. New Zealand variety have the potential to address issues beyond a narrow focus on hazard identification. and management Bernard 1995 Haynes Boxall Macky 2005 Knudsen 1995 Walters Nichols. Connor Tasiran Cam 2005 In practice it is difficult to separate a narrow focus on traditional health. and safety from work life and other broad work environment issues particularly involving the rising. coincidence of employee stress and longer working hours Lamm 2010 or the introduction of new. technology or organisational change Heller 1998a, Based on national collective agreements since 1947 Danish cooperation committees exist in enterprises. of 35 or more employees by agreement between the employer federation DA and the main union. federation LO Cooperation committees are forums for consultation over working conditions training. work organisation and especially technological and organisational change Composed of equal numbers. of employer and employee representatives they cover a majority of private sector employees but may. vary in effectiveness Knudsen 1995 These committees offer an example of the three rationales for. participation democratisation social integration and efficiency operating together In a recent New. Zealand survey 40 per cent of employees reported coverage by similarly composed joint consultative. committees JCCs Nevertheless these are not subject to a general agreement and hence vary greatly. in role and effectiveness with employee representatives chosen by employers in over a quarter of. instances Boxall Haynes Macky 2007 One might expect New Zealand JCCs therefore to be. influenced to a lesser extent by the rationale of democratisation. It is clear from this brief comparison of their respective employment relations systems that the range. depth and scope of representative employee participation are greater in Denmark than New Zealand. Comparison between the two countries enables testing of the impact of these differences on quality of. the work environment,The hotel sector, Hotels are a major component of the hospitality tourism industry sector which is a growing contributor. to the economies of New Zealand and Denmark with unique labour market conditions In 2013 the. New Zealand tourism industry directly accounted for 5 7 per cent of total national FTE employment and. generated 3 7 per cent of GDP Statistics New Zealand n d Hotels account for 9 per cent of the Danish. labour force and 2 1 per cent of GDP Ernst Young 2013. In both countries the hospitality workforce is characterised by its youth feminisation high proportion. of immigrants non standard employment patterns relatively low coverage of collective agreements and. low pay Almost 40 per cent of New Zealand hospitality employees are under 25 years 33 per cent of. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. hotel workers and in Denmark over 50 per cent are under 35 years Females account for 62 per cent of. New Zealand hotel workers and 54 per cent of Danish hospitality workers Part time workers make up. over a third of the workforce in both countries Higher than average proportions of foreign workers are. also attracted to the industry in both countries with this proportion growing from 25 to 35 per cent in. New Zealand from 2001 to 2006 Whiteford Nolan 2007 Klein Hesselink 2004 J rgensen 2012. In New Zealand collective bargaining coverage is restricted to union members who comprise less than. 10 per cent of the hospitality workforce Boxall Haynes Macky 2007 155 Blumenfeld Ryall. 2013 In Denmark 70 80 per cent of hospitality workers are covered by collective agreements more. than union membership at about 40 50 per cent since non union members are included CASA 2002. J rgensen 2012 Danish workplaces covered by collective agreements typically have cooperation. committees JCCs typically are associated with larger unionised organisations which mostly precludes. them from the smaller non unionised organisations in the New Zealand hospitality industry. Nonetheless hotels tend to be larger unionised organisations making them more likely than most. hospitality organisations to have JCCs Lo and Lamm 2005 also identified a high degree of unitarist. management thinking in the New Zealand hotel industry. The industry has also experienced high labour turnover historically up to 60 per cent per annum in. New Zealand and high absenteeism 4 per cent in Denmark However the recessionary environment. since 2008 has lowered these rates somewhat with the latest New Zealand figures putting the hospitality. turnover figure at 32 7 per cent against an all industry average of 17 7 per cent Human Resources. Institute of New Zealand 2012 J rgensen 2012 High labour turnover and absenteeism significantly. affect business outcomes in the industry Managers tend to attribute this to factors beyond their own. control largely the stereotypical characterisation of the industry as a temporary part time source of. employment However Boxall Macky and Rasmussen 2003 claim that voluntary labour turnover. represents one end of a continuum which extends to high retention at the other end This continuum. includes a sequence of withdrawal responses including lateness and absenteeism in response to. unsatisfactory employment Absenteeism includes work absence for injury or sickness which may. indicate an unsafe work environment Work environment including job security job satisfaction stress. pay satisfaction and work life balance also critically affects labour exit decisions Boxall et al 2003. NZTRI 2007 Work organisation can be sub optimal for employee well being For example shift. work which is common in the hotel industry has been associated with stress Wedderburn 2006 Lo. Lamm 2005 New payment systems for hotel work for example payment on the basis of the number. of rooms cleaned piece rates relies on work intensification which leads to use of unsafe working. methods stress and injury Oxenbridge Moensted 2011 Eriksson Le 2008. Methodology, The data for this study derives from two coordinated research projects in Denmark and New Zealand.
covering a number of sectors and adopting a multi method case study approach The material presented. here targeted two hotels in each country Data were collected from. relevant documents, three to six interviews at each hotel including HR and other middle managers and employee. representatives and, a questionnaire survey of 29 employees from the New Zealand hotels and 46 from the Danish. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. The New Zealand employees surveyed represented 10 per cent n 9 and 6 per cent n 20 of all. employees in Hotel NZX and NZY respectively whereas the Danish employees surveyed represented 58. and 62 per cent n 23 each respectively in hotels DX and DY Most employees surveyed were in the. kitchen restaurant or reception guest services areas For the purpose of quantitative analysis from the. employee survey indexes of two key concepts quality of work environment QWE and direct. participation DP were developed to capture frequencies and distribution of responses across a series of. survey questions QWE was measured by an index for workload and stress based on six survey. questions A score out of 40 was measured for each workplace in each dimension questions with a five. point response scale scored 40 30 20 10 and 0 from the most to least positive response This method. follows the practice of the Danish National Research Institute for the Work Environment Kristensen. Hannerz H gh Borg 2005 and is also inspired by the Likert scale As higher scores in general. indicate a more positive work environment scoring for workload and stress questions was reversed since. the most positive response was negative e g the most positive response to the question about feeling. stressed was never almost never, Quality of the work environment was measured on the basis of six identical Danish New Zealand. questions with a 5 point scale and aggregated into an index for each workplace. Do you have more work than you can accomplish,Are you required to work overtime. How often have you felt worn out from work, Does your work put you in emotionally distressing situations.
How often have you felt stressed, Do you think your work takes so much of your energy that it affects your private life. Regarding participation the degree of direct participation experienced by the hotel employees was. measured by four questions which taken together tap central aspects of this type of participation. Do you have significant influence on how much work you do. Do you have significant influence on how your work is done. Do you get information on important decisions from management in due time. Do you have possibilities to learn new things in your job. A score was measured for each hotel for each dimension using the same method as for QWE and a. composite index for all direct participation was constructed. As to representative participation different environments in Denmark and New Zealand required. different survey questions for this reason the separate results were interwoven with qualitative data to. develop a characterisation of each workplace On the basis of case studies across four different sectors in. the broader study not just hotels but also schools food manufacturing and hospitals old age facilities. see Knudsen Markey 2014 three ideal types of participation or participation models were. developed the IR model the democratic model and the HRM model The models which represent. principally divergent configurations of participation at workplace level will not be discussed in detail. here This is because all the four hotels in the study turned out to belong to the HRM type a. configuration in which management not unions and not employees plays a central role in. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. determining how participation is structured and played out in practice Representative participation plays. a lesser role in the HRM model than in the IR model or the democratic model. The Danish hotels are part of major companies Hotel DX is a rurally located four star hotel part of a. Danish chain of 10 hotels Hotel DY is a three star hotel based in the city of Aalborg part of a larger. northern European chain of 150 hotels Both Danish case studies represent positive and well regulated. workplaces in the middle to upper segment of the hospitality industry Both companies are members of. the employers organisation Horesta which means that they are covered by a collective agreement and. have cooperation committees although not at the individual hotel but for the entire group Further in. accordance with Danish legislation both hotels operate OHS committees Compared with the conditions. in the sector generally both Danish hotels have a relatively stable employment structure with only a. third of employees in both hotels employed for less than a year Hotel DX has a somewhat more stable. workforce with 30 per cent of employees having been employed for over five years compared with. only 17 per cent for hotel DY Sickness absenteeism and labour turnover are also lower at hotel DX. than hotel DY, The two New Zealand hotels are parts of large international chains with overseas owners in France and. the US regional offices in Australia and hierarchical management structures Hotel NX is based in the. city of Auckland and hotel NY in the capital Wellington Both hotels are in the upper end of the sector. Hotel NX is rated five star and NY is four star As with the Danish hotels the New Zealand ones. typified the general employment trends in the sector but operated with somewhat more positive work. environments than industry averages NX had an annual labour turnover rate of 45 per cent and NY of. 50 per cent,Representative participation, In all four hotels representative employee participation can be described as embedded in a HRM. approach based on management initiative and relatively weak representative participation mainly. confined to mandatory OHS structures In this approach previously outlined by Knudsen and Markey. 2014 management is mainly interested in practices benefiting performance. In terms of non union forms of representative participation both New Zealand hotels have reasonably. effective OHS committees but with narrow jurisdictions and some limitations to accountability and. representativeness Although numerically dominated by employees the NX committee includes the. Chief Engineer and HRM manager The NX employee representatives are a mixture of volunteers and. nominees often shoulder tapped for the role according to the HRM manager The NY OHS. committee seems more representative in that employee nominees are called for and elected by staff. Interviewees indicated that there was no issue with getting people to nominate although the General. Manager considered that some shoulder tapping occurred The NY committee is also chaired by the. executive secretary to the General Manager The jurisdiction of both committees is confined essentially. to hazard identification and reduction but both management and employee representatives considered. them effective in this sphere For both New Zealand hotels OHS committee staff representatives are. paid to attend meetings outside normal hours and committee membership is viewed by employees as an. opportunity for networking and access to management NY has more extensive training opportunities. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. during introduction to the committee and an online training module for all staff Both hotels also. operate a range of other committees focused on quality improvement and social activities These. committees tend to be organised either around specific functions such as sales or front line reception or. they are cross functional drawing managers and employees from throughout the hotel for example. environmental committees and exchange committees, Compared to Danish industrial relations more broadly representative participation structures are. relatively weak in the Danish hotels The two case study hotels are members of the employers. organisation and hence covered by a collective agreement This is unusual in a sector which by. Danish standards has a low coverage of collective agreements However neither hotel s employees have. elected union shop stewards in the case of hotel DY this is partly attributable to management pressure. Yet this does not mean that management operates in a union free environment To the extent that the. national collective agreement stipulates supplementary local bargaining processes management is. obliged to negotiate with the union district organisation The managers at both hotels recognise this. obligation and claim they have good relations with the union at district level Whilst each company has a. cooperation committee these do not operate at the level of the individual hotels At hotel DX the. employees have an elected representative on the cooperation committee at hotel DY which is a. relatively small hotel within a large group the workers are not represented on the cooperation. In the Danish hotels the mandatory OHS committees or work environment committees as they are. called therefore are the only representative structures at workplace level The OHS committees deal. with both possible risks in the physical work environment and possible psychosocial problems such as. stress Whilst the OHS representative at both hotels feel that work environment standards are acceptable. they also complain that more expensive improvements sometimes have to wait because they need. recognition at group level, Unionisation for the New Zealand hotels is weak Boxall et al 2007 Hotel NX has less than one per.
cent of its membership unionised and has no collective agreement Hotel NY has about 10 per cent of. its workforce unionised equivalent to the sector average Although hotel NY is not covered by a. collective agreement other New Zealand hotels in the group are and have developed a partnership. relationship with Unite Union In HRM policy terms partnership is expressed through encouragement of. direct participation in problem solving greater teamwork a higher proportion of permanent employees. and payment of employees union fees by management, Exact figures for unionisation in the Danish hotels are not available However at both there is a mixture. of workers who are organised in 3F the union that negotiates the collective agreement workers who are. in a yellow union i e a union that has no influence on the collective agreement and workers who are. not members of any union Whilst the lack of a shop steward is a sign of weak unionisation the fact that. some of the employees are affiliated to the 3F means that the workforce ultimately can rely on support. from the union in case the management fails to respect provisions in the collective agreement. Direct participation, The majority of employees at all hotels have a relatively strong sense of direct influence on how their. work is done but less influence on how much work they do For the Danish hotels there is a clear. difference between the two hotels concerning participation The employees at hotel DX claim to have. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20. much more influence than employees at hotel DY do on how much work they do and how the work is. done The possibilities to learn something new in the job are relatively better at the New Zealand hotels. than the Danish Regarding information there is little difference between the two Danish hotels both of. which are rated significantly lower than the New Zealand hotels on receiving information in a timely. Table 1 Direct Participation DP scores on scale from 0 40. Workplace Influence Influence how Information Learning DP index. workload work is done from mgmt possibilities,Hotel DX 26 5 27 8 23 5 28 3 26 5. Hotel DY 17 4 23 5 24 3 25 2 22 6,Hotel NX 21 3 35 6 30 0 37 8 31 2. Hotel NY 24 5 30 0 27 0 30 5 28 0, It appears that the degree of direct participation is higher at the New Zealand hotels than at the Danish.
ones with hotel DY particularly lagging behind While their influence on workload is actually smaller. than for Danish employees in hotel DX the New Zealanders clearly experience more influence as to. how work is carried out just as they clearly consider that they receive more information from. management and experience more learning in their jobs. Work environment, Table 2 also displays a clear largely contrasting picture regarding work environment quality On. average the conditions for Danish employees clearly appear to be better Employees from both Danish. hotels are less likely than their New Zealand counterparts to feel worn out from work to experience. frequent work related stress or to have their personal lives affected by loss of energy from work One or. another of the Danish hotels is also least likely to have employees who consider that they have more. work than they can accomplish or that they are placed in emotionally distressing situations in the. workplace Only with overtime requirements do employees at one New Zealand hotel respond the most. positively marginally i e they are less likely consider they are regularly required to undertake it. Looking at the hotels on a more individual basis the survey results are generally more positive for one. hotel in each country In the Danish case this observation applies across all components of the QWE. index except having more work than employees feel they can accomplish which is the sole measure. where Hotel DY outperforms Hotel DX In New Zealand Hotel NX performs more positively than. Hotel DY across all measures of QWE except for overtime requirements where Hotel NY ranked the. most positively of all four hotels, Table 2 Quality of work environment QWE scores on scale from 0 40. Workplace More work Overtime Tired Emotional Stress Affect on QWE. than can required from distress often personal index. accomplish work life,Hotel DX 21 7 25 5 28 7 32 2 33 9 31 3 28 9. Hotel DY 26 1 17 4 27 8 29 6 29 6 27 8 26 4,Hotel NX 22 2 17 8 24 4 31 1 26 7 24 4 24 4. Hotel NY 19 0 26 0 13 0 22 0 17 0 22 0 19 8, New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39 1 2 20.
Comparing participation data with QWE data, When DP and QWE are brought together as is the case in Table 3 it appears that there is no positive. association between direct participation and work environment quality The first two cases ranked for. direct participation hotels NX and NY are also ranked three and four respectively for QWE whereas. the two lowest cases for direct participation Hotels DX and DY are ranked one and two respectively. for QWE If anything the figures point at a negative association between direct participation and QWE. However it is noteworthy that for both direct participation and QWE the Danish and New Zealand. hotels rank as pairs at the top or bottom of the rankings If we look within each national pairing then the. higher and lower rankings for direct participation and QWE do actually correspond with each other This. suggests a country effect from different institutional environments. Regarding representative participation it is not possible as above to compare one set of figures with. another However it does seem likely that higher QWE levels experienced by Danish workers can at. least partly be explained by the greater scope for representative participation in Denmark Cooperation. committees a broader agenda for the OHS committees and a national collective agreement which. determines important parts of the effort reward exchange are all elements that can help shape a work. environment that keeps psychosocial work environment problems at bay. Table 3 Direct participation and work environment scores and rank order of four hotels. Workplace DP score DP rank QWE score QWE rank,Hotel NX 31 2 1 24 4 3. Hotel NY 28 0 2 19 8 4,Hotel DX 26 5 3 28 9 1,Hotel DY 22 6 4 26 4 2. Conclusion, Obviously the empirical material that this article is based upon is not sufficient to generalise Material. from two cases in each of the two countries cannot represent either the industry or the country However. a few remarks on how the pattern of participation unfolds in these four cases in two countries are. appropriate, On average we find work environment quality to be slightly better at the Danish hotels Can this be.
explained by the fact that Danish hotel workers enjoy more direct participation at their workplaces than. their New Zealand colleagues The answer to this question is No Regarding direct participation our. data show that the New Zealand employees with few exceptions are equipped with a higher degree of. influence learning and information sharing than the Danes however they also experienced relatively. high stress levels in this environment The findings thus lend support to the participation literature that. questions the notion of participation as always beneficial to the work environment and workers well. being Busck et al 2010 Kalleberg et al 2009, The problem as we see it with the high level of participation granted to the New Zealand hotel workers. is that it is all granted on the premises of management The New Zealand employees receive. information they enjoy learning opportunities and they get influence on their immediate work.

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