CRITICALLY evaluate 2 journal articles, relating to employee relations

Employee Relations


Employee relations is the philosophy in human resources that explores the relationship between employees and their employers. This relationship affects the job productivity, motivation, and socialization in the workplace. For smooth running of an organization, these factors must be considered to ensure high productivity level towards meeting of the organizations objectives. Employees are the most important and valuable assets of an organization. They are the people that are interdepended with the success and failures of an organization. The management of human resources is a unique operational function. The organization benefits from the effective use of the human force, drawing on their expertise and ingenuity to meet their clearly defined objectives. The issues considered in employee relations include recruitment, performance management, training and development, as well as remunerations and wage issues. Therefore, it is necessary for a manager to know the organizations staffing needs and use unbiased and non-stereotyped approach towards recruiting the best personnel for a position. The rest of the essay attempts to compare and contrast the issues raised in two journal articles relating to employee relations within different organizations.

In Hobblers article Bosses Perception of Family, Work Conflict & Womens Promotability, a study to provide insight on women profitability is described. The hypothesis of this study presumes a fact that managers perception of women having greater domestic responsibilities affects their promotion to high positions in an organization. Gender impact on upward mobility takes a different shape in this work. Since women in the society are largely regarded as carers, other people assume that this kind of responsibility will make them experience competing demands. They are therefore viewed as workers having poorer organizational fit and job performance (Hoobler, Wayne & Lemmon 2006). Concerning job obligations, women are rated as lower workers in relation to the job fit; therefore, they are regarded as not appropriate for higher positions. The study also raises serious concerns about what really happens in organizational sponsored programs for resolving family-work conflicts. It appears from the results of the study that these forums only tend to worsen the situation of stereotypes existing around women promotions in the organization.

From the study, several factors come to play. First, they are the use of stereotypes to determine promotions, gender biases in job promotions, and planning for family-work conflicts forums. Concerning the use of stereotypes, the study does not seem to be conducted in a proper manner. The fact that most of the data were collected through interviews and questionnaires makes it unreliable. The information obtained from such a method is undependable since the interviewees will respond as a matter of being subjects of observation. The researchers would have depended more on the observation without prior informing or revisiting the organization's records to obtain promotion data. Many female employees will give information to display support for the hypothesis even when the facts are not good enough to warrant a clear deduction.

Concerning gender biasness in promotion, it is clear from the study that very little was done in terms of performance appraisal in the organizations studied. The process of appraising is not mentioned in the article. All it presents is the use of informal sources of data to determine promotions and job fit (Hoobler, Wayne & Lemmon 2006). This further weakens the study because in todays job employment sector, appraisal results are used to determine whom to promote and what position to assign. The setting and communication of specific objectives and expectations is done before the job is performed, and performance is measured against these standards. The informal way of using stereotypes is not welcomed today.

While comparing both articles, Joan Acker in the article Inequality Regimes performs a similar study after the observation that women are severely under-represented in most organizations top management (Acker 2006). Although from her study cross variations among populations and groups exist, the results show consistent variations depending on the economic and social status of the population in question. The reasons raised for this disparity include social beliefs, stereotypes, and the vicious cycle effect.

The world has for long been made to believe that women are less capable of leading. Most communities believe that the position of women is rather subordinate to that of mens one. This has greatly affected their positions in jobs where they are still expected to remain below their male counterparts while taking orders from them. The notion that women cannot be leaders is a dangerous stereotype, especially in the era where people regardless of their sex go to school. It would therefore be expected that having studied together, males and females should have the same opportunities for job promotion even if they are of different sexes. However, it fails to happen because the lack of other women in top positions in organizations makes in hard for the women in lower positions to rise. This creates a vicious cycle of gender imbalance. The absence of women in top management also worsens the situation making it difficult for the women in the lower organizational levels to enhance promotion ability, which impedes their overall performance.

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Comparing the two studies, it is clear that both authors agree on some issues affecting the presence of women in top positions of management. Firstly, they agree on social stereotypes. In the Hooblers study, the noted stereotype presumes that women face more a family-job conflict than men. This is a modern way of thinking as compared to Ackers view of a social stereotype that indicates a tendency that women should not take leadership positions. Second, they both agree that the availability of women in top position varies among different populations. In Hobblers study, it happens because of the differences in family structures and roles that affect the family-work conflict. In Ackers study, it is due to socioeconomic factors of the region or the specific population (Acker 2006). None of the studies, however, talks about performance appraisal as a determining factor for promotions.

However, there are several differences between the two studies. For instance, although the two studies do not display the crucial importance of performance appraisal, Ackers results seem to bring such an idea. The feeling that the absence of women in top management affects the conditions of those in lower levels suggests that their performance is affected. Moreover, the probability that they will be promoted is also affected negatively. Thus, the two studies vary in the kind of stereotypes that are explored. In Hobblers study, the family responsibility is being explored while in Ackers study, one can see her looking at the social construction of what comprises a mans or a womans job. The Ackers study is more dependable because it covers a wider scope or population and takes into consideration a variety of factors as compared to Hobblers study which takes into account only one variable which scope is much narrower and limited.

In conclusion, gender disparities in the workplace is an issue that is being addressed by many scholars and organizations. The issues affecting womens positions in organizations have been vastly explored to bring about gender balance in the workplace. The ideology of glass ceiling relating to women in the workplace explains the recent realization (Pierce 1995). Inasmuch as women have been employed in organizations and the employee gender ratio has improved, the focus now should be placed on the factors that hinder their promotion to top positions in these organizations. It is only when the issue is explored in a deeper sense that will be a step forward in ensuring healthy employee relations.

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