Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice / Edition 1

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John W. Budd contends that the turbulence of the current workplace and the importance of work for individuals and society make it vitally important that employment be given "a human face." Contradicting the traditional view of the employment relationship as a purely economic transaction, with business wanting efficiency and workers wanting income, Budd argues that equity and voice are equally important objectives. The traditional narrow focus on efficiency must be balanced with employees' entitlement to fair treatment (equity) and the opportunity to have meaningful input into decisions (voice), he says. Only through a greater respect for these human concerns can broadly shared prosperity, respect for human dignity, and equal appreciation for the competing human rights of property and labor be achieved.Budd proposes a fresh set of objectives for modern democracies—efficiency, equity, and voice—and supports this new triad with an intellectual framework for analyzing employment institutions and practices. In the process, he draws on scholarship from industrial relations, law, political science, moral philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and economics, and advances debates over free markets, globalization, human rights, and ethics. He applies his framework to important employment-related topics, such as workplace governance, the New Deal industrial relations system, comparative industrial relations, labor union strategies, and globalization. These analyses create a foundation for reforming employment practices, social norms, and public policies. In the book's final chapter, Budd advocates the creation of the field of human resources and industrial relations and explores the wider implications of this renewed conceptualization of industrial relations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Budd presents a powerful case for reform of American employment relations. He focuses primarily on three dimensions of work: efficiency, equity, and voice. . . . This book is a well-researched and thoughtful analysis of an important subject."—Choice, September 2004

"In this book, John W. Budd articulates a stimulating (re)conceptualization of the employment relationship in modern society. . . . He brings together a rich treatment of industrial relations and human resource management perspectives under the eclectic rubric of HRIR. Budd concludes by making a valuable call for a renaissance in the subject area through stronger multidisciplinary linkages. The challenge is for those who study and research HRIR to make this a reality by taking forward the agenda with research and debate."—Tony Dundon, Comparative Labor and Policy Journal Vol 24 No 3, Spring 2003

"It's a tall order to bring together the past century of labour relations research into a cohesive picture, especially if the system in question operates at various levels, from grievances on the shop floor to the globalization of labour standards. But Budd gives it the best shot in recent memory. Employment with a Human Face is really a book out of the blue. . . . Budd is an engaging writer with a talent for describing arcane IR topics in a way that is accessible not only to university students, but to anyone with even a passing interest in labour relations. . . . Employment with a Human Face offers much that is new. It is a work of original scholarship whose explanations of complex ideas are as clear as they are relevant."—Rafael Gomez, London School of Economics, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations 2004 59:2

"Employment with a Human Face is essentially an argument in favor of equally balancing the needs of efficient production, labor market equity, and employee voice. According to Budd, this triad of employment concepts is often out of balance, and results in inefficient production, underemployment, or poor worker satisfaction. Balancing that triad, in Budd's view will provide the best of all possible outcomes for the employment relationship and for the economy at large. . . . The strength of the book comes in Budd's ability to line up different schools of thought about the employment relationship, such as industrial relations, human relations, or critical industrial relations, with their ethical underpinnings."—Joel Schoening, University of Oregon, Newsletter of Organizations, Occupations, and Work, Fall 2004

"Employment with a Human Face is a long overdue and unquestionably successful effort to invigorate IRHR in a manner consistent with the insights and purposeful, institutional economics of the field's dominant historical figure John R. Commons. Budd's attempt to but a 'human face' on employment (by drawing attention to efficiency, equity, and voice) is the same as Commons' goal of 'saving capitalism by making it good' and by revitalizing IRHR teaching, scholarship, and policy analysis—he just might succeed."—Charles J. Whalen, Perspectives on Politics, Winter 2005

"This is a very good book. . . . Budd's scholarship is impressive, and he marshals his material in a clear, systematic fashion, which both affords a worthwhile taxonomy and also supports his theoretical position. . . . Budd takes an unfashionable direction by aiming to articulate explicit ethical points as the foundation for detailed analysis of industrial relations arrangements, but he does so deliberately and carefully is an attempt to show that popular economic models are not the only systematic basis that can be set out as a foundation for critical appraisal of work arrangements. It is difficult to imagine how he might have done better."—Chris Provis, University of South Australia, The Journal of Industrial Relations, December 2004

"Employment with a Human Face will quickly be viewed as a classic statement of the first principles underlying the study and practice of modern human resources and industrial relations. John W. Budd's clear articulation of efficiency, equity, and voice as the objectives that underlie the field, accompanied by a strong ethical and real-world empirical analysis of the challenges we face in transforming our policies and practices, makes his book a required and refreshing reading for any serious student, scholar, or practitioner in the profession."—Thomas A. Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management

"John W. Budd has presented us with a magnificently researched and well-written analysis of industrial relations in our time, its history, and its current difficulties and confusions, along with some challenging insights concerning its future. His fundamental principle is that employment is not only an economic activity but also a fully human activity that requires 'fair treatment and opportunities to have input.' His analytic device is a simple triangle whose points are efficiency, equity, and voice. His subjects include every issue, particularly the difficult ones, in the world of human resources and industrial relations, such as possible futures for the labor movement, employee empowerment unionism, the conflict between labor rights and property rights, international comparisons, and the role of international labor standards. This is a must read for academics, practitioners, and anyone else interested in the field."—Lynn Williams, Past President, United Steelworkers of America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801472602
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John W. Budd is the Industrial Relations Land Grant Chair and Director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice and The Thought of Work, also from Cornell, and Labor Relations: Striking a Balance;coauthor of Invisible Hands, Invisible Objectives: Bringing Workplace Law and Public Policy into Focus; and coeditor ofThe Ethics of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, a LERA Reserach Volume distributed by Cornell.

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