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Employment Relationship- Worker Power

HBack
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12/1/2015 4:18:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hey guys,

In my Job Performance and the Employment Relationship tutorial at uni, we discussed the optimal level of worker consultation. For this we looked at a graph which showed the relationship of the firm's share s(x) to worker power (x). The graph showed that there is an inverse relation between worker power and the firm's share. However, since the graph does not have any measurement, our tutor now asked us how we would measure worker power, since it is not obviously to put into units.

Question: How to measure worker power?
Thank you! :)

Helen
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,313
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12/2/2015 2:39:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/1/2015 4:18:33 PM, HBack wrote:
Hey guys,

In my Job Performance and the Employment Relationship tutorial at uni, we discussed the optimal level of worker consultation. For this we looked at a graph which showed the relationship of the firm's share s(x) to worker power (x). The graph showed that there is an inverse relation between worker power and the firm's share. However, since the graph does not have any measurement, our tutor now asked us how we would measure worker power, since it is not obviously to put into units.

Question: How to measure worker power?

First of all, I don't think "worker power" can't accurately be portrayed on a graph, but here's a few aspects that would definitely play into worker power:

(1) Quality of work
-- There's some workers capable of doing complex workings and complete tasks others are unable to do. This asset is particularly necessary for specialized employees. Again, though, in terms of power, I believe it would be the driving factor with a couple stipulations: a) the work is done correctly, b) the work is done carefully, and c) the work is sustainable.

(2) Speed and efficiency
-- There's definitely something to be said about speed. Yet, (1) is a prerequisite to (2) being a positive trait. If an individual can meet (1) a, b, and c, they've effectively "maxed out" the worker power scale. Speed, as well as efficiency (not haphazard with mistakes) is important for a quality, powerful, worker, particularly in regards to demand.

Graphical representations, I think, can't accurately portray these things, but I would suggest something like the following line graph:

If the y-axis is time ((2) speed/efficiency), and the x-axis is quality of work ((1)), the optimal aspect would be a total linear equation. A skew either close to the y-axis (quick, but without reputable quality) or the x-axis (quality, but slow) wouldn't demonstrate superior worker "power" per se. Regardless, it's important to note that quality, in most general senses, should be prioritized over speed. The graph wouldn't rationally reflect this premise, but it's just the same true.

Before finishing, I would point out that the graph isn't perfect (for one, it doesn't reflect the prioritization that is necessary in firms [quality>speed], and two, it's a very basic [and perhaps even flawed] representation as there is other factors at play that factor into worker "power"). For example, there's some missing factors and links as to what equates "worker power." Behavioral issues, promptness, the field of work, Star Wars, etc.

Regardless, I hope this is at least remotely helpful as a starting point to answering/solving your question/problem. I know I didn't mention much (or, really, anything at all) about the firm's share, but I think your question was more specified to worker power and effectiveness. Again, I hope this helps. :)
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HBack
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12/2/2015 8:34:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Dear ColeTrain,

Thank you for your extensive answer, I do highly appreciate it! :) Thus, in this case we are talking about worker power in the sense of having power about firms decisions as for example knowledge about the financial situation of the firm. If there is no worker power: firms cannot communicate with workers in a credible way, workers are afraid to make their feeling known, creativity is stifled as the firm ignores worker views --> morale suffers and productivity is low.
However, if there is too much worker power: flexibility is lost, workers use their power to extract resources from the firm--> running it down, reducing its productive capacity, bankruptcy.

You are totally right that you can't properly measure worker power in this case, but do you have some guidelines on the measurement?

Thank you so much!
Thank you! :)

Helen
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,313
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12/2/2015 2:44:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 8:34:32 AM, HBack wrote:
Dear ColeTrain,

Thank you for your extensive answer, I do highly appreciate it! :)

I'm glad. :)

Thus, in this case we are talking about worker power in the sense of having power about firms decisions as for example knowledge about the financial situation of the firm.

Ah. Sorry, I suppose I misinterpreted. My apologies. I would have a few responses to this, if you're interested. I do think a prerequisite for a least heavily involved worker power, in this case, would require fulfilling the (1) and (2) mentioned above. You'd only want your best workers to *really* have that power. I'd argue that "good" workers are a positive impact in regards to worker power, while "bad" workers have an inverse effect. Baseline worker power, though, is essential for every worker, whether "good" or "bad." Without that rudimentary knowledge, the consequences you mention below are sure to happen.

If there is no worker power: firms cannot communicate with workers in a credible way, workers are afraid to make their feeling known, creativity is stifled as the firm ignores worker views --> morale suffers and productivity is low.

I mentioned how this would come about above -- you're right.

However, if there is too much worker power: flexibility is lost, workers use their power to extract resources from the firm--> running it down, reducing its productive capacity, bankruptcy.

I think this is accurate, too, but primarily a resultant of the latter of what I mentioned: "bad" workers gaining too much power. If the "good" workers *really* care about their firms and that alone would serve as a deterrent for ill-advised behavior such as this. Yet, you're correct, that the risk remains; too much worker power only serves as a susceptibility to abuse.

You are totally right that you can't properly measure worker power in this case, but do you have some guidelines on the measurement?

For this, I'd add my earlier ((1)&(2)) as stipulations to the following guidelines:

(3) Drive
Workers need to have a lot of drive for their company, and a personal attachment to its success. If workers don't care about their success of the firm, and don't have a drive to improve it, their worker power could be detrimental. Otherwise, it tend to be positive (unless, of course, there is too much worker power).

(4) Honesty
Yet, this solves for a high worker power. If individuals are truly honest in their practices, it renders unlimited worker power useful, rather than harmful. However, this is normally not the case. Honesty is, though, a driving factor in regards to if worker power will be good or bad.

This makes it a really complex formulation to even begin to graph the equation, but I think these are imperative traits (both positive and negative) which play a pivotal role in the worker power equation, and how that is a constituent of a positive or negative effect. I hope this at least gives a direction to the question, though I still stand by my earlier comments that it's incredibly difficult to accurately graph worker power. Generally, though, I'd say that as worker power goes up, firm share declines. This is because the norm, most workers, do not fulfill (1), (2), (3), and (4). The workers that do, however, would serve to increase worker power alongside an increase in firm share. Otherwise, as you mentioned, the harms of inadequate employees having too much power holds true, and share is a subsequent fall.

Thank you so much!

No problem! :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW