Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Procedural Individualisation

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According to Brown et al. (1998: i) “procedural individualisation” is “the removal of collective mechanisms for determining terms and conditions of employment”. This matched with the description of individualism by Storey & Bacon in the region of “industrial relations”. The two authors quote three significant guides of collectivism in industrial relations and these are: “central management orientations towards unions, employee orientations towards unions, and collective bargaining”, that is, “the extent to which managers recognise the collective basis for industrial relations”

The areas wherein they happen to be less then there is procedural individualism: the formation of individual agreements can be the paradigm for procedural individualism. The usage of individual agreements happens to be the main aspect of procedural individualism. As stated above, the exact opposite of individual agreeing is collective negotiating. Collective negotiation is very closely related to unionism. Individualisation and Trade Unions Individualisation originated due to the separation of work and traditional modernisation.

Due to individualisation there has been a new type of communal decency and Zeitgeist and it is featured through a prominence on personal accountability instead of the conventional unity and commitment that emerged from a person. The difference that is present between the mentioned distinct origins is possibly perceived, for instance, in the styles between individualism and collectivism (Suhonen 1989: 48–54). Certain studies (Sihvo & Uusitalo 1993: 33, 34–38, 95–96; Puohiniemi 1993: 36–37) indicate that Finland also has gone through a move from collectivism toward individualism.

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It is especially the younger generation who are perceived to be as a category in which such type of direction is common (Tuohinen 1990: 123; Zoll 1993: 27–28; Ilmonen 1995a: 26). Among other factors of the results of individualisation, one happens to be that the people’s association may weaken with respect to, for instance, their relations, birthplaces, customs and communal societies like labour unions. Such a condition is given the term “post-traditional” by Giddens who says that this is featured by the disbanding or alteration in the communal associations and customs.

Giddens argues that although customs are still there, that is to say that they haven’t been absolutely ended, they have to have legitimate origins for the person and he should know how to convince himself as well as the others regarding the customs. That means that the customs are not accepted blindly. For instance, customs cannot describe the membership of a trade union. There are arguments for the fact that customary individualisation provides with the most impact on the relations between members and unions (Zoll 1993; Lash & Urry 1994).

On the contrary, persons more and more gauge and benefits and the shortcomings of membership. The contemporary era requires for judgement to be made use of continuously due to the fact that the development and possibility of labour markets has led to personal judgement becoming an essential items. Individuals have to be keeping on inquiring from themselves regarding the most suitable options for them in various circumstances. The answer can reinforce or even weaken the relation that exists between members and the trade union movement, and this depends on the circumstance.

Another feature that is linked to individualisation happens to be a modification in framework aspects and the main unite of economy which are the firms. The new moral standard and the breakup of the labour market can be illustrated through the case of Denmark. In 1991-91 there was a thorough research conducted among the members of the LO (this is the central institution of Danish trade unions) and the results showed that the membership is very much distinguished (Ilmonen & Jokivuori, 2000). The conventional harmony of the employees was continually represented by some members.

The main principle behind this happens to be that “every worker must belong to a trade union and vote for left-wing parties”, back up for the safety state, and display harmony for the other employees (Bild et al. 1993: 84–109). Such members totalled to a 44% of LO total members. More or less the same ratio (45% to be exact) of members did not relate to the queries, while the rest 11% happened to be in between the two categories. From that Danish research it was found that major disparities exist in the communal arrangement of collective relative to individualistic members.

The set elements like gender and age, plus also those elements that are of professional rank and branch rank, that are associated with labour market situation, are linked to collective-individualistic direction. As was found through the Danish research, the members having the utmost individualistic direction are the managerial employees in the production, in building and development, whilst the lesser status employees are commonly (particularly with respect to health and welfare sections) the ones most collectively directed (Madsen 1997: 197-217).

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