The scientific management theory can also be implemented in this area of employee relations. An early 1900s movement that elevated the status of managers and held that scientific observation of people at work would reveal the one best way to do any task. This theory was produced by Taylor (1914), according to Bloisi et al. (2003), “Frederick Taylor’s assumption that the interests of management and employees could be integrated through the principle of economically motivated self-interest emerged scientific management”, (Bloisi et al. 2003, pg 7). Scientific management (Taylorism) is closely linked with Capitalism, both produced by Frederick Taylor in the 1900s. According to Blyton and Turnbull (2004), “taylorism (scientific management) – that employees have an inherent dislike of work and must therefore be coerced, controlled, directed and threatened with punishment if they are to exercise the required level of effort, with financial reward acting as the only motivator”, (Blyton and Turnbull 2004, pg 106).
In conclusion, there are many factors that have influenced the decline of trade union membership, from increased feminisation, part-time work, short-term contracts, growth of white collar working and casualisation to political, economical and social unrest within the country, these factors have all taken their toll on trade union membership. This essay has analysed trade unions in many forms of reference, explained through various theories (Taylorism, Capitalism and Braverman) and through different frameworks (Unitarist, Pluralist and Marxist). In order to produce strategic options for trade unions to consider, we have to analyse the factors that brought about their decline, although trade unions are seeing a rise in their membership after so many years, they are still very vulnerable to external influence. One strategic option available to trade unions is the organisation of recruitment strategies within the TUC Organising Academy. Organising strategies are in of improvement after the unrest of the political situation that left the unions in decline, Thatcherism. After the conservative party, trade unions have been trying to re-organise themselves as an integral part of the employment relationship, where they have had a re-launch of their structure and collective bargaining process, according to Rose (2008), “the TUC has a crucial role in shaping strategies to counter union decline, recognising the limits to what individual unions can achieve without the assistance and guidance of a concerted overarching strategy”, (Rose 2008, pg 178). Heery (1998) states that “the TUC re-launch reinvented itself by re-structuring its administrative and decision-making system and by attempting to generate a ‘new ethos and sense of mission'”, (Rose 2008, pg 178).
Another strategic option available to trade union recognition is the topic of the social partnership. Securing a relationship with employers is a difficult process as the trade unions are representing their employees. According to Oxenbridge and Brown (2002), “in general, union rights were greater in those companies that had informal partnership relationships than they were in those companies which had formalised partnership agreements with unions”, (Oxenbridge and Brown 2002, pg 269). The social partnership’s main focuses is on building relationships with employers, but it could have an effect on the trade union memberships. Trade unions have to organise their employers and memberships and retain their existing memberships, working especially on those who they have a partnership and relationship with. The economic climate has taken its toll with employers and trade union alike but taking a positive perspective will help with the decline of the memberships. According to Machin (2000), “failure to organise the new establishments that were set up in the private sector in the last twenty years or so is central to falling unionisation”, (Machin 2000, pg 642).