Industrial Relations Reform and Business Performance: An Introduction

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 02/02

Date: February 2002


Mark Wooden
Joanne Loundes
Yi-Ping Tseng


There appears to be widespread consensus, at least in industry and in government, that enterprise bargaining has been beneficial for productivity. Many academics however, have argued that the link between bargaining structure and workplace productivity is a contentious one, and that research has been unable to establish a relationship. This paper re-examines the existing evidence. The review reinforces the need to exercise caution before asserting that enterprise bargaining is necessarily beneficial for workplace productivity. The main conclusion that emanates from this review, however, is not this absence of a clear-cut finding, but how poorly developed the relevant research literature is.

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