Factors Affecting the Industrial Relations Climate in Australian Enterprises

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 07/02

Date: May 2002


Elizabeth Webster
Joanne Loundes


This paper uses new Australian enterprise level data to investigate factors that are associated with cooperative industrial relations climates within major Australian enterprises. Climate is commonly measured along a uni-dimensional scale ranging from adversarial to cooperative and there is a view in the literature -albeit not a consensus- that more cooperative climates are more productive. Our results find that organisations which have well-developed and bilateral channels of communication between managers and employees and those companies that use systematic and analytical methods for making major decisions tend to have the most cooperative climate of relations between management, employees and unions.

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