Unitary Perspective of Industrial Relations views the industrial organization as an entity unified by one aim, and that is success. In unitarism, the organization is perceived as an integrated and harmonious system, viewed as one happy family. A core assumption of unitary approach is that management and staff, and all members of the organization share the same objectives, interests and purposes; thus working together, hand-in-hand, towards the shared mutual goals. Furthermore, Unitarianism has a paternalistic approach where it demands loyalty of all employees. Trade unions are deemed as unnecessary and conflict is perceived as disruptive.

From employee point of view, unitary approach means that:

  • Working practices should be flexible. Individuals should be business process improvement oriented, multi-skilled and ready to tackle with efficiency whatever tasks are required.
  • If a union is recognized, its role is that of a further means of communication between groups of staff and the company.
  • The emphasis is on good relationships and sound terms and conditions of employment.
  • Employee participation in workplace decisions is enabled. This helps in empowering individuals in their roles and emphasizes team work, innovation, creativity, discretion in problem-solving, quality and improvement groups etc.
  • Employees should feel that the skills and expertise of managers supports their endeavors.

From employer point of view, unitary approach means that:

  • Staffing policies should try to unify effort, inspire and motivate employees.
  • The organization’s wider objectives should be properly communicated and discussed with staff.
  • Reward systems should be so designed as to foster to secure loyalty and commitment.
  • Line managers should take ownership of their team/staffing responsibilities.
  • Staff-management conflicts – from the perspective of the unitary framework – are seen as arising from lack of information, inadequate presentation of management’s policies.
  • The personal objectives of every individual employed in the business should be discussed with them and integrated with the organization’s needs.