Unitary Perspective

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, unitarism 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.