Collaborative collective bargaining: Toward an ethically defensible approach to labor negotiations [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 9 (6):495-508 (1990)
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Abstract

In this paper I explain the present adversarial collective bargaining process (ACB) and then critique it on legal and ethical grounds. A new methodology, that I describe as the collaborative collective bargaining process (CCB), will then be explained and similarly critiqued. I argue that replacing the present ACB model with the CCB model will result in better long-term results for all parties concerned. This is because the ACB model is comparable, in many respects, to the adversarial process used in court litigation. It is a combat model based on power. ACB makes the battle lines clear, and it grants victory to the more convincing display of power, but it leaves casualties. Indeed it cannot operate except upon the casualties of the opposing party, and those casualties are the basis for ever-renewed combat. Tactics employed in ACB to achieve victory include deception, lying and the abandonment of truth as a moral value. I argue that, in sharp contrast, CCB can foster an environment which encourages candor and truthfulness. By following the CCB model, the parties can avoid the negative and self-defeating elements of ACB and can work together toward mutually beneficial goals by the use of an ethically defensible approach to labor negotiations.

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