Industrial Relations: The Conflict Assumption Revisited

DOI: 10.2190/5GMU-RB5K-KMGT-88LX


This study examined a fundamental assumption underlying the Industrial Relations field in North America, namely that employment reactions are inherently conflictual. In response to a call for reexamination of such assumptions, data were examined from a broadly representative 1991 poll of U.S. workers. Empirical results provided some indication of inherent conflict, but at the same time suggested workers may perceive the level of conflict as low. Analyses aimed at determining whether incentive pay reduces perceived conflict yielded mixed results. The article concludes with implications, limitations, and additional research questions.

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