Facilitation in the Workplace: Two Exploratory Case Studies

Van Gramberg, Bernadine (2001) Facilitation in the Workplace: Two Exploratory Case Studies. Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


The process of decentralisation of industrial relations in Australia has led to an increased focus on industrial relations negotiations and dispute resolution at individual workplaces and away from industrial tribunals. Since the advent of enterprise bargaining in 1991, agreements are increasingly negotiated at the workplace rather than head office level. At least 60 percent of agreements were negotiated at workplace level in 1995 compared with only 22 percent in 1994 (Bain, Crawford & Mortimer 1996). Continuing the decentralising trend the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (the WRA) further decreased the role of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in preventing and settling industrial disputes. For instance, the objects, inter alia, of the WRA provided for: ensuring that the primary responsibility for determining matters affecting the relations between employers and employees rests with the employer and employees at the workplace or enterprise level (3(b)) Workplace-level bargaining has been linked to an increased level of workplace disputation which is generally associated with the negotiation phase of agreement1. This "reflects the fact that industrial action is a sub-set of bargaining activities and, by its very nature is most likely to occur in workplaces or industries where bargaining of some sort is occurring"(DIR 1996). In recognition of the inevitability of grievances arising out of bargaining, industrial relations legislation since 1988 has required certification of agreements to be contingent on the inclusion of a grievance procedure2. Importantly, grievance procedures remove the ability of parties to refer disputes to the Commission in the first instance, necessitating at least an attempt at resolution at the workplace-level.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/190
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords workplace facilitation; industrial relations negotiations ; decentralisation; employers; employees; disputes
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login