Reading review

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Review Component


Article Title:

Defining the Employment Relationship

Article Purpose/Objective/Aims:

The article focuses on clearly defining employment relationship since many researchers have discussed the different aspects affecting the relationship such as conflict. The article also outlines the nature of control in the various dimensions of this relationship including legal, sociological, economic and psychological. The article aims at addressing the gaps presented by traditional definition of employment relations where it focused mainly on rights and responsibilities of employees and employers (Spooner and Haidar, 2006). It addresses the rising number of people providing services to others yet do not fall under the context of employment but fall under short term contract.

Research Design:

A qualitative research is adopted in helping in understanding of the employment relations by using a theoretical approach to include the various aspects of employment relations not stipulated in the definition (Spooner and Haidar, 2006). It takes an inductive approach by testing the hypothesis outlined in the definition and understanding the gaps.

Discussion, Findings & Conclusions:

Since previous focus have been focused on the field of study of the researcher, the article used a theoretical approach taking into account legal, economic, social, political and psychological aspect. From a legal perspective, the article finds the law as being responsible in defining and shaping the employment relationship by exercising control over this relationship (Spooner and Haidar, 2006).

The article also identifies bias in the definition and placing of control depending with the approach. Industrial relations focuses on ability of employees to exercise control whereas human resource management focuses on the control and power of the management over the relationship (Spooner and Haidar, 2006).

An assumption that many researchers have made is that the employee submit their control over the relationship by entering into an employment relationship in reward of monetary and other non-monetary rewards.

The theoretical approach points out that control over the relationship is exercised in two main ways one being the execution of the tasks, stated as the task domain, whereas the other being by human resource through recruitment and the compensation stated as human resource domain (Spooner and Haidar, 2006).

The employer exercise control over the relationship through the task domain by indicating the job description and performance requirements. On the other hand, the employee exercise control under the human resource domain by accepting or refusing the job offer, demanding compensation, regular training thus skill development and promotion (Spooner and Haidar, 2006).

A critique of the article is the dismissal of an employee from the employment relationship, which falls under human resource, as control by the employee.

General Management Implications

The understanding of employment relationship and the control can be used by both the employers and the employees as a bargain while entering into a contract or employment agreement.

How does the article relate to the chapter of the Unit text and/or the E Reserve source to which it relates and the Study Group’s case study organization?

Chapter 8 of Human Resource Practice by Martin, M and Whiting, F explain why it is essential to manage employee relations (Martin & Whiting, 2013). The management strategy applied is heavily reliant on the understanding of the relation and the control.


Martin, M., & Whiting, F. (2013). Human resource practice. London, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Spooner, K. and Haidar, A. (2006). Defining the Employment Relationship. International Journal of Employment Studies, 14(2), pp.63-81.