School enterprise bargaining and the need for qualitative research: Some reflections from Australia

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The traditional system of industrial relations in Australia has emphasised arbitrated decisions by central tribunals in order to achieve uniform wage increases without any consideration being given to productivity. Since the late 1980s, there has been a move towards negotiation at the enterprise level. Legislative reforms have occurred at both federal and state levels which present opportunities for individual enterprises to negotiate agreements defining terms and conditions considered to be most appropriate for their circumstances. One major arena where this development, popularly known as enterprise bargaining, is impacting, is that of education. Focuses on the phenomenon by: considering some of the literature on the theoretical and conceptual dimensions of the underlying notion of "bargaining"; outlining the general policy context within which enterprise bargaining has been taking place in Australia; presenting an overview of the emerging research base on award restructuring and enterprise-based bargaining; outlining the need for research aimed at understanding participants' perceptions of enterprise bargaining and of their experiences of the bargaining process; examining a major approach to engaging in such research, namely, the micro-political approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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