Power sharing in progressive discipline: New rules of engagement arising from an Australian perspective

Academy of Taiwan Informaion Systems Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of International Conference on Business and Information, 2008, pp. 1 - 16
Issue Date:
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The aim of this exploratory study is to apply the lens of power to the understanding of progressive discipline in Australian workplace contexts. Using data from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, we analysed the outcomes of 78 unfair dismissal cases across 17 industries over a four-year period (1997-2000). We found that the application of progressive discipline on employees is concentrated around industry and occupational class. Specifically, it shows that occupational classes such as unskilled, skilled, and sales staff are more susceptible to disciplining by employers. It raises the awareness of the immense power the employer derives from the use of progressive discipline over employees and implications in the new environment of on-going labour deregulation and the lack of statutory intervention to ameliorate the growing power imbalance.
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