Employment relations in the Indian railways: a strong tripod?

Vijay Pereira, Ashish Malik

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Abstract

This paper is part of a larger program of study conducted on the Indian Railways (IR), through a grant by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), USA, focusing on Indian Railways’ human resource management and industrial relations practices. In this paper we contribute by focusing on the employment relations (ER) scenario in the Indian Railways in the backdrop of a wider industrial relations institutional environment in India. Dunlop’s ER framework identified the key actors in an ER system: unions, employers and the state, also commonly referred to as the tripod of ER. In the context of the Indian ER environment, scholars have argued that ER in India is akin to a ‘lame tripod’. It is in this light that we analyse empirical data collected during the 2010-2011 period and investigate whether the ‘lame tripod’ thesis holds good for the Indian Railways (IR). Evidence from our study suggests that this is not the case, thus, suggesting the presence of a robust and ‘strong tripod’ of ER in IR, as advocated by Dunlop.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-61
JournalInternational Journal of Employment Studies
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2015

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