The outcome of the Triangle Waist Factory fire could have been different if unionization was present within the workplace environment. At the time, the Triangle Factory facilitated deplorable settings that often exposed the workers to harsh and unhealthy conditions. Aspects such as excessive working hours, low wages, and unsanitary as well as unsafe environments constituted a normal part of the organization (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst 289). However, an essential issue is that the factory did not support the harmonization of workers. Before the occurrence of the tragedy in 1911, the Triangle Factory as well as other organizations within the respective market often engaged in dehumanizing practices that failed to observe the employee’s rights and privileges.
Gender discrimination also contributed further to the lack of organization among the factories’ employees. Interestingly, the workers that comprised the factory were mostly youthful immigrant women who were threatened by the new surroundings that they inhabited (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst 289). Moreover, the factory’s standard practice of shutting the doors to prevent employee theft contributed to the hazardous nature of its environment. With unionization, the employees would have initiated changes that modified the workplace environment into a positive surrounding. As such, employees would have resolved the issues that contributed to the fire, especially the theft prevention measure, and enhanced the factory’s going concern in the long-term.
In respect to the possibility of averting the fire, the business could have applied specific models of change, conflict, and communication. Firstly, models that deal with change tend to focus on interventions that organizations can use to apply with the least resistance from employees and other inherent stakeholders. Companies can also use such strategies in the management of change, particularly after implementation, in order to enhance the benefits of the modification. As such, a model based on notions centered on Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) is applicable to facilitate change (Raza and Standing 195). The framework advocates for the establishment of a social context that involves persons that are involved and affected. Concerning the case, the model may have managed to produce a positive outcome by allowing all stakeholders, especially the employers and the workers to meet and address the issues.
Regarding conflict, the emphasis is on the negotiation model. Unionization is a process based on a collective bargaining agreement, whereby the parties involved concur on satisfactory conditions that fulfill their grievances (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst 167). Using negotiation, affected workers, and employers could convene and address recurrent workplace problems, hence creating an agreement that facilitates both parties’ goals. Lastly, a model that encourages the participation of employees in the factory’s decision-making process could facilitate communication. Rather than relying on a top-down archetype, a plausible system would be a horizontal design that facilitates interaction across all levels.
It is possible to consider the
application of these models for the sake of averting predicaments similar to
the Triangle Factory Fire. The bureaucratic framework that the factory applied
at the time largely encouraged the establishment of unfavorable conditions for
workers. Furthermore, the privileges that employees presently experience in the
workplace were absent. Businesses can consider these models because they
address pertinent areas that could have led to the prevention of the tragedy.
Firstly, the CSH model, which focuses on change, may support the aspect by
encouraging inclusivity. Workers and their employers are all involved in the
respective model, further allowing the implementation of change management
strategies that satisfy both parties. Additionally, frameworks that focus on
conflict and communication via negotiation and a horizontal design respectively
can support the creation of opportunities for unionization by allowing
collective bargaining agreements as well as ensure the participation of all
levels of the organization. As such, considering the models in question may be
important in addressing the components that usually encourage unfortunate
outcomes such as the Triangle Fire.
DeCenzo, David A., Stephen P. Robbins, and Susan L. Verhulst. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
Raza, Syed Arshad, and Craig Standing. “A Systemic Model for Managing and Evaluating Conflicts in Organizational Change.” Systemic Practice and Action Research, vol. 24, no. 3, 2011, pp. 187-210.
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