Sophisticated Paternalist

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 557

Definition: Sophisticated Paternalist

Sophisticated Paternalist is one of a labor management style in non-unionized labor. The employer provides many benefits to the employees and job security so that they do not form any union. This human resource approach takes care of welfare of employees and invest in them to earn their loyalty towards the company. This style is practiced in large firms like Marks & Spencer where there is no union.

The representation of the employees is also structured in some form depending upon the company as there are no union leaders. Another approach in non-unionized firms is ‘individualism’ which is a human resource management style by taking care of each and every employee as an individual. Another famous approach is ‘traditionalist’ where focus is on reducing labor management cost.

The strategic approach behind this type of management is earning confidence and loyalty of employees so that they do not feel the need to form a union and bargain for their rights. All the necessary amenities, facilities, benefits and rights are provided to them to keep them happy and contented. The use of coercion over the employees produces unrest and slowly groups. It leads to formation of unions where employer has to invest time in bargaining with them over each and everything. As per a report from Columbia University, China has paternalistic approach towards labor which includes benevolence paternalism and despotic paternalism also.

Example of Sophisticated paternalist:

Suppose there is a company X. This is a manufacturing company and has large number of permanent employees working for it as labor. This company provides time to time health checkup to employees, proper canteens, toilets, rest rooms, conducive working environment, breaks, welfare funds, fringe benefits etc. in order to keep them satisfied and loyal. By this approach, the company is managing labor needs and because of that the labor feels no need to form union and bargain for their rights from management. This method of management by the employer is called as sophisticated paternalist.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Sophisticated Paternalist along with its overview.


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