The Australian industrial relations system and the need for organisational agility
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Over the past decade, Australia has seen a significant decline in productivity growth. According to a recent report by the Grattan Institute, labour productivity for the Australian economy grew at an average of 1.5 per cent per annum over 2000-10 compared with 2.1 per cent per annum over 1990-2000.1 This downward trend has triggered a debate in government, industry and academic circles, with stakeholders devoting time and resources in attempts to unearth the reasons behind such an alarming trend. At the same time the business press has been reporting an increasing level of industrial disputes. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2007 there were 135 disputes resulting in a strike and 49,700 working days being lost. In March 2013 the number of similar disputes reached 218 with a loss of 289,500 working days.
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