Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The Ontario Ministry of Labor offers a program called Relations By Objectives (RBO) which was used forty-eight times between 1979 and 1985 to help management and union improve their relationships.;Certain writers in the Industrial Relations field have recently questioned the program's ability to create any significant improvements in management-union relationships, suggesting that the program's assumptions and techniques are inappropriate in a union-management setting.;This thesis tracks the RBO program back to its roots--citing original sources where necessary--to illustrate that the Relations By Objectives program has strong theoretical links, and has the potential for significant changes in management-union relationships. The research then addresses two questions. The first question concerns the evaluation issue--Do the parties perceive an improvement in relationship which they attribute to the Relations By Objectives program? The second area of research addresses the question--What can we learn from the participants of these RBO interventions? Can their experience aid in the development of a model for use in demoralized union-management relationships?;The research finds that the union-management relationship is actually or perceptually improved in most RBO interventions and that the participants attribute at least some of the credit to the RBO program. The research then draws implications for practice--namely more third-party involvement in RBO-follow-up. Extensions to a model of the institutionalization of change in union-management setting are then proposed.



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