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For this assessment, you are taking on the role of a Government Advisor.
According to the following news article, Victoria Police has reported that construction unions in Victoria are using outlaw bikie gangs as “hired muscle” in industrial disputes:
• “Construction unions using bikies as ‘hired muscle’ in industrial disputes: Victoria Police”
In its 2015 submission to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, Victoria Police identified a “culture of fear” in the construction industry, and called for more powers to investigate union links to “bikies”. Victoria Police stated, “There is a climate of fear amongst people who are either the victims of trade unions’ unlawful activity, or who uncover unlawful activities within their unions, making them unwilling to speak to any authorities for fear of retribution.”
However, Victoria Police’s views are only one narrative.
The construction unions have contested Victoria Police’s views, and maintain that this situation has emerged because construction managers, themselves, have used what the unions say are “bullying tactics”.
The State Government (the Australian Labor Party, historically a political wing of the Australian labour movement, with continuing close ties with the unions) say that they will take the reports made by Victoria Police seriously, and will “consider carefully” Victoria Police’s request for strengthened powers to investigate union links to “bikies”.
The Opposition Party (the Liberal Party), has also expressed its concerns, and has stressed that it is important that the Labor government not ignore problems with the construction industry, where the main issues lie. The Opposition Party is calling for a “watch dog” to keep an eye on unions (the Australian Building and Construction Commission) to be reinstated.
Your task
Assuming the position of a Government Advisor, your task is to write a report and recommend to the Government an approach to managing this conflict situation, and restoring order.
However, because you have previously completed a degree at RMIT University, and you have completed the course Organizational Analysis, you understand that there are limitations to naively seeking order, without understanding conflict. You understand that this conflict situation has to be examined using an extended analytical framework, and in particular the two perspectives that give you purchase on understanding conflict: Radical Structuralism, and Neo-humanism.
Your report:
• Must critically engage with the two conflict perspectives (Radical Structuralism and Neo-humanism).
o Must draw on Radical Structuralism to explain why, ideologically, there are different, indeed polarised, narratives and views of this problem.
o Must draw on Neo-humanism to explain the limitations of seeing the world in a polarised, objectivist manner.
• Must engage with calls for a “watch dog” to be reinstated, and must include advice as to whether a “watch dog” should be reinstated, and what role this “watch dog” might play.
• Must harness the insights provided by both perspectives to offer guidance to the government, including a set of recommendations for managing the situation, resolving the “climate of fear”, and beginning to restore order.
Details regarding referencing and word length of your report
Your report:
Part 1:
• Must be 2,200 words (plus or minus 10%), excluding references and appendices.
• Must be supported by at least seven scholarly readings.
• Must draw on the Hirschheim & Klein “four paradigms” article, as well as the two conflict readings from Assignment 1 (below). These three articles are included in the minimum reference requirement of seven scholarly readings (i.e., you must source at least an additional four scholarly articles).
• Readings:
• “Construction unions using bikies as ‘hired muscle’ in industrial disputes: Victoria Police”
• Cho, C.H., Laine, M., Roberts, R.W., & Rodrigue, M. (2015). Organized hypocrisy, organizational façades, and sustainability reporting, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 40: 78-94.: This reading is radical structuralist in nature. Why is this reading an exemplar of radical structuralism?
• Atkins, J., Atkins, B.C., Thomson, I., Maroun, W. (2015). “Good” news from nowhere: Imagining utopian sustainable accounting, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28(5): 651-670. This reading is neo-humanist in nature. Why is this reading an exemplar of neo-humanism?
Part 2:
Write a paragraph of 250 words reflecting on:
o how members of society (including politicians) attempt to legitimate their views
o the role that evidence and scholarly knowledge might play in informing public debate
o and, therefore, the importance of having the skills not only to deconstruct lay arguments, but also the scholarly argumentation upon which lay opinions are based.
Note: Need at least 7 peer-reviews (scholar) articles

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