Difference Between Unitarism and Pluralism

Unitarism and Pluralism are two concepts that are used in human resource development, but have several distinctions. Since human resource development is a wide subject, both Unitarism and Pluralism provide us with different approaches as to how effective practices can be carried out to achieve maximum benefits at workplaces, industries and entities where two or more than two people work together.

Unitarism is a more of a straightforward concept, which says that all the employees and those working in an organized management should always work for the welfare of the organization— not just for their personal benefits or growth. On the other hand, Pluralism gives due importance to every employee and management. It focuses on what every person in the organization needs and demands, putting together a strategy that satisfies everyone and benefits the entire organization as well.


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    Unitarism is a concept that says all the employees, persons working in an organization should be treated as a combined force, whose objective is to achieve organizational goals without having a clash of interests.

    Unitarism does not mean that the workers, employees and superiors in an organization should work without harmony and give top priority to their own interests, rather it expects all the members to have a common purpose.

    Industry growth depends on combined effort, which is why the theory of Unitarism has gained popularity in highly competitive industries. Another aspect that the theory of Unitarism focuses on is mutual cooperation. Workers of each department in an organization may follow different strategies, rules and regulations, but the final outcome of the operations and tasks should acknowledge the efforts of every employee and manager.

    Organizations that regard Unitarism as a viable theory avoid creating trade unions and committees that highlight employees’ issues. Since there is no clash between the interests of all the employees and management, things are expected to go smoothly.

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    Pluralism treats every department and employee in an organization as a powerful and important entity, giving them the right to give feedback and resolve issues by mutual cooperation. Pluralism does not ask the employees to go beyond the rules and regulations set by the management, but it discourages activities that stifle growth and interest of workers.

    Pluralism says that employees and managers are at liberty to have their legitimate loyalties and objectives, but surely no one should be allowed to do things that may disrupt the entire organizational structure.

    Due to the right for employees to have legitimate loyalties and objectives, industries that adopt the concept of Pluralism allow the creation of trade unions. Trade unions work to balance the power structure within an organization, keeping management from adopting policies that employees find rigorous and controlling. The concept  insists that the management should be cooperative with the employees, not authoritative.

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