S-Space College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원) Institute of Industrial Relations (노사관계연구소) Seoul Journal of Industrial Relations (노사관계연구) Journal of industrial relations vol.12 (2001) (노사관계연구)
斷續平衡理論과 勞使關係의 變革
Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and Industrial Relations Transformation
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 노사관계연구소
- Journal of industrial relations, Vol.12, pp. 39-75
- The purpose of this paper is to apply the punctuated equilibrium theory to Korean industrial relations system transformation and explore its im plications. In evolutionary theory. there are two types of evolution process: gradual and revolutionary. The gradual process was suggested by Darwin who thought that evolution occurred through gradual differentiation and natural selection. And revolutionary process is believed to be a discontinuous and second-order change rather than a continuous and first-order change. The second type includes the punctuated equilibrium theory argued by Eldredge and Gould (1972). Adapting their ideas. I have developed the moments and stages of transformation of industrial relations system change. which can be summarized as follows.
1. The moment of transformation is very rapid and punctuated occurring after long equilibrium periods. which are somewhat static. quantitative and cumulative. giving the title of the theory punctuated equilibrium.
2. The transformation consists of short. revolutionary periods and long. static equilibrium periods. In the first stage. the fundamental changes occur and in the second stage, the stability and legitimacy of transformation can be established, thus allowing the system to have sustainable transformations. The implications of this paper are as follows.
1. The applicability of punctuated equilibrium theory to the transformation of industrial relations system is useful. despite the fact that we have used evolutionary theory from ecology. And I conclude that it is a very persuasive approach in understanding the transformation of Korean industrial relations system.
2. It is revealed that the periods of equilibrium are very important in the transformation process because the system can be stabilized and it can acquire the legitimacy in the process. Actually during last three decades, Korean economy has experienced rapid growth with the average growth rate of 8%. And During same period, Korean industrial relations system has experienced two fundamental changes. The first one in 1987, the year in which government dictatorship ended, and the second one in 1997 when Korea suffered financial and economic crisis and accepted financial rescue from the IMF. During both of these years, the high occurrences of labor dispute and high rates of unemployment and wage increases occurred, With this paper's perspective we can see that these changes were very rapid, fundamental and punctuated.