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Published: Aug 03 , 2017
Author: Robin Copland

The United Kingdom’s flagship carrier has been British Airways since the merger of British European Airways (BEA) and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1974. It has had a few ups and downs. In the 70s and early 80s, its reputation was patchy but from the mid-1980s for possibly the next ten to fifteen years, the airline became a genuine contender for the accolade “Best Airline in the World”. Indeed, one of its advertising straplines from the time was the “World’s Favourite Airline”.

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Published: Feb 16 , 2017
Author: Robin Copland

I have been an interested (though fortunately not involved) bystander watching the protracted negotiations between Southern Rail, the train operating company (TOC) that runs the services for a large part of “commuter-land” in the south of England and the trade unions representing the train drivers and guards. This is simplistic, but if you live to the south of London and commute into the city to work, then the chances are that you use a Southern Rail train to do so. No Southern Rail trains? Chaos. Simple as that...

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Published: Dec 15 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

You know, it’s not all sweetness and light in Lapland. People think (and to be fair, why shouldn’t they?), that all the work takes place on 24th December. Santa gets on his sledge and travels the world distributing largesse hither and thither. No one ever asks though what happens for the rest of the year. What – do they think that this mammoth distribution happens by magic? Well, I’ll admit that there is a bit of the magical and mystical about the whole operation; the reindeer-drawn sledge, for example, is a bit of a mystery, but for the rest – well, we’re talking slickness and speed and management of change and… But I’m ahead of myself...

Published: Jan 07 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

It occurred to me. The most prominent current industrial dispute in England, between the Government and the Junior Doctors, might be an excellent vehicle to analyse how Millennials (defined typically as born after 1983) negotiate, and whether Millennial traits have impacted on the negotiations. For non-UK readers; ‘junior doctors’ includes doctors from the time they leave medical school to the time when they are appointed as ‘Consultants’, typically about 10 years later. There are about 55,000 of them, a very important component of the medical provision in England (the dispute does not affect doctors in Scotland or Wales). The dispute dates back to 2012, when the employers announced that they wanted to update the terms of employing junior doctors. Negotiations have been on and off since then, but on Monday they broke down and the doctor’s union (the BMA) announced strikes for later this month...

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Published: Aug 11 , 2010
Author: Robin Copland

Astronomers still hear the echoes of the “Big Bang” when they point their radio telescopes to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. Students of negotiation have their own equivalent here in the UK – it’s a kind of a low burbling noise that, every so often, geysers into life with some new announcement, tweet, public utterance or strike. It is, of course, the ongoing dispute between British Airways and the members of its cabin crew represented by the trade union UNITE, a damaging dispute that...

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Bad Behaviour (From The Good Guys)

I’m fascinated by how brands can make us feel. The intensity of that feeling, what drives it and how long it can last. The infamous ones in my experience include IKEA. Nothing makes my blood curdle more than the indignity of being herded around the labyrinth of their Wembley store, before you land in the cattle market of the queuing system. Great for your...

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