Industrial relations: changing trends across theory, policy and practice

Peter Sheldon, Greg J. Bamber, Christopher Land-Kazlauskas, Thomas A Kochan

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The pioneers of the field used the term industrial relations (IR) in a broad and interdisciplinary sense, covering the practice and study of all aspects of work and employment. In the UK, the field developed from the work of Fabians Sydney and Beatrice Webb (1894; 1897), while, in the USA, it was developed by institutional economists, notably John R. Commons (1909; 1934). These public intellectuals and their associates sought to understand and influence IR in ways that distinguished their normative, theoretical, and methodological approaches from Karl Marx (1849) on the one hand, and classical or neo-classical economics (Marshall, 1920) on the other. Subsequently, the field has developed considerably by incorporating concepts and methods from other disciplines too, for example accounting, history, law, management, political science, psychology and sociology. This has made the field multidisciplinary.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Handbook of Human Resource Management
EditorsAdrian Wilkinson, Nicolas Bacon, Scott Snell, David Lepak
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781526435026
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Industrial Relations
  • Human Resources Management
  • HRM
  • Theory
  • Policy
  • Practice
  • work
  • employment relations
  • labour economics
  • collective bargaining
  • unions
  • human resource manage-ment

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