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System and Change in Industrial Relations Analysis
System and change in industrial relations analysis
Introduction

This chapter is concerned with two types of model-building in industrial relations (IR). The first type comprises what might be thought of as ‘cross-sectional’ models and is illustrated by the tradition of systems-thinking in IR. The distinctive feature of these models is that they seek to delineate the object of study of IR, including the definition of its constituent elements, such as actors and institutions, their interrelationship through social processes and the economic, social, moral and other effects that are thereby generated. In this tradition the constitutive elements of the IR system tend to be abstracted from a particular place or time; this is an approach to theory-building that is relatively ahistorical.

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