The SAGE Handbook of Industrial Relations provides a systematic, comprehensive survey of the field. The result is a work of unprecedented scope and unparalleled ambition. It offers a compete guide to the central debates, new developments, and emerging themes in the field. It will quickly be recognized as the indispensable reference for teachers, students and researchers. It is relevant to economists, lawyers, sociologists, business and management researchers, and Industrial Relations specialists.

Chapter 1: Introduction: The Field of Industrial Relations

Introduction: The Field of Industrial Relations

Introduction: The field of industrial relations

Introduction

The purpose of this Handbook is to profile the academic field of industrial relations (IR) at the start of the twenty-first century. To this end we have assembled an international roster of subject experts to reflect on the multiple facets of IR scholarship, summarize bodies of knowledge and theory and identify current developments and likely future trends. IR was a product of the great class compromise of the twentieth century between ruling elites and the rising working class. Many of its founding scholars were exercised by the ‘labor problem’ and the need for a practically oriented field of study to support the creation of new institutions that would regulate industrial conflict and integrate the ...

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