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.

The History of Industrial Relations as a Field of Study

The history of industrial relations as a field of study

Industrial relations (IR) broadly defined as the study of work and employment, was established as an independent academic field in the 1920s in the US and subsequently after WWII in Britain and other Anglophone countries.1 Though originally established by US institutional economists it soon became to be seen as an interdisciplinary field incorporating labor economists, social psychologists, personnel management scholars, industrial sociologists, labor lawyers as well as political scientists working on labor issues. In continental Europe and indeed in the rest of the world research on work and employment remained, however, a subject within those social science disciplines.

This chapter starts by outlining the different historical developments ...

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