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New Directions In The Study Of Work And Employment

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New Directions In The Study Of Work And Employment

Revitalizing Industrial Relations as an Academic Enterprise

Charles J. Whalen

Edited by Charles J. Whalen, Principal Analyst, Macroeconomic Analysis Division, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC, US

2008 264 pp Hardback 978 1 84720 452 3
ebook isbn 978 1 84844 520 8

Hardback £82.00 on-line price £73.80


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‘Where is the field of industrial relations going? How can it be rejuvenated? How can it be reformulated to deal with current problems? These are among the difficult questions this stimulating book addresses.’
– George Strauss, University of California, Berkeley, US

Contributors: J.W. Budd, J. Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J. Godard, W.B. Gould IV, B.E. Kaufman, J. Kitay, T.A. Kochan, R.D. Lansbury, D.B. Lipsky, I. Ness, B. Nissen, M.J. Piore, K. Quan, R.L. Seeber, J. Shadduck-Hernández, D. Taras, N. Wailes, C.J. Whalen, K. Wong

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‘. . . the book is both wide-ranging and thought provoking. . . New Directions in the Study of Work and Employment is a first–rate collection of papers that provides a state-of-the-art overview of debates on the health and standing of the field of industrial relations.’
– John Kelly, Transfer

‘Charles Whalen’s excellent edited volume New Directions in the Study of Work and Employment is a conversation about renewing the academic discipline formerly known as industrial relations. . . The chapters of this book are uniformly of high quality and provocative. . . It inspires the reader to engage and mend the world a bit.’
– David Jacobs, Heterodox Economics Newsletter

‘. . . an intellectually stimulating collection of informed, sound, and innovative responses to modern labor problems. . . . New Directions is a timely work that deserves wide readership by anyone with an association or interest in industrial relations. Although the matter of revitalization of the field of IR is not nearly a new topic, dismissing this volume as simply another typical prescription in the lineage of IR revitalization commentary would be a gross miscalculation. For one, the sheer breadth and depth of the contributing scholars brings a unique intellectual richness to this project. Also, this book distinctively tackles the issue of revitalization from a multitude of perspectives – from social capital to network theories to labor and employment law, and from research and theory to teaching and practice – and does so in a way that is comprehensive, continuous, and in dialog throughout. Finally this book makes a significant contribution because of its specific recommendations for IR revitalization. Instead of telling scholars and practitioners the need for a new direction but providing few feasible alternatives, New Directions proffers real pathways for progress. This book is a useful guide for navigating the ever-developing world of work and employment relations.’
– Sean Rogers, Perspectives on Work

‘Where is the field of industrial relations going? How can it be rejuvenated? How can it be reformulated to deal with current problems? These are among the difficult questions this stimulating book addresses.’
– George Strauss, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This book deserves to be widely read. The academic study of industrial relations has recently struggled to adjust to the brave new world of work and employment relations. Too often there has been a retreat into the study of very small issues and insufficient emphasis on the big picture. The chapters in this volume make a valuable contribution to filling this gap. Most important of all, the book is forward-looking.’
– Ken Mayhew, University of Oxford, UK

‘Charles Whalen has assembled a timely and comprehensive examination of the world of work by a distinguished group of international scholars.’
– Robert B. McKersie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

‘This book represents a breath of fresh air, provided by many of the most prominent scholars in industrial relations today. It anchors the field to its past, but more importantly highlights pathways to the future. It is indispensable reading, and will form a solid foundation for continued dialogue about new directions for the study of work and employment.’
– Morley Gunderson, University of Toronto, Canada

‘Work and its associated problems are more important to individuals and society than ever before. That is why it is so crucial to re-envision the field of industrial relations (employment relations), which brings together economics, sociology, psychology, history, human resource management, political science, and all other areas of scholarship related to work. This compendium by leading industrial relations scholars makes a vital contribution in that direction.’
– Paula B. Voos, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, US

‘Industrial relations is confronting major challenges. This valuable book deserves a warm welcome since it illustrates and maps a series of important new directions.’
– Greg Bamber, Monash University, Australia

‘I highly recommend this collection not only to scholars, but also to practitioners who are shaping the future of work and employment.’
– Lois Gray, Cornell University, US

Charles Whalen’s book identifies avenues leading to the revitalization of industrial relations as an academic discipline. The contributors, a stellar assemblage of the field’s leading scholars, demonstrate there is much work to be done: the scope and intellectual content of industrial relations need to be reconsidered; academic and social institutions must be reshaped; and new conceptual and practical issues demand attention.

The contributors to this volume examine a broad range of issues. Some chapters explore the conceptual boundaries and core assumptions of the field. Others probe how industrial relations correlates with social capital, the law and globalization. Still others outline new approaches to academic programs and institutions, labor and employment journals, and the integration of teaching and community service. A wrap-up chapter by MIT’s Thomas Kochan ties all this together and presents additional insights on the revitalization of the field.

Industrial relations scholars, labor studies, sociology and business professors as well as many practitioners will find much to recommend in this book.

Full table of contents



Introduction: New Directions in the Study of Work and Employment
Charles J. Whalen

1. Reconceptualizing Industrial Relations in a Global, Knowledge-driven Economy
Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

2. The Original Industrial Relations Paradigm: Foundation for Revitalizing the Field
Bruce E. Kaufman

3. A Meta-paradigm for Revitalizing Industrial Relations
John W. Budd

4. An Institutional Environments Approach to Industrial Relations
John Godard

5. Social Capital and the Labor Movement
David B. Lipsky and Ronald L. Seeber

6. Industrial Relations and the Law
William B. Gould IV

7. How Industrial Relations is Marginalized in Business Schools: Using Institutional Theory to Examine Our Home Base
Daphne Taras

8. Let a Thousand Journals Bloom: The Precarious Landscape of Labor and Employment Publishing
Immanuel Ness, Bruce Nissen and Charles J. Whalen

9. Revitalizing Industrial Relations
Michael J. Piore

10. Varieties of Capitalism and Employment Relations under Globalization: Evidence from the Auto Industry
Nick Wailes, Russell D. Lansbury and Jim Kitay

11. Evolving Labor Relations in the Women’s Apparel Industry
Katie Quan

12. Immigrant Workers and the New American Labor Movement
Kent Wong and Janna Shadduck-Hernández

Conclusion: The Future of Industrial Relations, a.k.a. Work and Employment Relations
Thomas A. Kochan


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