Table of Contents

Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations

Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations

Elgar original reference

Edited by Keith Townsend and Adrian Wilkinson

The broad field of employment relations is diverse and complex and is under constant development and reinvention. This Research Handbook discusses fundamental theories and approaches to work and employment relations, and their connection to broader political and societal changes occurring throughout the world. It provides comprehensive coverage of work and employment relations theory and practice.

Chapter 1: The Changing Face of Work and Employment Relations

Adrian Wilkinson and Keith Townsend

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Adrian Wilkinson and Keith Townsend The key issues surrounding industrial relations at the beginning of the twentieth century are remarkably similar to those of central concern at the dawn of the twenty-first . . . . However, the core issue that underlies much current debate – the nature of work in the future – has no strong parallel in the discussions of the late nineteenth century. (Wood, 2000, p. 1) Immediately following the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA) World Congress in Sydney 2009, Keith Townsend and Adrian Wilkinson from the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing at Griffith University hosted an international workshop with the theme ‘The future of employment relations’. The consensus within the group was that the study of work and employment relations continued to be a broad church, while recognizing a bifurcation of research agendas. There were areas of research and practice that continued to be, at worst, under threat, and at best, in a state of substantial change. Some areas in this category include, for example, studies related to unions, and in the Australian context the conciliation and arbitration model. Yet there were many areas that remain rich and growing as potential areas of study. Equally the occupation of the field by different disciplines has also changed over time, with some being more influential than others at different points in time (Blyton et al., 2008). This book is an attempt to go beyond a review of work and employment relations research and draw in diverse areas of study while keeping as our...

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