Revitalizing Industrial Relations as an Academic Enterprise
Edited by Charles J. Whalen
David B. Lipsky and Ronald L. Seeber INTRODUCTION The causes and consequences of the decline of the American labor movement over recent decades have been examined in countless books and articles. Scholars and commentators, however, have virtually ignored one critical dimension. In this chapter, we focus on the social capital implications of the relative decline of the labor movement. There are several deﬁnitions of the term social capital. For our purposes, a relevant deﬁnition has been provided by the World Bank: ‘Social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions . . . Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together.’1 The concept of social capital can be traced to the early part of the twentieth century and was implicitly used by philosophers as early as the eighteenth century. But recent research on social capital has been triggered largely by the work of Robert Putnam, especially his seminal books, Making Democracy Work (Putnam, 1993) and Bowling Alone (Putnam, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Adler and Kwon, 2002; Portes, 1998). In Bowling Alone, Putnam examined long-term trends in civic and social institutions in the United States and concluded that there had been a signiﬁcant decline in political, civic, religious and philanthropic participation in our society. ‘The ebbing of community over the last several decades,’ Putnam writes, ‘has been silent and deceptive. We notice its eﬀects in...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.