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Edited by Keith Townsend and Adrian Wilkinson
1 The changing face of work and employment relations 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...
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