The British Industrial Relations Paradigm: A Critical Outline History and Prognosis
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This article reflects critically on the history of the British pluralist industrial relations (IR) paradigm, from its foundation by Flanders and Clegg at Oxford in the 1950s, through its development and consolidation in both public policy and academic circles. No sooner was the paradigm firmly established with the 1968 Donovan Report and 1970 foundation of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University (among other markers), than it faced new challenges and, arguably breakdown. These challenges came, first, from 1970s New Left Marxism, riding on a tide of industrial and student unrest, and then from 1980s Thatcherism and the destruction of workplace industrial relations. The article concludes by outlining six main strengths of the British IR paradigm and looking forward to how IR can regain its relevance in the very different world of work that lies ahead.
Journal of Industrial Relations
© 2005 Industrial Relations Society of Australia. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.