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Workplace Industrial Relations in Britain, 1980-2004

Author

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  • Blanchflower, David G.

    () (Dartmouth College)

  • Bryson, Alex

    () (University College London)

  • Forth, John

    () (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR))

Abstract

There was a time before the first Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (WIRS80) in 1980 when what we knew of industrial relations was based primarily upon small scale surveys and case studies. WIRS80 marked a radical departure in the study of industrial relations for two reasons. First, following in the footsteps of a small number of survey forerunners, it sought to ‘map’ industrial relations in Britain with nationally-representative large-scale surveys of workplace managers, thus permitting investigation of the incidence of practices and changes over time. Second, it focused on industrial relations institutions and outcomes, linking them to the processes of industrial relations that had been the chief focus of studies up until that point. This paper reflects on some of what we have learned in the five surveys over the quarter century since 1980, focusing selectively on the demise of collective IR, pay determination, union wage effects, variable pay, the climate of employment relations and union effects on employment growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanchflower, David G. & Bryson, Alex & Forth, John, 2006. "Workplace Industrial Relations in Britain, 1980-2004," IZA Discussion Papers 2518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2518
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, March.
    2. Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-497, June.
    3. John Godard, 2001. "Beyond the High-Performance Paradigm? An Analysis of Variation in Canadian Managerial Perceptions of Reform Programme Effectiveness," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 25-52, March.
    4. Lewis, H Gregg, 1983. "Union Relative Wage Effects: A Survey of Macro Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, January.
    5. Blanchflower, David G. & Bryson, Alex, 2008. "Union Decline in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3436, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
    7. K.G. Knight & Paul Latreille, 2000. "Discipline, Dismissals and Complaints to Employment Tribunals," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 533-555, December.
    8. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
    9. John Godard, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 349-378, June.
    10. Willman, Paul & Bryson, Alex, 2007. "Union organization in Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19762, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Blanchflower, David G & Millward, Neil & Oswald, Andrew J, 1991. "Unionism and Employment Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 815-834, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fathi Fakhfakh & Virginie Pérotin & Andrew Robinson, 2011. "Workplace Change and Productivity: Does Employee Voice Make a Difference?," Chapters,in: The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. David Marsden & Richard Belfield, 2010. "Institutions and the Management of Human Resources: Incentive Pay Systems in France and Great Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 235-283, June.
    3. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Alex Bryson & Francis Green & Keith Whitfield, 2008. "A Quarter Century of Workplace Employment Relations Surveys," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 577-586, December.
    5. Panagiotopoulos, Miltiadis, 2005. "The Evolution of Trade Unions in Britain," MPRA Paper 4290, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; wages; trade unions; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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