British Journal of Industrial Relations (BRIT J IND RELAT )

Publisher: London School of Economics and Political Science, Blackwell Publishing


The recent pace of change within the subject of industrial relations has been significant . New forms of management methods of pay determination and government policies have led to a move away from the traditional focus of collective bargaining and trade unions and have broadened the scope of the subject. The British Journal of Industrial Relations has acknowledged these changes. It aims to provide content that reflects the growth and development of the subject so that it can be at the centre of the controversies surrounding employment relations in the 21 st Century. Its three main objectives are to: Continue the process of internationalization and encourage more articles on trans-national matters. Extend the range of disciplines from which contributions are drawn Broaden the issues covered and present overview of topics that are sometimes neglected The British Journal of Industrial Relations is an influential and authorative journal which is essential reading for industrial relations practitioners and academics alike.

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  • 5-year impact
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  • Website
    British Journal of Industrial Relations website
  • Other titles
    British journal of industrial relations (Online), British journal of industrial relations
  • ISSN
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  • Material type
    Document, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
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    • no listing of affected journals available as yet
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    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
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    • On author's server, institutional server or subject-based server
    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement ("The definitive version is available at")
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • British Journal of Industrial Relations 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, we examine the role of institutional context, organizational structures and trade union strategies in tempering membership decline in the number of trade unions in Poland. Empirical data include membership statistics collected for NSZZ Solidarność and 54 affiliates of two other largest trade union confederations (OPZZ and FZZ) supplemented by semi‐structured interviews with union leaders. In a decentralized collective bargaining system in Poland, a centralized trade union confederation (NSZZ Solidarność) can more easily shift resources to efficiently organize workers than decentralized confederations, OPZZ and FZZ, whose development is mostly driven by competing trade unions representing narrower occupational groups. In conclusion, this observation is put in a broader context of the debates about trade union renewal in Eastern Europe.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2014; 52(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The perception is that formal representation is increasingly common in UK Employment Tribunals (ETs), as case volumes and complexity increase. We investigate the nature of representation in UK ETs using the 2003 and 2008 Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA). The results suggest that between 2003 and 2008, the extent of formal claimant representation declined. The majority of employers and claimants are either heavily represented or have little/no representation, and there is little evidence that claimant representation is a response to employer representation at least at the level of individual claims. Overall, however, it would seem that some of the ‘accessible, informal and inexpensive’ characteristics envisaged by Donovan continue to apply only to cases within certain jurisdictions.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2014; 52(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Sidney and Beatrice Webb are commonly cited as the founders of the British field of industrial relations. Are they, however, if the field is centred not on study of unions and collective bargaining but rather on the entire employment relationship? A ‘qualified yes’ answer is given; however, getting there involves major revision to the conventional historiography of the field. To illustrate, the article presents a traditional and revised family tree of British industrial relations. Numerous insights and implications follow.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2014; 52(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Most scholars conclude that the introduction of one member, one vote (OMOV) into the electoral college that chooses the Labour leader demonstrates a new, reduced role for the party's affiliated trade unions. This article examines the adoption of OMOV by Labour. It looks at discussions in the Labour party–trade union review group that moulded the decision to adopt OMOV during 1992–1993. Drawing on the full breakdown of results, it goes on to examine the outcome of the 1994 leadership contest. The distribution of votes, union by union, indicates that, contrary to the conventional view, trade union leaderships retained the capacity to shape the pattern of voting through their ability to nominate candidates. The article concludes that the introduction of OMOV did not reduce the role of trade union leaderships in Labour's internal affairs in the manner that many scholars have concluded to be the case.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2014; 52(1).
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    ABSTRACT: This paper develops a theoretical model of collective action at work using the key concepts of mobilization triggers, facilitating factors, and inhibiting factors. It then illustrates the value of this model for understanding why a low pay, low-skill blue collar manufacturing facility remained non-union. These accounts reflect the views of a sample of redundant workers and enable us to demonstrate the importance of social contexts where inhibiting conditions dominate and where management practices succeed in gaining worker consent and forestalling a collective response from workers.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Many peak unions are in crisis, their traditional reliance on economic or political exchange with employers and the state undermined through falling union membership and the collapse of national bargaining systems. New methods, chiefly as agents of mobilization, and new sources of power, including community organizations, are often advanced as solutions. In Australia, where trade unions faced a fundamental and immediate threat from a national government after an election in 2004, the ‘Your Rights at Work’ campaign signalled a shift in peak union strategy. Although this campaign unseated the government in 2007, its legacy is unclear: reviving the power of peak unions and conceptualizing the means to do so remain difficult.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 06/2013; 51(2):264-287.
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    ABSTRACT: Using a comprehensive longitudinal dataset of prime-age Dutch workers over the period 1980–2000, we examine how a previously held job with a fixed-term contract influences both the likelihood and the duration of a future spell of unemployment. Analyses show that Dutch workers with fixed-term contracts experience higher risks of future unemployment and have no shorter spells of unemployment compared to workers with regular contracts. Results also reveal that swifter employment re-entries among men with fixed-term contracts can be explained by their job search efforts before unemployment. Our study (partly) invalidates theoretical positions that claim that fixed-term contracts foster employment security by shortening unemployment durations; suggesting that fixed-term contracts are a short-term blessing that could end, for some workers, in a recurrent unemployment trap.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 04/2013;
  • British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2013; 51(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The overall complexity of employment relations today raises new challenges for scholars to extend their work across the boundaries of particular geographies, organizations, theoretical perspectives and disciplines. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the British Journal of Industrial Relations, this article introduces key aspects of global challenges facing employees and research on employment relations. Drawing on the articles of this anniversary issue, we identify several theoretical concepts drawn from the wider social sciences that have proven useful in understanding global challenges around global value chains, transnational and multi‐level institutional frameworks, and the role of global finance. We also identify and discuss the emergence of new actors that have a growing salience for global employment research and the establishment of more global forms of worker representation. By further developing theoretical concepts around these global challenges, we argue that employment relations research will increase its dialogue with and distinctive contribution to wider debates in the social sciences.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2013; 51(3).
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    ABSTRACT: An increasing share of the economy is organized around financial capitalism, where capital market actors actively manage their claims on wealth creation and distribution to maximize shareholder value. Drawing on four case studies of private equity buyouts, we challenge agency theory interpretations that they are ‘welfare neutral’ and show that an alternative source of shareholder value is breach of trust and implicit contracts. We show why management and employment relations scholars need to investigate the mechanisms of financial capitalism to provide a more accurate analysis of the emergence of new forms of class relations and to help us move beyond the limits of the varieties of capitalism approach to comparative institutional analysis.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 01/2013; 51(3).
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of HRM practices on the within‐firm gender gap in wages in manufacturing is investigated merging a 1999 survey on work practices among Danish firms to matched employer–employee panel data. Self‐managed teams, project organization and job rotation schemes are the most widely introduced practices. Accounting for non‐randomness in adoption, the pay gap is reduced among hourly paid workers but increases among salaried workers. Considering practices individually, wage gains from adoption accrue to males except for salaried workers in firms that adopt project organization and for hourly paid workers in firms that introduce quality control circles.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 09/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence about job mobility outside the United States is scarce and difficult to compare cross‐nationally because of non‐uniform data. We document job mobility patterns of college graduates in their first three years in the labour market, using unique uniform data covering 11 European countries and Japan. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we replicate the information in this survey to compare the results with the United States. We find that (a) US graduates hold more jobs than European graduates, (b) contrasting conventional wisdom, job mobility in Japan is only somewhat lower than the European average, and (c) there are large differences in job mobility within Europe.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 09/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent debates on pacts have focused on the prerequisites for their emergence, whereas questions of their efficacy have receded into the background. In particular, systematic analyses of the effectiveness of pacts in terms of their capacity to enhance economic performance are missing. The aim of this article is therefore to assess the economic impact of pacts. As the majority of pacts concern wages, the assessment will concentrate on a comparison of the performance of pacts with alternative governance mechanisms for wage policies, that is, alternative pay‐setting modes. The findings show that when wage pacts are endowed with the ability to govern lower‐level pay determination, they are better at enhancing economic performance than other forms of coordination.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 09/2012;
  • British Journal of Industrial Relations 09/2012; 50(3).
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    ABSTRACT: The article proposes an analysis of labour markets and related social policy that corrects the supply-side emphasis that has dominated economic policy since the decline of Keynesian approaches in the late 1970s. It starts from a potential tension between the apparent need of economies for both flexible workers and confident consumers. This can be resolved through three different approaches: separating insecure workers from secure consumers, separating consumption from labour incomes, and integrating flexibility and security within the labour market itself. These approaches are played out across four different contexts: place, time, externalizing problems on to minorities within a given community, internalizing problems within the community. Up to 19 different public policies and corporate practices are identified, occupying different positions on the framework. These go considerably beyond the issues of industrial relations institutions and related social policy that are the normal focus of labour market studies.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 03/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research on regulation and governance suggests that a mixture of public and private interventions is necessary to improve working conditions and environmental standards within global supply chains. Yet, less attention has been directed to how these (potentially) complementary forms of regulation might interact together. The form of these interactions are investigated through a contextualized comparison of suppliers producing for Hewlett Packard, one the world’s leading global electronics firms. Using a unique dataset describing Hewlett Packard’s supplier audits over time, coupled with qualitative fieldwork at a matched pair of suppliers in Mexico and the Czech Republic, this study shows how private and public regulation can interact in different ways – sometimes as complements; other times as substitutes – depending upon both the national contexts and the specific issues being addressed. The paper closes with a discussion of the theoretical implications of these findings.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations 02/2012; 51(3).