Skip to main content

Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition




Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition

Trevor Colling (Editor), Mike Terry (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-32311-5 September 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 494 Pages

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description.


This revised edition of Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice follows the approach established successfully in preceding volumes edited by Paul Edwards. The focus is on Britain after a decade of public policy which has once again altered the terrain on which employment relations develop. Government has attempted to balance flexibility with fairness, preserving light-touch regulation whilst introducing rights to minimum wages and to employee representation in the workplace. Yet this is an open economy, conditioned significantly by developing patterns of international trade and by European Union policy initiatives. This interaction of domestic and cross-national influences in analysis of changes in employment relations runs throughout the volume.

The structure has been amended slightly. Britain is placed straight away in comparative perspective before attention focuses explicitly on employment relations actors, contexts, processes, and outcomes. Each of the chapters is written by authorities in the field and provides up to date analysis and commentary. A spine of chapters from the preceding volume have been revised and extensively updated and new chapters have been added to refine coverage of issues such as the private sector and developing legal institutions.

Overall, a picture emerges of an economy that is in incremental and contested transition. The imperatives of 'globalization' now infuse governance mechanisms that were once responsive principally to domestic agenda and employment standards are set now by the state that once were established through collective bargaining. It is this fragile and emerging model that will be tested significantly through sustained political and economic change.

"Completely revised, the latest edition of Industrial Relations provides an invaluable guide to the actors, contexts, processes and significant outcomes within British employment relations. Based on a thorough review of the latest research, it is essential reading for students, academics and those professionally involved in employment relations and human resource management."
Edmund Heery, Cardiff Business School

"This is a terrific collection of insightful analyses of British workplace relations in a global context provided by leading scholars. The chapters creatively utilize a multidisciplinary and critical approach that reveals the continuing and unique value of an industrial relations perspective. The volume cleverly assesses how factors including increased demographic diversity, organizational restructuring, globalization, and the reduced coverage of collective bargaining are affecting the nature and evolution of work and workplace relations. It is a must read.
Harry C. Katz, Cornell University, New York

"This volume definitely constitutes the most comprehensive and best collection of empirical as well as analytical essays on industrial relations in Great Britain. This substantially revised, enlarged and updated version of its well known predecessors puts the specific national experience in comparative context and international perspective. A truly interdisciplinary volume by leading authorities, this has to be highly recommended for domestic as well as foreign scholars, practitioners and policy makers."
Bernt Keller, University of Konstanz, Germany

"With working people facing the worst crisis in generations, this book is a much needed reminder of the crucial importance of employment relations research in Britain. The 3rd edition of Industrial Relations, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the IRRU at Warwick University, provides a completely updated, cutting-edge analysis by leading scholars on work and employment developments in contemporary Britain. It delivers a most informative view of modern employment, its problems and possibilities. A must for students and practitioners in employment relations, human resource management and industrial sociology."
Professor Carola Frege, London School of Economics and Editor of BJIR

List of Figures and Tables.

List of Common Abbreviations.

List of Contributors.



1 Work, the Employment Relationship and the Field of Industrial Relations (Trevor Colling and Michael Terry).

Section One British Industrial Relations in Comparative Context.

2 British Industrial Relations: Between Security and Flexibility (Colin Crouch).

3 British Industrial Relations: The European Dimension (Richard Hyman).

Section Two Actors.

4 Management: Caught Between Competing Views of the Organization (Keith Sisson and John Purcell).

5 State, Capital and Labour Relations in Crisis (Jason Heyes and Peter Nolan).

6 Trade Unions: Power and Infl uence in a Changed Context (Melanie Simms and Andy Charlwood).

Section Three Contexts.

7 Public Sector Industrial Relations: The Challenge of Modernization (Stephen Bach).

8 Industrial Relations in the Private Sector (James Arrowsmith).

9 Multinational Companies: Transforming National Industrial Relations? (Paul Marginson and Guglielmo Meardi).

10 Industrial Relations in Small Firms (Monder Ram and Paul Edwards).

Section Four Processes.

11 Negotiation and Collective Bargaining (William Brown).

12 Employee Representation (Michael Terry).

13 The Changing Legal Framework of Employment Relations (Linda Dickens and Mark Hall).

14 Legal Institutions and the Regulation of Workplaces (Trevor Colling).

Section Five Outcomes.

15 Pay and Working Time: Shifting Contours of the Employment Relationship (Damien Grimshaw and Jill Rubery).

16 Industrial Relations and Economic Performance (Paul Edwards and Sukanya Sengupta).

17 Skills Policy and the Displacement of Industrial Relations: The Elephant in the Corner? (Ewart Keep, Caroline Lloyd and Jonathan Payne).

18 Equality and Diversity: The Ultimate Industrial Relations Concern (Deborah Dean and Sonia Liff).


The third edition of this popular Industrial Relations text provides more detailed guidance on legal and institutional changes. In particular the new book reflects the findings of the recent Work and Employee Relations Survey.  As before, the volume brings together leading experts in the field to examine the current nature of the employment relationship.

New material has been added on:

  • The influence and impact of the European Union
  • Health and safety issues
  • Job insecurity and unemployment
  • Social partnerships in the workplace
  • The National Minimum Wage
  • Non-union workplace representation
  • The consequences of new organisational structures and forms of employment
  • Industrial relations in small firms
  • Employee involvement and participation.

In addition, the revised edition incorporates the most recent findings of the government-sponsored survey into workplace practices. While the in-depth analysis and challenging level of debate which characterised previous editions have been maintained, the design has been restructured in order to make the material more accessible for students.