Workplace Industrial Relations in Britain, 1980-2004

40 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics

Alex Bryson

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

John Forth

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2006

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.

Keywords: trade unions, wages, employment, growth

JEL Classification: J51

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Bryson, Alex and Forth, John, Workplace Industrial Relations in Britain, 1980-2004 (December 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2518, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956384

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

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Alex Bryson

UCL ( email )

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John Forth

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

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Smith Square
London SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

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