The term 'industrial relations' came into common use in Britain and North America during the 1920s. It has been joined by personnel management and, since the 1980s, human resource management (HRM). All there denote a particular activity (the management of people) and the area of academic enquiry. It covers relationship between manger and worker in all spheres of economic activity. The focus is employment: all forms of economic activity in which an employee works under the authority of an employer and receives a wage in return for his or her labour. Industrial relations thus excludes domestic labour and also self-employed and professionals who work under own account.
Most studies of industrial relations have focused on the intuitions involved with the collective bargaining, arbitration and other forms of job regulation. However, we see industrial relations as dealing with all aspects of employee relationship including human resource management.
Although the study of employment relations focuses on the regulation of work, it must take into account of the wider economic and social influences on the relative power of capital and labour and the interaction of the employers, workers, their collective organizations and the state. Adam (1988) sees industrial relations as having a dual character: it is both an interdisciplinary and a separate discipline in its own right'. ...Show more