Rethinking the employment relationship: a neo-pluralist critique of British industrial relations orthodoxy

2014-06-25T12:41:40Z (GMT) by Peter Ackers
Radical pluralism, the mainstream perspective for British and European industrial relations, centres on a Marxian, sociological conception of the employment relationship, which structures explanations of power and conflict. This theoretical critique stresses the historical specificity of the experience of work and the explanatory limitations of the employment relationship. The intellectual history of radical pluralism is traced from Fox ((1974), Beyond Contract: Work, Power and Trust Relations, London: Faber) to Edwards ((1995, 2003), ‘The Employment Relationship,’ in Industrial Relations, ed. P. Edwards, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 1–36) and Blyton and Turnbull ((1994, 1998, 2004), The Dynamics of Employee Relations, Basingstoke: Macmillan). Five objections to the radical-pluralist employment relationship are outlined and an alternative, neo-pluralist sociological and historical perspective is sketched.