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A Contemporary Model for Industrial Relations: Relook from Global Perspective

The Article, Published by Apoorva Ghosh & Pranabesh Ray in Management and Labor Studies (in press), 37(1), 2012, 2012

This article attempts to inquire what Industrial Relations (IR) is and analyzes the ways in which it has been defined and interpreted since its inception. Various scholars ranging from System theorists, pluralists, Marxists and neo- Marxists to the modern HR and strategic choice perspectives have added, modified or questioned its subject matter. An attempt has been made to propose a model for IR so that it can involve all the addressed as well as unaddressed issues. This model is then tested with what have been the scholarly opinions of how IR should change and respond to the contemporary realities. The article concludes by proposing empirical testing of this model in the service economy of post industrial age when we have knowledge workers instead of blue- collar workers, flat team based structures instead of hierarchy and participative control rather than bureaucracy. The possibility of IR, given its experience and time- tested understanding of managing workers of huge strength, to borrow the concepts from contemporary disciplines like HRM and behavioral sciences and develop new theories and frameworks that can add meaning to the new realities- is also explored.