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Markets, Firms and the Management of Labour in Modern Britain


Part of Cambridge Studies in Management

  • Author: Howard Gospel, University of Kent, Canterbury and London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521426862

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About the Authors
  • Originally published in 1992, this book examines the development of employers' human resource management and industrial relations policies in Britain. It adopts a broad historical perspective, beginning with the inheritance from the nineteenth century and ending with an analysis of human resource management policies. It focuses on how managers organise the employment relationship, how they control work relations, and how they deal with trade unions and industrial relations. The author examines these in the context of the market within which the firm operates, and the strategy, structure and hierarchy of industrial enterprise. The book shows that historically British employers tended to adopt market-based strategies rather than internal ones.

    • Survey of the development of employers' industrial relations and personnel policies in Britain in the twentieth century
    • Has a wide historical scope, a well-respected author, and also compares UK with US, Germany and Japan
    • A wide potential market - MBA and management studies students, as well as graduate and undergraduate students of industrial relations, economics, history and sociology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… will surely find a secure place in the industrial relations literature. The contribution which it makes to industrial relations theory and the link it forges with the theory of 'strategic choice' is significant.' Industrial Relations Journal

    Review of the hardback: 'Gospel has marshalled together a wealth of business history material, much of it from primary sources, in a coherent history which will be of use to anyone interested in British labour management. He also demonstrates the usefulness of institutionalist concepts and the potential for dialogue between institutionalism and other industrial relations, labour process and management perspectives.' Work, Employment & Society

    Review of the hardback: '… a wide ranging and detailed analysis of the forces which have shaped the conduct of UK employers with regard to the management of labour … The book would be of interest to a variety of readers. It touches on issues of major concern for policy makers, and should constitute an important reference for students and researchers in the fields of industrial relations, labour economics and business history.' International Review of Applied Economics

    Review of the hardback: 'This is a compelling account. The breadth of research in primary and secondary sources is impressive. The analysis is intelligent and sound.' Business History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521426862
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the management of labour
    Part I. The Inheritance:
    2. Markets, firms, and the management of labour in the nineteenth century
    Part II. Continuities and Change in the First Half of the Twentieth Century:
    3. Markets, firms, and the organisation of production
    4. The evolving employment relationship
    5. Employers, unions, and collective bargaining
    Part III:
    6. Markets, firms, and the organisation of production
    7. Industrial relations: challenges and responses
    8. Employment relations in the post-war period
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    9. Markets, firms and the management of labour
    End notes

  • Author

    Howard Gospel, University of Kent, Canterbury and London School of Economics and Political Science

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