Labor Relations

E. Kevin Kelloway, C. Gail Hepburn and Lori Francis

in The Oxford Handbook of Personnel Psychology

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199234738
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577093 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Labor Relations

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  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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Although the extent of unionization may have declined in some jurisdictions, the practice of labor relations continues to have considerable impact on both individuals and organizations. On the organizational front, labor relations practice has implications for the implementation of human resource practices in organizations. For individuals, the dynamic of labor relations has been characterized as involving both conflict and change. This article reviews research on labor relations, highlighting its impact on individuals and organizations. It begins by considering the extent and nature of unionization in various jurisdictions. The article then considers the major “events” characterizing labor relations; from an individual's decision to join a union, through the negotiation of collective agreements and related strike action, to the administration and enforcement of agreement provisions via member grievances. It concludes with a review of other research assessing consequences of labor relations that are of critical importance for human resource management.

Keywords: unionization; labor relations; organizations; human resource practices; agreement provisions

Article.  8898 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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