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date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article defines the management of labor to cover three broad interconnected areas: work relations, employment relations, and industrial relations. Throughout the article, the emphasis is on major patterns in these three areas as they have developed, especially in large private-sector firms, over a long period of time from the early nineteenth century onwards. The article provides a broad overview of the contexts within which labor has been managed, including the market, technological, political, and business contexts. It also presents broad “stages” in the history of labor management, taking examples from leading sectors of the economy. However, throughout the article, the aim is to stress continuities over time between stages, the coexistence of systems at any one point in time, and how older sectors also adapt over time.

Keywords: work relations, employment relations, industrial relations, private-sector firms, labor management

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