To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The role of economics and industrial relations in the development of the field of personnel/human resource management

Bruce E. Kaufman (W.T. Beebe Institute of Personnel and Employment Relations, Department of Economics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 December 2002

5455

Abstract

This paper surveys the contribution of economics and industrial relations (E/IR) to the development of the field of personnel/human resource management (P/HRM). A brief review of existing accounts of the evolution of the field reveals that they give little mention to the role of E/IR. A re‐examination of the early years of P/HRM suggests, however, that this is a serious omission. It is demonstrated, for example, that E/IR was in fact the principal disciplinary base for research and teaching in P/HRM in US universities into the 1940s and that for the first two decades of the field’s existence the most influential and authoritative academic‐based writers came from the ranks of economists and economics‐trained IR scholars. After describing the reasons for this close relationship, The centrifugal forces that caused a gradual split between E/IR and P/HRM are described. This split had roots in the 1920s, became increasingly visible in the 1950s and beyond, and by the late 1980s had reached a point where the two subject areas had little intellectual or organizational interaction. The paper ends with a brief review of recent developments that herald a modest rapprochement between E/IR and P/HRM.

Keywords

Citation

Kaufman, B.E. (2002), "The role of economics and industrial relations in the development of the field of personnel/human resource management", Management Decision, Vol. 40 No. 10, pp. 962-979. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740210452836

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

Related articles