Scholarly article on topic 'The Changing Systems of British Industrial Relations, 1954-1979: Hugh Clegg and the Warwick Sociological Turn'

The Changing Systems of British Industrial Relations, 1954-1979: Hugh Clegg and the Warwick Sociological Turn Academic research paper on "Sociology"

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Academic research paper on topic "The Changing Systems of British Industrial Relations, 1954-1979: Hugh Clegg and the Warwick Sociological Turn"


An International Journal of Employment Relations

British Journal of Industrial Relations doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2010.00844.x

49:2 June 2011 0007-1080 pp. 306-330

The Changing Systems of British Industrial Relations, 1954-1979: Hugh Clegg and the Warwick Sociological Turn

Peter Ackers

With hindsight, the appointment of Richard Hyman to the Warwick Industrial Relations (IR) group marked a new direction for the academic field. The 1960s Oxford IR group had already begun to borrow from sociological research to better understand and reform the workplace. Alan Fox was emerging as a sociologist. However, it was only after Hugh Clegg had established the Warwick Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) that workplace sociology became a fully indigenous part of British IR, illustrated by both Hyman's Marxist analysis and Eric Batstone's qualitative factory studies. This article charts the development of Oxford/Warwick social science through the shifting content of the three 'System' texts. IR pluralism proved unsuccessful as public policy reform, but Clegg's Warwick research programme fostered a theoretical and empirical engagement between pluralism and radical sociology that revitalized the field. Alongside Clegg's post-Donovan determination to study management, this new intellectual dynamic facilitated the 1980s emergence of a sceptical and empirical tradition of IR-shaped HRM in British business schools.

1. Introduction

Subordinate theorizing by sociologists has been of even greater value to students of industrial relations than the contributions of economists. Earlier chapters in this book reveal a larger debt to sociologists than to economists — for example to studies of shop stewards, of union government and of collective bargaining; and such sociological studies as Joan Woodward's The Dock Worker and David Lock-wood's The Black-Coated Worker have had a substantial influence on the study of industrial relations in Britain for more than 20 years (Clegg 1979: 447-48).

Peter Ackers is Professor of Industrial Relations and Labour History at the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK.


© Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2011. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.

Richard Hyman's early academic career foreshadowed a new departure in the Oxford-Warwick IR story. Co-supervised by Hugh Clegg at Nuffield College, Hyman was his first appointment to the new Warwick IR department in 1967. His Marxist beliefs and International Socialist affiliation brought a novel intellectual challenge to an IR tradition characterized by pragmatic Cold War social democratic politics (see Ackers 2007; Brown 1998; Kelly 2010). When Clegg asked him to teach industrial sociology on the Warwick MA, Hyman contacted Alan Fox at Oxford, and a broader political and sociological debate emerged within British IR, which, in time, 'regenerated' the entire field.1 No doubt Clegg recognized Hyman's ability and the growing popularity of sociology, but, in doing so, he also displayed a tolerant 'sympathy for people who were in analogous positions to what were his own at that stage in the life cycle', and 'a pluralist empiricism... a respect for people who argued contrarily on the basis of evidence'.2 This article maps Clegg's distinctive contribution to this intellectual transformation through his textbooks.

My basic historical thesis is as follows. In 1954, Flanders and Clegg had little contact with sociology and were hostile to what they knew of it. By 1970, Clegg not only drew on the Donovan body of workplace research, but also on studies by industrial sociologists. By 1979, the Oxford-Warwick IR tradition had evolved from being a consumer of sociological research to a major producer of its own. Clegg's new intellectual dynamic centred on a major programme of workplace research, increasingly informed by sociology and energized by a debate between pluralism and Marxism. This proved crucial for the future of British academic IR. Indeed, Clegg and his colleagues have bequeathed us two intellectual legacies that — for all their tensions — enable IR to continue playing a central role in both business and management research and the wider social sciences. One was the sociological turn of Fox, Hyman, Batstone and others, which drew pluralist IR into dialogue with the radical sociology of work and enlivened and transformed the both. The other was British IR's sceptical and empirical engagement with management, which laid an intellectual platform for the 1980s work of Sisson and others on HRM. Woven together, these two strands are central to the contemporary field (see Darlington 2009).

Clegg's unique contribution was to orchestrate this regeneration of the Oxford-Warwick tradition. He was able to do so through his threefold career as an IR academic. Along with Flanders, Fox and others, his scholarly publications, notably the textbook syntheses, responded to, drew together, and guided empirical and theoretical work in the field. But beyond this, Clegg played two other roles that set him apart from his Oxford-Warwick peers. From the early 1960s, he was the pre-eminent British IR public policy actor; and beginning at Oxford, but especially at Warwick, he became the chief research leader and institution builder. This last role is central to my argument, yet he was only able to launch the IRRU because of his authority and achievements in the other spheres. Overall, then, Clegg shaped the research agenda.

My historical method is a close reading and analysis of Clegg's textbooks, with particular attention being paid to the 1970 and 1979 sole-authored books and the place of sociological content in their general argument. Flanders and Clegg (1954), Clegg (1970) and Clegg (1979) are the three authoritative textbooks of the entire postwar British IR field to 1979. Moreover, their timing captures, almost perfectly, the shifts in policy mood and academic debate that concern us. Each book reflects the time before, the public policy issues that arose and the body of social science research deployed to understand these. To interpret them, I also draw on other historical material that illuminates the academic and public policy contexts. IR has a complex presence in postwar British society — what Giddens (1990: 15) terms a 'double hermeneutic' — as both public policy and academic social science. My subject is the latter, but it is impossible to discuss an applied social science without also reflecting on its policy analysis and prescriptions. Three major IR policy concerns — strikes, inflation and restrictive practices — run through the period from 1954 to 1979, rising and falling in salience, and these are tracked through the texts. My method necessarily presents a partial picture of British academic IR, as I filter intellectual life through the lens of Clegg's textbooks and push Clegg, explicit sociologists and the Oxford-Warwick tradition to the


2. The system of industrial relations in Great Britain (1954)

Academic Context

The first 'System' has already been discussed by Brown (1997). The book came out only five years after Clegg and Flanders had first met at Oxford, in the summer of 1949, after they and Kenneth Knowles had established the long-running weekly IR seminar series, but before the Oxford IR group had conducted much research or become deeply involved in public enquiry work. This jointly edited collection was an impetus for research to come rather than a summation of work already done. There were no sociologists among the original Oxford IR group composed of institutionalists, such as Clegg, Flanders, Fox, William McCarthy and Arthur Marsh; and labour economists like Knowles and later Derek Robinson. And there is little trace of sociological influence in the early individual writing of either Clegg or Flanders, other than that provided by labour specialists such as the Webbs and Cole. The later, sociological Fox (1971: v) characterized: 'the field of study known as "industrial relations" . . . (which) has its own interdisciplinary practitioners who pursue what has become known in Britain as the "institutional" approach, and who concern themselves with what are currently defined in public discourse as "problems" which impede or threaten what they deem the orderly and "rational" working of the industrial relations system'.4

Policy Context

Brown (1997) describes the 1954 collection as: 'The High Tide of Consensus'. Recent histories of the postwar years support this and suggest that a wider social and political turning point was approaching. Marwick's (1996) era of 'social consensus' lasts from 1945 to 1957, while Hennessy (2006: 620-21) perceives an 'old political society on a tilt': 'early 1960 did present a new geometry and it marks the end of the "short postwar" ' and rapid transition to the 'politics of affluence'. Barnett (2002) finds the roots of future decline in the failures of postwar reconstruction and the fatal combination of residual craft mentalities and militant union leadership in key industries. For some, the IR problem of strikes, restrictive practices and inflation was already discernible in the early 1950s. Reid (2005: 380-81) argues that strike action started to build after Labour's defeat in 1951 with the emergence of a Conservative policy of more arms-length economic bargaining. As Marwick (1996: 104) summarizes: 'In one sense industrial relations had been totally transformed by the war; in another sense they had scarcely been changed at all. After 1945 the bargaining power of labour was far stronger than it had ever been in the inter-war years, and this power was maintained by high demand and consequent full employment'.

Perhaps the writing was on the wall, but until the end of the 1950s, only a few had seen it. In 1954, shortly after the Coronation and before Suez, there was considerable national hubris and complacency about British institutions. As Fox (2004: 203) recalls, 'What could be seriously wrong with the institutions of a country which had defeated immensely powerful enemies twice during the century' — a view Hennessy (2006: 2 and ch. 5) and Marwick (1996: 102) find widespread and comprehensible. Flanders and Clegg could look back upon an apparently successful and stable policy context, in which the trade unions had helped to win the war and then co-operated with the 1945 Labour government as it revived the economy and established the welfare state. National collective bargaining had found a central place in British society, and even Conservative governments were strongly committed to the voluntarist system. Strikes levels remained low, outside mining and the docks, as was inflation, which was not yet considered a major public policy issue. Restrictive practices had still to be discovered as a major drag on British competitiveness, mainly because the domestic economy was booming and the ruined economies of continental Europe were yet to form any major threat (see Harrison 2009: 301-11).

Sociological Content

As Brown (1997: 136-37) observes, the 1954 book is dominated by historical-institutional analysis and notable for its 'disdainful treatment of the already flourishing subject of industrial sociology' (see also Ackers and Wilkinson 2003: 5-6); something criticized at the time by Nancy Sears. The editors declare: 'Most of the chapters include a substantial historical section — the first is entirely historical. Institutions are not separable from their history;

indeed, in an important sense institutions are their history' (p. vi). With chapters written by a disparate collection of eminent historians, lawyers, economists and social policy specialists, there is no overarching IR paradigm or synoptic introduction, only a two page 'Preface'. 'The form of its contents requires little explanation. Trade unions and employers' associations are the chief institutions of industrial relations. Their main relationship is through collective bargaining' (p. v). In line with Oxford school voluntarist thinking, the role of the state is secondary. 'The growth of our system of industrial relations has been inextricably intertwined with the growth of our entire social system', which justified an opening chapter on the 'Social Background' by the historian, Asa Briggs, that begins with 'The Factory System' and ends with 'Management and Human Relations'. This perceptive piece is ahead of the rest of the volume in seeing the potential of progressive management techniques and the 'serious psychological obstacles among employers and employed to a sizeable expansion of output in the future' (p. 41).

Flanders and Clegg's potent little preface rather pre-empts Briggs by declaring their own hostility to such experiments in the sociology of the workplace and management. 'We are aware that our concentration on the formal institutions of industrial relations may arouse criticism from those who have been affected by the teachings of the new school of "human relations in industry". This school applies the techniques of sociology and social psychology direct to "situations", which it discovers in factories and other places of work. There is no a priori reason why this method should not be preferred to ours. The school is, however, in an early stage of development, and has still to provide material that could be used for teaching. Moreover, much of its published work shows a deplorable lack of historical understanding and, sometimes, a failure to appreciate the nature of the "situation" studied due to ignorance of the framework of formal institutions which surround it. Accordingly the study of the institutions seems to us a proper preliminary to the use of more adventurous methods' (pp. v-vi; quoted Brown 1997: 136-37). The emphasis on history and the PPE tone suggest the voice of Clegg, and chapters 1-5 — Otto Kahn-Freund on the 'Legal Framework', J.D.M. Bell on 'Trade Unions', Clegg on 'Employers' and Flanders on 'Collective Bargaining' — all centre on 'brick-and-mortar' institutions outside the workplace. Only with Clegg's chapter on 'Joint Consultation' do we even begin to discuss a workplace social institution.

Nor, at this stage, do the editors look like pioneers of HRM: 'Personnel management is an art, and it again, requires a different treatment' (p. vi; quoted Brown 1997: 137). If we couple this with their shared intellectual rejection of Marxism and the sort of political sociology associated with this, we find the Oxford IR group closely aligned to moderate British Labourism and deeply hostile to what they perceived as the 'totalitarian' ideas of both managerial and radical sociology. Both men had a deep grasp of political Marxism-Leninism, though it seems unlikely that either had much acquaintance with the sociology of Weber or Durkheim. Yet the raw elements of Fox's 1966 sociological distinction between the unitarist and pluralist 'frames

of reference' are already manifest here (Brown 1998: 850). With damning feint praise, Clegg (p. 364) concludes: 'Joint Consultation may help to reduce antagonism, and to solve difficulties before they become disputes; but antagonism and difficulties will remain. They are inherent in a free society'. At this stage, these pluralist political attitudes coalesce into a general suspicion of sociology tout court.

3. The system of industrial relations in Great Britain (1970)

Academic Context

The second 'System' followed a decade of immersion in public enquiries for Clegg, culminating in the 1965-1968 Donovan commission. From the late 1950s, this drew him into the problems of workplace IR. Although he moved to Warwick in 1967, Clegg's analysis still rests on his Oxford colleagues, especially those deeply involved in the Donovan and National Board of Prices and Incomes (NBPI) research-and-policy process, notably Flanders and McCarthy, the Royal Commission Director of Research. Fox had joined Clegg at Nuffield in 1957 as Research Fellow on the history of British trade unions — with the Oxford historian, AF Thompson. There was by now a second generation of doctoral students supervised by Flanders and Clegg at Nuffield, including: McCarthy, George Bain, Roderick Martin and Richard Hyman. William Brown, a PPE undergraduate taught by Clegg at Wadham College, followed him first to the NBPI and then to Warwick. Bain, Brown and Hyman later formed the nucleus of the emerging Warwick IR group. Clegg wrote the 1970 System, while reflecting on the work of the Oxford public policy years and preparing for a new Warwick research programme that had just begun.

Policy Context

In 1970, the British IR crisis was popular political currency, and, to many eyes, 'trade union activism was getting more threatening' (Marwick 1996: 180-81). 'By the mid-1960s government interest had settled upon the conduct, or misconduct of workplace bargaining as a major policy issue' (Brown and Wright 1994: 158). Clegg was well aware of the scale of the national problem. As he put it bluntly a year later: 'trade unionists who see nothing wrong with Britain's record of inflation, slow growth and strike losses ... are blind' (Clegg 1971: 86). His textbook was written in the aftermath of Donovan and Labour's 1969, In Place of Strife White Paper, defending the former against the latter in a final chapter, 'The Reform of Collective Bargaining'. The three concerns of strikes, inflation and restrictive practices are absolutely central to the 1970 discussion, which centres on justifying the Donovan proposals and rebutting critics who would have liked stronger legal measure to control trade unions and shore-up the old system of national

bargaining. Clegg had spent a decade immersed in practical IR policy, as a member of: the Guilleband Railway Pay Enquiry (1959), the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal (1963-1968, Chairman 1968-1971), the Devlin Committee of Enquiry into the Port Transport Industry (1964-1965), the Pearson Committee of Enquiry into the Seaman's Dispute (1966-1967), Donovan (1965-1968), the NBPI (1966-1967) and the Court of Inquiry into Local Authorities' Manual Workers Pay Dispute (1970). From 1963 onwards, he was engaged in continuous enquiry work, mostly on long-running standing committees, covering almost all sectors of British employment.

The 1970 book largely echoes and amplifies Donovan — for which Clegg himself had provided the first, defining draft — in response to the three linked public policy problems of strikes, inflation and restrictive practices. The Royal Commission's overarching strategy was to formalize the 'informal' system of workplace collective bargaining between plant managers and shop stewards, and to reintegrate it with a more flexible 'formal' system of national bargaining between employers associations and trade union officials. The main micro-economic instrument was to be workplace productivity bargaining (preferably linked to measured day work), in the spirit of Flanders (1964), matched in macro-economics by Incomes Policy. Concern over inflation was linked to management 'loss of control over pay' (p. 179) in the workplace. Chapter 11 on Incomes Policy includes a section on 'Achievements', which argues in optimistic tone for the symbiotic relationship between the two policies, whereby 'the spread of productivity bargaining under pressure of the incomes policy' had reduced restrictive practices, despite some 'bogus agreements' (pp. 439-40). Productivity bargaining would simultaneously enable management to develop a 'planned pay structure' (p. 185), and bargain away systemic, non-productive overtime and restrictive practices leading to 'more effective use of manpower' (p. 307). This was the single-channel pluralist solution for institutionalizing workplace conflict and reducing unofficial, unconstitutional strikes, as opposed to the unitarist dream of consultation and human relations.

The Donovan reform strategy remains an impressive instance of what we now call 'joined-up' policy thinking. On paper at least, this links macro-and microeconomic IR issues with reform proposals that address all three IR problems at once. In a sense, both Clegg's sole-authored textbooks start at the end, with a policy or academic agenda. In 1970, this is the last six pages: 'An Outline of the Problem', which states: 'What is in question is the part which the state should play in the system of industrial relations'. Clegg's answer is the tried-and-trusted British state strategy of supporting voluntary agreements and organizations. This had come under pressure because of public concern about strikes, inflation and restrictive practices, as industry bargaining lost its authority and regulatory force. In his view, there is no realistic possibility of restoring industry bargaining, making collective agreements legally binding, legally regulating strikes, or using the law to reform trade union structure and government so that they could play a more disciplined collective role. These options would be either unworkable or

undemocratic. The only solution is for management to regain control of workplace collective bargaining, though, of course: 'The answers to these questions are not the business of a text-book' (p. 470).

Looking back, the real elephant in the room is not the apparently primeval work-group that looms so large in the 1970 book, but some self-destructive structures and traditions of the British trade union movement. These fill the pages of Clegg's book, and are constantly referred to, but only as something inert, inevitable and not susceptible to change. Thus the stress on conflict arising directly from the work-group leads Clegg to caricature the 'troublemaker' hypothesis (pp. 334-36), and neglect the leadership role played by militants in strikes, or conversely the role of moderate trade union leadership in avoiding them. Chapter 2, 'The Industrial Consequences of Union Structure' (p. 66) recognizes the serious problem of strikes and demarcation disputes, but in a resigned and rather conservative way. Other institutions must change because trade unions cannot. While, 'the effects of existing trade union structure can be so damaging ... a wholesale reconstruction of British trade unionism is virtually impossible' (p. 71), and would destroy the trade union movement (pp. 466-67). As we shall see, a more sophisticated social science understanding of workplace conflict would not, of itself, create credible IR public policy.

Sociological Content

As a result of the changed academic and policy contexts, the 1960s mark a fairly abrupt break in Clegg's own writing. Behind him lay the trade union history and political science of the early postwar reconstruction decades (see Ackers 2007); ahead lay a much stronger empirical focus on the contemporary workplace, and, to a lesser but growing extent, contemporary management. As he announces: 'This volume has little in common with the original beyond its subject and the title' (p. v). There is an associated shift in focus from normative debates about nationalization and industrial democracy to the British IR problem in the new era of full employment and affluence. Not only has IR practice changed since 1954, but 'the study of industrial relations has advanced considerably, requiring new treatment of old themes', and, in this new evidence-based phase, Clegg 'tried to cut down on idle speculation'. This policy-and-research orientation clearly owed much to the influence of Flanders, but the preface also acknowledges four IR scholars of the rising generation: Fox and McCarthy still at Oxford, with Brown and Hyman now at Warwick. Equally notable is Clegg's tribute to three 'practitioners' — David Basnett, Richard O'Brien and Sir Jack Scamp — who had aided his IR 'education'.

The most striking social science feature of the 1970 textbook is its newfound emphasis on the workplace, displacing the 1954 insistence on the formal system of institutions — such as official trade unions, employers associations and national bargaining — external to the business organization. Thus, the opening chapter, 'Work Groups and Shop Stewards', moves

quickly through three pages on 'The Nature of the Subject', defined as 'the study of job-regulation' (p. 1), into an analysis that builds up from 'custom and the work group' and the bargaining role of shop stewards. This has clearly become the fulcrum of British academic IR, and is central to chapters 7 and 8 on 'Domestic Bargaining' and 'Strikes' — which now merits a special treatment. Elsewhere, there is a residual institutional and historical feel, a hangover from 1954, as chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6 survey union structure and government, employers associations and industry bargaining. Contemporary social science research had yet to reach these parts of the System.

In my view, this fetish of the work-group has proved a mixed blessing for the British IR public policy and academic social science nexus. Statements such as 'the power of the work group is not derived from the trade union to which its members belong' (p. 465), now sound overly simplistic. On the positive side, it clearly drew IR towards a much richer sociological analysis — the main theme of this article. But there is also the irony of IR almost repeating the grave human relations error, alleged in 1954, of treating the work-group as a spontaneous entity that operates largely in isolation from the surrounding institutional environment, as if strikes, wages drift and restrictive practices could be understood by appreciating the work-group alone. Here human relations and rank-and-file New Left Marxism would later find a curious common ground in 'factory sociology'; a sandbank that Clegg's own inveterate voluntarism drew him towards. For once the formal and informal systems dissolved into each other, and the workgroup replaced larger institutions as a focus of analysis, the original pluralist IR public policy mission to regulate chaos and restore order was in trouble.

Donovan's insistence on management responsibility for workplace reform began the slow march of British academic IR towards a critical, empirical engagement with personnel management and later HRM. Clegg acknowledges that for traditional IR, 'industrial relations were generally regarded as external to the firm' — a vantage point perpetuated by the 1954 text. 'Today it is impossible to ignore the part of the firm in industrial relations' (pp. 156-57). The 1970 book recognizes this with a comprehensive chapter 5 on 'Management', which encompasses sociological discussions of bureaucra-tization and professionalization, payment systems, scientific management, overtime, joint consultation and so on. Personnel management, which had received such cursory dismissal in 1954, is 'of such importance to industrial relations that it requires a section of its own', as do foremen who are now of 'considerable importance in industrial relations' (pp. 160, 196). Here the approach remains largely historical, but it raises a theme that would sound forward into the future of IR's sceptical approach to HRM: 'a particular problem about the status and function of the personnel officer in the firm', in relation to general management. He concludes: 'Not many British firms have reached a sufficient degree of sophistication in their managerial practices' (pp. 167-68), a theme elaborated by Fox (1974) with his unstable 'standard modern' type and extended to HRM by Sisson (1989) and others in the IR

tradition. This slow-burning fuse only burst into flame once academic IR's enthusiasm for strikes and shop stewards had abated by the mid-1980s.

Oxford voluntarist assumptions are reinforced by clustering the national dimension of the state, TUC and Incomes Policy in Chapters 9-10, towards the end of the book, which concludes with a meditation on the fate of the Donovan reform programme. Even as historical analysis gives way to contemporary empirical studies of the workplace, a powerful, fatalistic sense of what we now call national 'path dependency' — 'of a system of industrial relations peculiar to Britain' and shaped by 'our history' (p. 3) — hangs over the entire tome. As historical and political science analyses become marginal to the post-Donovan IR project, they linger on as unexamined assumptions, re-iterated by future generations. Thus Clegg pronounces, ex cathedra: 'Many people would like to reform this system, and it is in fact now changing at quite a pace, but the ways in which it is likely to develop, and the ways in which it might be altered, can only be understood by those who have grasped the nature of the system' (p. 3). We may question whether this expressed a genuine historical insight or simply a deep emotional sympathy for the heavy anchor of this system, the British trade union movement. Was it, in Barnett's (2002: xvi) harsh words, another disabling 'psychological legacy from the past'?

The contemporary empirical grounding of the 1970 book is far more impressive than its predecessor. Much of this is drawn from Clegg's enquiry work. For beyond reading and hearing numerous submissions from employers and trade unions, this included visits to workplaces and commissioning supporting research. Through Donovan and the NBPI Clegg had fostered an academic IR community at Oxford and Warwick, whose studies pepper these pages. Their work is complimented by other IR research, some from British scholars but more from across the Atlantic. As Clegg notes, 'There is now a fair accumulation of studies of work group behaviour. The United States leads the field' (p. 27). Beyond the policy detail, Clegg's 1970 analysis is much more strongly centred on workplace groups and management than the 1954 book, and sociologists had something to say about both. This is most apparent in the scene-setting chapter on work-groups and shop stewards, which refers to several important sociological studies: Scott et al. (1963), Sayles (1958), Woodward (1965) and Goldthorpe et al. (1968).

Clegg remains highly critical of Elton Mayo (1933) and human relations, but his analysis has become more subtle and sociological. First and still foremost, Mayo embodies what Fox (1966) had defined as unitarism, so it 'is easy to see why Mayo's theories appeal to managers', but harder to understand trade union sympathy, since 'Mayo himself was no friend of trade unionism' (pp. 188-89). Yet there is something to learn from human relations too. 'The Hawthorn investigations led to the development of a whole philosophy of "human relations in industry", associated with the name of Elton Mayo, much of it now discredited. Its more valuable legacy was a tradition of empirical research in industrial sociology' (p. 8). The discovery of output restriction by the informal work group, in conflict with the formal

organization, had laid the basis for further studies, including Flanders (1964), and thus set the scene for productivity bargaining. Clegg's backhanded compliment acknowledges pluralist IR's surprising borrowing from Mayo, both in the conceptualization of policy reform and in the recognition of the value of empirical sociological research into the workplace. Indeed, Clegg acknowledges the past blindness of labour history: 'the work group and its effects could become evident only to an investigator scrutinising behaviour in the factory as closely as does the modern industrial sociologist' (p. 37).

Oxford IR only produced sociologists by accident and against the grain. Alan Fox5 'was in a process of transforming himself throughout the 1960s', Roderick Martin remembers: 'We had many discussions on this in the late 1960s, when I was at Barnett House with Alan and Chelly Halsey'. There were two stages to Fox's transformation: first sociology and then radical sociology. He was closer, personally and intellectually, to Flanders than to Clegg. They shared a stronger interest in theory than other Oxford empiricists, and 'the basic analysis of his Fawley book was hammered out', with Fox as 'a sounding-board-cum-chopping block' (Fox 2004: 248). Thus Fox's early sociological insights fed into Flanders' seminal study and the joint essay, 'From Durkheim to Donovan', which appeared in the July 1969 edition of the British Journal of Industrial Relations (see Flanders 1975). In 1963, Fox became University Lecturer in Industrial Sociology and his Sociology of Work and Industry (1971), 'realized a purpose, born some years previous, to locate the data and issues of industrial relations within a broad sociological framework' (Fox 2004: 260). At this transitional moment, he thanked not only A.H. Halsey, the father of Oxford sociology, and John Goldthorpe, but also recorded: 'Discussions over a long period with Allan Flanders have contributed to my approach to some of the themes and issues dealt with here' (Fox 1971, vi).

But the Oxford IR group was never comfortable with sociology, especially once it became associated with late 1960s radicalism. Fox recollects, 'I took to it like a Duck to water ... it left the others completely cold. Hugh wanted nothing to do with it. Allan, perhaps he was prepared to borrow bits of it for specific purposes'. If Flanders was the more open, initially — he also collaborated with Joan Woodward — soon he was the most 'distressed' by Fox's seemingly Marxist turn and accused him of 'playing with the enemy', whereas 'I don't think it touched Hugh' (see Clegg 1975; Fox 1979; Wood and Elliot 1977). Even so, while Fox's famous 1966 Donovan article on 'Industrial Relations and Industrial Sociology' is widely deployed in both the 1970 and 1979 textbooks, as the first explicitly sociological statement from the Oxford school, his subsequent work on power, conflict and trust relations is ignored. Clegg was more willing to entertain radical sociology from the next generation than from his old Oxford colleague. Fox controversially challenged pluralism's 'benign appraisal of a structure of power' at the 1972 BUIRA conference. 'A major shift in intellectual stance can be a painful process ... I was now pursuing academic directions markedly different from those of my old friend and mentor, Allan Flanders. He found little to please him either in

Beyond Contract... or in Man Mismanagement' (Fox 2004: 260-62). By this stage, Fox had moved outside the intellectual ambit of Oxford IR, 'encouraged' by Halsey, given 'a nudge' by Goldthorpe's criticisms of IR pluralism and unsettled by New Left radicals, including Hyman. Martin (1968, 2003) too followed Fox's path from labour history under Clegg into sociology, and the 1970 text refers to his influential analysis of union democracy, grounded in pluralist political sociology, which appeared in the journal, Sociology.

4. The changing system of industrial relations in Great Britain (1979)

Academic Context

The 'Changing System' capped a remarkably productive decade of research into workplace IR by the Warwick IRRU. If Clegg had spent the mid-1960s manning public enquiries, he devoted the next decade to building the academic status of Warwick IR as social science. Within three years, to 1970, he had recruited key figures such as Bain, Brown and Hyman; funded the first Coventry project on workplace IR; launched the MA course; negotiated a monograph series, 'Warwick Studies in Industrial Relations'; and led a successful SSRC bid against competition from several British universities, including Oxford and the LSE, to establish the IRRU. During this time Clegg conducted less enquiry work, and this gave him time to establish the research credibility and ethos of Warwick IR. He did so with an ambitious research programme on workplace IR and management, drawing on both the themes and personnel of the previous decade's public enquiry work and his academic role at Nuffield. George Bain became IRRU Deputy Director and succeeded as Director in 1974, when Clegg recommenced enquiry work under Labour as a council member of ACAS. The 'Changing System' is a valedictory work, since Clegg retired from his Warwick chair and active involvement in the IR department at the end of September 1979, only months after its publication. The preface thanks exclusively the IRRU team he had built at Warwick: William Brown, Linda Dickens, Paul Edwards, Joe England, Richard Hyman, Robert Price, Keith Sisson, Michael Terry and Brian Weekes.6

Policy Context

Marwick (1996) has the years 1973-1982, as 'The Time of Troubles', industrial and otherwise; a period when there was a strong sense of IR crisis, irresponsible union power and national decline. Clegg's 1979 textbook was written with one eye looking back to the failure of Edward Heath's 1971 Industrial Relations Act, and the other forward to prospects for its volunta-rist successor, Labour's 1974 Social Contract. He had already declared the former a 'disastrous aberration', in a prefatory tribute to Flanders (1975), and anticipated a tripartite incomes policy 'aimed at greater equity' and premised on the 'self-discipline' of a 'democratic trade union movement'

(Clegg 1971: 88). With hindsight, we can see that Clegg's book came out at the very moment that the voluntarist British IR system passed from change to collapse, but this was not apparent at the time of writing. 'The manuscript was sent to the publisher at the end of September 1978. No additions or amendments have been made to take account of events since then' (p. x). And, writing before the 'Winter of Discontent', Clegg could still entertain the 'prospect that (incomes) policies may be rather more lasting and successful in the future than in the past' (p. 382).

At a deeper analytical level, however, Clegg looks to have lost the reformist zeal of the Donovan era, and an air of resignation hangs over the policy sections of the book and his other writing of this time (see Clegg 1975, 1976). The Donovan reforms appear to have failed in their own terms, from conceptual confusions and social science blindspots, sprouting unintended consequences everywhere. The reform of local bargaining by management has only led to new outgrowths of work-group informality that subvert the management reform agenda and allow strikes, inflation and restrictive practices to thrive. 'The erosion of employer and managerial regulation by custom and practice continues to shape industrial relations today' (p. 3). Productivity bargaining under incomes policy has fostered bogus agreements that leave restrictive practices intact, while measured day work shifts the problem from pay to effort. To my reading, the pivotal chapter 6 on 'The Process of Bargaining' simultaneously advertises the social science advances made at Warwick in understanding the workplace, while burying the Donovan reform agenda — notwithstanding Clegg's muted insistence that this is not the case. More research has not so much honed sharper policy instruments as caused the old ones to fall to pieces in his hands. Perhaps this reflected a wider exhaustion of Clegg's reformist social democratic vision, following the deaths of Flanders in 1973 and Crosland in 1977 (Brown 1998: 850), as well as the greater academic social science focus of the Warwick years.

Sociological Content

The 1979 book announces itself as 'A Completely Rewritten Version' or 'recast' of the 1970 text, following partial revisions in 1972 and 1976 (pp. ii, ix). However, it was the 1970 book, with its sharp turn to the sociology of the workplace and management that really broke new ground. In the 1979 version, IR theory and research finally catch up with the new dispensation, as contemporary social science pushes institutional history to the margins. The chapter structure is little changed: beginning with shop stewards and workplace bargaining, employers and national bargaining, management and trades unions (ch. 1-5); and rounding off with the national consequences for the state, incomes policy and labour law (ch. 8-10). Interestingly, employers and managers now come before official trade unions in this implicit model of what drives IR. The large-scale research and publication programme at the IRRU had given a new theoretical, empirical and social science depth to the

1979 book. Thus, the theoretical work of Hyman and Fox is acknowledged by the addition of a short specialist 'Introduction', which defines the field, a longer discussion of 'Styles of Management' (pp. 160-64), and a final chapter on 'Theories and Definitions'.

Perhaps the biggest change in the overall feel of the book is the 'increased emphasis on analysis', or contemporary social science, though Clegg maintains that 'considerable weight is still placed on historical explanation' (p. x). From the outset, Clegg also exchanges the national IR 'system' of the 1954 text, for 'an appreciation of the processes of industrial relations as a whole' (p. 3). Elsewhere, Clegg attributes this insight to Flanders: 'for him it was not trade unions but the processes of collective bargaining that held the key to understanding the industrial relations system' (Clegg 1975: 7). In part, the stress on 'processes' reflects a stronger emphasis on and better knowledge of the workplace, fuelled by social science research. But this narrow concentration on the work-group may also represent an unconscious paradigm shift, rather as if the Donovan image of an IR 'system' and normative regulation had died with Flanders. Yet the book's conclusion includes an explicit defence of pluralism and the definition of IR as 'job regulation'. 'It cannot be denied that the words "regulation" and "system" have conservative implications. Both imply stability, for without order, there can be neither rules nor systems. But the definition is not necessarily worse for that' (p. 451). Even so, there is little sense here of a stable system hardwired by strong normative institutions. The 'changing system' seems to be much more about change than system. And even Clegg's theoretical defence of pluralism blurs the borders with Marxist conflict theory and distances itself from the latent functionalism of early pluralist writing (Martin 1999). In the later Clegg's hands, pluralism returns to the passive realism of his early writing, as a means of interpreting society as it is, warts and all, but not actively reforming it.7

The new chapter 6, 'The Process of Bargaining', captures well how far industrial sociology has been integrated into academic IR and how IR specialists at Warwick were now producing a synthesis of the two. The discussion of bargaining 'styles', 'values' and 'power' centres on a string of IRRU studies, as well as recent work by sociologists, such as Nichols and Armstrong (1976) and Gallie (1978), to move deliberately beyond the Donovan analysis of the workplace. On 'Styles of Bargaining', Terry (1977) suggests that the central Donovan notion of formalizing the informal system rests on a conceptual confusion. 'The question is whether the notions of formality and informality are helpful in understanding contemporary collective bargaining'. Clegg now agrees that there is 'no clear division between formal and informal rules', and informality 'continues to thrive in plant bargaining', wherever work-groups have the power to impose it (pp. 233-35). Where managers have introduced measured day work systems: 'Effort drift emerges to take the place of wage drift'. Donovan had 'too simple minded a view of legitimacy in industrial relations' (p. 238), and 'interests' now loom much larger than rules. Clegg denies that this invalidates Donovan, but looks for 'a more sophisticated account' of the links between formality and

informality (p. 239). He finds this in Batstone etal.'s (1977) distinction between 'leader' and 'populist' shop stewards, and emphasis on 'trust' in a 'strong bargaining relationship' that often involves a high degree of informality, and this section concludes with Hyman's (1972a) analysis of engineering disputes procedures. Under 'Values and Bargaining', Hyman and Brough (1975) and Brown and Sisson (1975) illuminate notions of fairness and comparison in local bargaining, while 'Power in Bargaining', draws on the same range of research and 'calls into question the whole notion of a balance of power in collective bargaining' (p. 256).

This brief analysis suggests a number of conclusions. First, that sociologists, and especially radical sociologists, are making the running in the new workplace research — though there were important exceptions such as Brown and Sisson. Second, that even where there is some sense of what 'good IR' might look like, this rests on a post hoc situational analysis like Batstone et al. (1977), rather than on any transferable recipe for national institutional reform. In short, the entire Oxford-Warwick school has developed a new sociological consciousness, which extends far beyond its explicit sociologists. But, as we have seen, Clegg's new sociological realism also carries with it a species of policy fatalism, partly shaped by his radical colleagues. He still discounts the utopian ideas of the left, but has become resigned to continuing high levels of workplace conflict and informality. Indeed, Clegg's own pluralism now stresses conflicts of interests and power much more than co-operation and normative integration, conceding greater ground to Marxism than perhaps Flanders would have been comfortable with.

Nor is there much new research insight into Donovan's chosen agent of workplace reform: management. According to Brown and Wright (1994: 159): 'Studies of the process of rule generation during the 1970s found increasing interest in the role of management', but evidence of this is hard to find in Clegg's text. The re-titled chapter, 'Managers and Managerial Techniques' has developed surprisingly little since 1970, running through almost identical topics. The old section on personnel management is condensed into the introduction, while, at the end, there is a new extended discussion of'Styles of Management', drawing on Woodward (1965) and Fox (1966), which recognizes that the role of management must be conceived in much broader terms than just the personnel function. The status of Personnel Management appears to be rising, and Clegg points to two leading personnel specialists of his acquaintance, Pat Lowry of British Leyland and Sir Jack Scamp of GEC, while still recording the contradictory role of personnel. The discussion of Taylorism is reinforced by Braverman's (1974) critique, but overall, this chapter testifies to the slow progress of IR theory and research about management, particularly at Warwick: only Brown's (1973) important study of Piecework Bargaining is referenced.

During this period, Clegg himself contributed a joint IRRU books Workplace and Union (Boraston et al. 1975) on an important Donovan theme, and an individual comparative monograph, Trade Unionism under Collective Bargaining (Clegg 1976) — widely regarded as his most sophisticated piece of IR

theorizing — that established the key role of employers in the structure of collective bargaining. He also collaborated with George Bain on an influential discussion of IR research strategy (Bain and Clegg 1974), distancing the field from the inductive approach and casual journalistic style of much early IR research. As an SSRC centre, the IRRU sought not just high research productivity, but greater methodological rigour in both qualitative and quantitative research. Maybe for the first time, British IR had become a fully self-conscious branch of the academic social sciences, rather than a largely pragmatic, problem-solving field. As a result, Warwick IR developed a new forward intellectual momentum, carrying it beyond the policy reform programme of the Oxford group.

Richard Hyman and Eric Batstone were the two 1970s Warwick IR figures to engage most directly and explicitly with sociological theory and method.8 In quite different ways, their work extended the sociological range of 1970s British workplace IR. Marxism had been marginal to British academic IR and associated with orthodox Communism. Hyman revitalized and popularized Marxist ideas in IR, with books such as Strikes (Hyman 1972b) and Industrial Relations: A Marxist Introduction (Hyman 1975), which caught the turbulent New Left mood of the time. Along with Fox, the effect of Hyman's theory was to deepen sociologically the entire analysis of IR, attracting new scholars and stimulating a vibrant internal debate between pluralists and radicals, which rejuvenated both the personnel and ideas of British IR. Clegg's academic leadership style recognized the close affinity between academic vitality and intellectual diversity. This openness to new ideas, however wrong-headed in his own view, allowed the flowering of a critical empirical, social science culture at Warwick in the 1970s. By contrast, we might describe Batstone as the sociologist Clegg had been looking for ever since he recognized the potential of the Human Relations research method.9 He brought new sophistication to the traditional IR case study with qualitative research like Shop Stewards in Action and The Social Analysis of Strikes (Batstone et al. 1977, 1978), which demonstrated that case studies could also be high-quality social science.

5. Conclusions

Judged as public policy, Clegg's IR project was a failure. By 1979, it was already clear that Donovan had failed to deliver. Bargaining reform did not formalize the informal, but merely spawned more informality, and, perhaps, further undermined effective management. Productivity bargaining did not negotiate away restrictive practices, but largely provided a cover for further wages drift in an era of incomes policy. Many Oxford IR prescriptions for local bargaining with shop stewards were copied from manufacturing by the public sector, which became the main arena of conflict in the 1970s. To critics, the British disease had merely spread to hitherto healthy organisms. Above all, the fascination with the work-group distracted attention away

from the need for institutional reform of trade unions, employers and national collective bargaining. In 1978, Clegg was still holding out hope for a negotiated incomes policy, which collapsed as his final textbook came out — never to appear again. Moreover, the Warwick research tended to undermine the social science rationale for Donovan and IR as public policy. There was a yawning gap between fine-grain academic discussion of workplace 'micro-political processes' — even when these tried to 'link workplace bargaining to a broader informing "context" ' (Brown and Wright 1994: 159, 162) — and practical institutional solutions. By 1979, at a time of economic, social and political crisis, having little to say about how the national System of IR could be reformed, including those central institutions, the trade unions, was a great silence indeed. Politics abhors a policy vacuum, and the legal reform programme launched by Thatcher ensured that the workplace itself would soon become a very different place, with totally altered workgroup micro-dynamics.

Academic critics to the political Left and Right argued that Donovan-style voluntary reform would not work as public policy without much wider state-led social change. Radicals, like Fox (1974), called for major shifts in the balance of power between workers and management to overcome low-trust, low-discretion IR. In this view, pluralist voluntary reform failed because it neglected fundamental conflicts and power imbalances between employers and employees that could only be transcended by radical political and social change, including nationalization and industrial democracy. It is hard to believe such measures would have worked, since, as Currie (1979) argued at the time, they would merely further 'industrialize' politics, raising laissez-faire sectional conflict to a new level. Yet Hyman's Marxism and Fox's radical pluralism—and Clegg's response — did stimulate deep thinking about the nature of conflict and co-operation in the employment relationship, which paid academic dividends in the years to come. By contrast, another leading academic figure, Ben Roberts of the LSE (1968: 22, 31), advocated: 'a permanent system of legal regulation' on behalf of the 'public interest', in an exchange of union rights and responsibilities, including: single-union recognition in the workplace, employers associations with more discipline over their members, legally binding collective agreements, restrictions on unconstitutional strikes, statutory incomes policy and more individual employment rights. With hindsight, Roberts had a strong policy case, but, in terms of social science research, Clegg was skating on thicker ice. As an American observer commented: 'The many contributions of Clegg and his associates at Warwick University's industrial relations center are now beginning to come forth in great number; they bid fair to help reshape much of the general thinking in the industrial relations field in years to come' (Kassalow 1977: 116).

This leaves us with a paradox. The Oxford-Warwick tradition failed as public policy, but succeeded as a sceptical, empirical social science tradition that has outlived the problems it was summoned to resolve and the institutions that were designed to solve them. Conflict and chaos made workplace studies attractive and fuelled the research programmes associated with Clegg,

at Nuffield, Donovan, NBPI and the IRRU. In the short-term, this tradition was ill-prepared to address the 1980s brave new world of work. An obsession with large, conflict-ridden, male, manual, unionized manufacturing settings, sat uneasily with the feminized service economy of the future. Nor had much attention been paid to Europe and the rest of the word (Martin 1998). Indeed, 1970s Warwick IR research accentuated the elements of working life that pointed towards the past, rather than the future. Yet the underlying social science paradigm had been rejuvenated, there were people and ideas ready for further development, in new unforeseen directions, and much to be mined from the research tradition (Brown and Wright 1994). Sociological debates on pluralism and Marxism, research on workplace conflict and co-operation, trust, discretion, leadership, values and so on, all drew British IR beyond mere problem solving or the institutional description of trade unions and employers associations.

Clegg's contributed to this collective achievement in three ways. As an individual scholar, he condensed the wisdom of Oxford and Warwick in his textbook syntheses, responded to the radical challenge and developed a new comparative explanation of the role of management in collective bargaining. In the process, he reflected not just on academic research, but also on his own unique IR public policy experience. Above all, as a research leader, he set the agenda through his appointments, projects and style. Here he comes across as a powerful moral personality: a man who led by industrious example and fostered the development of his many PhD students, and an academic liberal, who encouraged talented individuals to flourish in their own ways. For Martin, 'Hugh Clegg was influential because of his personality as much as because of his ideas. He was an inspiring teacher and research supervisor (though exactly why it is difficult to say), leader and institution builder'. Fox found collaboration with Clegg difficult, but still concluded: 'by the '60s I think he'd hit his stride . . . There was a kind of tacit assumption that he was the leader, backed up by Flanders as the first lieutenant. . . Hugh was and is a big man. You feel you would go a long way to earn his respect. And that's always a factor that attracts disciples'. The next generation of Warwick PhD students stress similar influential characteristics. Jacques Belanger recalls: 'Clegg's capacity to work well, efficiently and in a friendly manner with colleagues developing alternative and competing theories . . . This collegiate culture where freedom of thought was fostered — also a feature of pluralism'.10

Clegg's new intellectual dynamic opened up academic IR in two apparently contradictory directions: towards both radical workplace sociology and the study of management. By contrast, as Kaufman (2004; see Ackers 2005) has demonstrated, US academic IR adjusted more slowly and continued its postwar decline. Fox, Hyman and Batstone led the first explicitly sociological strand. However, it is unlikely that this alone would have secured the current influence of academic IR, without the parallel expansion into business school HRM teaching and research. Here too Clegg and his colleagues pointed the way that the next generation would travel. The Oxford IR group saw the

importance of workplace management in the early 1960s, well before Donovan, and Clegg and Bain reiterated this in the 1974 and 1980 IRRU reports, while Clegg (1976) anticipated Warwick's 1980s comparative and management research. Clegg's textbooks testify to the slow progress made, however, as the fascination with shopfloor trade unionism dominated 1970s research.

The next Warwick IR generation finally made good this long-promised theoretical and empirical engagement with management. Bain's edited collection, Industrial Relations in Britain (Bain 1983), includes a pioneering 'Management' section by Purcell and Sisson. Recruited by Clegg to research and teach personnel management, Keith Sisson was a crucial link in the chain leading from Donovan to British HRM. His sister edited text, Personnel Management in Britain (Sisson 1989), opens with a long sceptical introduction exposing the short-term nature of British HRM thinking. As Director of the IRRU, he collaborated with John Storey — who himself produced the first major British research texts on HRM (Storey 1989, 1992) — to launch the Human Resource Management Journal as a vehicle for this distinctively sceptical and empirical British IR approach to HRM.11 The work of Paul Edwards, a later IRRU Director, illustrates the ability of radical pluralist IR sociology to engage with HRM. Edwards' early work applied sociological analysis to personnel issues of unorganized conflict, such as discipline, absenteeism and labour turnover (Edwards and Scullion 1982). He became the editor of Work Employment and Society — which embodies the close link between IR and the sociology of work — and represented 'HRM and employment relations' on the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Edwards' (1995 and 2003) Industrial Relations demonstrates the fruits of the 1970s sociological turn to critical empirical research on the workplace and management. This opens with his sociological essay on 'The Employment Relationship and the Field of Industrial Relations', and includes chapters on 'The State', 'Management', 'New Forms of Work Organization', 'Managing without Unions', and 'Individualism and Collectivism'.

So how does this sceptical, empirical IR tradition relate to the wider contemporary HRM field? In recent years, Critical Management Studies (CMS) has appeared to corner the academic market in British non-managerial theoretical approaches to HRM, and Legge (1995) has been a highly influential text. Often the CMS tradition is presented as the only alternative to a stylized US-based, global managerial HRM paradigm, with a narrow positivist focus on business performance and individual behaviour, grounded in labour economics and managerial psychology. Thus Alvesson and Willmott (1992: 1) declare: 'The disciplines of management are generally understood to be devoted to the (scientific) improvement of managerial practice and the functioning of organizations. It is assumed that questions directly and indirectly connected to efficiency and effectiveness are central; and that knowledge of management is of greatest relevance (only) to managers'. In truth, global HRM is much less bi-polar than this suggests, while British IR research continues to play an influential role (see Ackers and

Wilkinson 2003). There are several reasons for this, all legacies in some way of Clegg's new intellectual dynamic.

First, IR has a powerful research tradition and HRM on the ground — in the journals, textbooks and lectures — is primarily an empirical and policy field. According to Edwards (2009), 'HRM and employment relations' was the third largest sub-panel of the 2008 British RAE, after economics and marketing: 'work broadly to do with unions and collective bargaining was the most common single group, though far from dominant overall', while, 'Partnership, not surprisingly, also received considerable attention'. Newer themes included globalization, agency work, and work-life balance, but: 'Analysis of performance outcomes in one way or another were less common than I might have expected'. In other words, a distinctive British IR/HRM tradition continues to thrive. Moreover, my own personal impressions of the Dutch HRM network, Australian and Indian HRM (see Ackers 2006), suggest that the British IR tradition of sceptical, empirical research that is sympathetic to labour, remains a significant international influence, alongside the powerful, more managerial US tradition and CMS.

Second, IR has an open, flexible theoretical outlook, which enables it to prosper in an interdisciplinary environment. One of several popular HRM texts written or edited by British academics with IR backgrounds, Redman and Wilkinson (2009) contains chapters from several traditions, in a pragmatic division of labour, with IR writers accentuating the collective and institutional, others the individual and the cultural. The important historical development, however, is that IR scholars no longer just write on trade unions and collective bargaining, but about topics as diverse as employee involvement and family friendly policies. Nor is IR research on HRM intellectually isolated from the approach of other, competing fields (see Watson 1998). British IR has an ambivalent relationship with post-modern, critical HRM, rooted in long traditions of empiricism, institutionalism, materialism and public policy relevance. Yet IR academics have bridged even this gap, most notably in Blyton and Turnbull's (1992) pioneering Cardiff collection, Reassessing Human Resource Management — which arose from the department where Michael Poole founded the International Journal of HRM. On the CMS side, the distinction drawn between 'managerialist' and 'critical' or 'dissensus-consensus' HRM perspectives, by Jacques (1999) and Keegan and Boselie (2006), owes much to Fox's IR frames of reference. The latter note the 'close historical links' (1507) between British IR and HRM compared with the USA, while recording the low incidence of 'dissensus' articles even in British HRM journals. Similar debates occur within British occupational psychology, and one leading figure, David Guest (1990), overlaps with the IR field, and wrote a critical early essay on American HRM.12

In sum, the Oxford-Warwick IR tradition, by opening to theoretical and empirical workplace sociology and management in the 1970s, and by colonizing substantial areas of HRM teaching and research within British business schools, has regenerated one important British strand of sceptical, empirical, social science (see Voskeritsian 2009: 194). While my primary

concern here is with what Clegg and his colleagues bequeathed to the development of the IR field, this new intellectual dynamic could only have succeeded by also influencing both the wider sociology of work and HRM. Without the Donovan turn to research on the workplace and management by Hugh Clegg and his fellow IR pluralists, without the radical sociological challenge from Alan Fox and Richard Hyman and Clegg's response, IR might well have been marginalized in the new British business schools, leaving an isolated and shrinking IR field to fade away. Clegg lost the public policy war, but his campaign has had a lasting, to some extent surprising, impact on the future of the social sciences in Britain and across the ever-expanding English-speaking world. Whether the next IR generation can sustain this legacy for another quarter century is another question.

Final version accepted on 27 April 2010. Acknowledgements

I would like to thank William Brown, Roderick Martin, Marek Korczynski, Patrick McGovern, Nina Fishman, Richard Whiting and two anonymous referees whose comments on various iterations have helped me to shape this final version.

1. See Voskeritsian (2009: 204) for this conceptualization and his chapter 7. This sophisticated recent attempt to define and chart the IR field (largely excluding HRM), calls for 'a more thorough examination of the newly established scientific communities and the links of their leaders with the establishment' (p. 66) and notes how IR 'is in a constant process of intellectual redefinition' (p. 162).

2. Hyman (Interview).

3. Primary Sources: (1) Interviews in 2004/5 with George Bain, William Brown, Stephen Clegg (son), Sarah and Eleanor Clegg (daughters), Peter Clegg (nephew) Richard Hyman, Roderick Martin, John Purcell (nephew), Keith Sisson, AF Thompson and David Winchester; numerous emails and brief conversations; Brian Harrison interviews in 1987/88 with George Bain, Hugh Clegg, Henry Phelps Brown, Alan Fox, Arthur Marsh and AF Thompson (Philip Waller); and Gordon Phillips, 'Hugh Clegg: Interviews with Historians', Institute of Historical Research, University of London, May 1988.

(2) Documents: Clegg unpublished autobiography; Obituaries; IRRU report, 'The First Ten Years, 1970-80', University of Warwick, February 1980. I use all this material for general background and only directly reference specific points or quotes. It is difficult to isolate Clegg's personal contribution — to ideas, research projects and institution building — in this collective middle phase of his academic life. Allan Flanders and George Bain shared 'leadership' roles with Clegg at Oxford and Warwick, respectively. This article centres on the writing and ideas; my future biography will concentrate on this human 'story' of people and institutions.

4. For the Oxford IR group, see Bugler (1968), Clegg (1990), Harrison (1991), McCarthy (1994) and Martin (1998); and Harrison interviews with Bain, Fox, Marsh and Thompson. For Clegg's life before Warwick, see Ackers (2007, 2009) and Ackers and Hartley (2008).

5. Quotes below are from Martin, email 01.04.08 and Fox interview, unless indicated. There was an interesting local geography to the early Oxford IR group and Flanders/sociology relationship. While Clegg was Fellow at Nuffield, Flanders, University Senior Lecturer without college position, was in Wellington Square, and used the Barnett House common room, where Fox and Woodward worked, close to Marsh at Extra Mural Studies, and not far from Ruskin, whose number attended IR seminars.

6. In 1979, Clegg retired and recommenced research on his history of British trade unions, after serving as Chairman of the Standing Commission on Pay Comparability (1979-1981). For some time, he worked with David Winchester (Interview) on a potential revision of the Changing System.

7. Hyman (1978) first observed a quite profound difference between the pluralism of Clegg and Flanders. Flanders was much more idealist in three senses: preferring theory to empiricism, stressing values over interests and holding a strong social democratic vision for IR reform, informed by active political involvement. The opposite applied to Clegg who abandoned idealism for sceptical empiricism when he left the Communist Party in 1947: see also Kelly (2010), Ackers (2007), and Bain, Fox, Hyman and Marsh interviews.

8. Hyman was the only IRRU figure who collaborated with the radical Warwick sociologists, though Robert Fryer moved to Sociology: email Tony Elger 03.09.08.

9. Bain (Interview).

10. Martin, email 01.04.08, Fox (Interview), Belanger, email 22.02.07. Gordon Phillips (email 26.07.05), recalls a 'non-directive' supervisory approach; as does Hyman (interview), another Nuffield DPhil, though he stresses this did not suite everyone. A 1970s Warwick researcher writes, 'As a collaborator/ supervisor, he did not "over-supervise". His practice seemed to be to offer a few minutes of guidance and leave people to it': Malcolm Rimmer, email 10.01.06. Other Warwick PhDs recall Clegg's personal support and the exciting intellectual atmosphere of the department: emails James Kelly, 23.08.05; Nick Kinnie, 15.03.09; and Clive Gilson, 30.09.07. The enigma of Clegg is that even his closest colleagues also found him personally very socially awkward (see Bain, Brown and Sisson interviews).

11. Sisson (Interview). For Marsh (Interview), Oxford IR research on the workplace and management began long before Flanders' (1964) conversion, while Fox (Interview) sees the turn to enlightened management as a product of disillusionment with 1950s hopes of reforming the trade unions.

12. See the debate in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 79:2, June 2: 183-225 in response to Kwiatkowski et al. 'What have we forgotten — and why', with contributions by Highhouse, Guest, Ackers and Kwiatkowski and Duncan.


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