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tell the history of the industrial relation officer
Industrial relations has its roots in the industrial revolution which created the modern employment relationship by spawning free labor markets and large-scale industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers. As society wrestled with these massive economic and social changes, labor problems arose. Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes, and the threat of social instability. Intellectually, industrial relations was formed at the end of the 19th century as a middle ground between classical economics and Marxism, with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb’s Industrial Democracy (1897) being the key intellectual work. Industrial relations thus rejected the classical econ.

Institutionally, industrial relations was founded by John R. Commons when he created the first academic industrial relations program at the University of Wisconsin in 1920. Early financial support for the field came from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who supported progressive labor-management relations in the aftermath of the bloody strike at a Rockefeller-owned coal mine in Colorado. In Britain, another progressive industrialist, Montague Burton, endowed chairs in industrial relations at Leeds, Cardiff and Cambridge in 1930, and the discipline was formalized in the 1950s with the formation of the Oxford School by Allan Flanders and Hugh Clegg.

Industrial relations was formed with a strong problem-solving orientation that rejected both the classical economists’ laissez faire solutions to labor problems and the Marxist solution of class revolution. It is this approach that underlies the New Deal legislation in the United States, such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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