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A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Employment Relations

A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Employment Relations

First Edition
  • Tony Dundon - University of Limerick
  • Niall Cullinane - Queen's University Management School, Queen's University Belfast
  • Adrian Wilkinson - Griffith University, Australia & University of Sheffield, UK, Griffith University and Visiting Professor at University of Sheffield

March 2017 | 168 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In Employment Relations the authors translate years of experience, with the help of interesting vignettes, real life examples and connections with popular culture, into a critical understanding of the topic that brings the field to life.

Conceived by Chris Grey as an antidote to conventional textbooks, each book in the ‘Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap’ series takes a core area of the curriculum and turns it on its head by providing a critical and sophisticated overview of the key issues and debates in an informal, conversational and often humorous way.

An excellent supplementary text for Employment Relations and HRM students or anyone interested in a short, succinct book on the subject of Employment Relations.

Chapter 1: Introducing Employment Relations
Chapter 2: A Very Short History on Employment Relations and Its Perspectives
Chapter 3: Casinos, Crises and Cutbacks: the Context for Employment Relations
Chapter 4: Who’s Who in Employment Relations?
Chapter 5: Collaboration and Consent: Cooperation at Work
Chapter 6: Strikes and Strife: Conflict at Work
Chapter 7: Having a Say: Earnings and Working Time
Chapter 8: Some Concluding Thoughts: ER Education, Immiseration and Automation

An accessible introduction to the interdisciplinary field of employment relations that also sheds light on broader social and economic dilemmas we face.  The authors are provocative - hitting the important tensions and contradictions facing working people today - with rich anecdotes from popular media and culture that bring the underlying academic research to life. 

Rosemary Batt
Alice Hanson Cook Professor of Women and Work, ILR School, Cornell University, USA

This book provides an elegant, insightful and concise introduction to the field of Employment Relations. It is essential reading for anyone entering the field as a student and is an equally essential aid for anyone teaching in the subject area.

Edmund Heery
Professor of Employment Relations, Cardiff Business School, UK

So, is the book ‘fairly interesting’? Definitely. It is a delight to read a work that explains employment relations in an accessible and educative way while demonstrating the importance of the topic and its fundamentally conflictual nature. The book serves as an excellent introduction to employment relations for students, but will hopefully also inspire professors and lecturers to take new and interesting approaches to teaching the topic. It certainly inspired this reviewer.

Stan De Spiegelaere
British Journal of Industrial Relations

This is an essential introduction to the field of employment relations. Highly accessible and engaging, the key dynamics of employment relations are charmingly unpacked with quirky illustrations and cultural reference points. It is no arid textbook, but it packs a powerful punch that locates contemporary employment relations within a wider societal, political and economic context and the rising levels of inequality that need to be challenged.

Mark Stuart
Montague Burton Professor of Employment Relations, University of Leeds, UK

I really did enjoy and chuckle reading this. And boy did it take me back! Without wishing to sound too irreverent I can only conclude: Despite having rubbish jokes and a terrible taste in music, the authors have written a book that makes ER genuinely interesting.

Dr Peter Dwyer
Tutor in Economics, Ruskin College Oxford, UK

This book is short and reasonably cheap but also intensely interesting, informative and entertaining! The authors convincingly demonstrate that employment relations are important not only for anyone in today’s workforce but also for how social wealth and income are distributed throughout society. It should be on every business school’s reading list.

Russell Lansbury
Emeritus Professor, Sydney University Business School, Australia

Dundon, Cullinane & Wilkinson's A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Employment Relations may indeed be short and quirky. More importantly however it is substantial in content, balanced in approach and characterised by an engaging contemporary orientation, addressing as it does precarious work, low/zero hours contracts and the impact of technology and robotics on work and working lives. It also provides a critical and informed analysis of the impact of globalisation and financialisation. I have no doubt that students will like it. Who couldn't like an ER text that uses "Johnny Rotten's sneer" to illustrate the growth of radicalism in the 1970s?

Dr Patrick Gunnigle
Professor of Business Studies, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland