A Field in Flux
Sixty Years of Industrial Relations
Foreword by Thomas A. Kochan
A Field in Flux chronicles the extraordinary journey of industrial and labor relations expert Robert McKersie. One of the most important industrial relations scholars and leaders of our time, McKersie pioneered the study of labor negotiations, helping to formulate the concepts of distributive and integrative bargaining that have served as analytical tools for understanding the bargaining process more generally.
The book provides a window into McKersie's life and work and its impact on the evolution of labor and industrial relations. Spanning six decades, the reader learns about the intersection of labor and the Civil Rights movement, the watershed moment of the Air Traffic Controller's Strike, his relationship with George Schultz, the shift from labor relations to human resource management, and McKersie's role in the seminal cases (Motorola, GM, Toyota) of the labor movement.
A Field in Flux serves two important functions: it demonstrates how people have influenced past employment policies and practices when called to action in critical situations, and it seeks to instill confidence in those who will be called on to address the big challenges facing the future of work today and in the years to come.
During a time when the basic values of industrial relations are being challenged and violated, McKersie argues that the profession must adapt to the changing world of work and not forget about the value placed on efficiency, equity, and inclusive employment policies and practices.