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Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU)

Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU)

About IRRU

The Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) is one of the major centres for the study of industrial relations in Europe.Established in 1970, our Advisory Committee includes Members of Parliament, senior HR practitioners, and senior officials at the TUC and Acas.


  • Understand industrial relations, employment and human resource management through interdisciplinary research
  • Use high-quality data analysis to inform policy-making among public administrators, employers and trade unions
  • Influence academic and policy debate on national and international stage
  • Contribute to research-led industrial relations, employment and human resource management teaching within WBS


Employment relations strategy

  • the implications of managerial and employee representatives’ strategies for organisational performance and equality
  • how environmental, institutional and governance factors shape organisations’ employment relations.

Equality & diversityLink opens in a new window

  • issues around pay inequalities, age, organisational leadership, work-life balance
  • how typically-disadvantaged groups are affected by different organisational approaches to equality

Globalisation and work

  • employment relations in the EU and the multi-level governance of employment in a global context
  • international and HMRC practices
  • the setting of global labour standards within international, national and local contexts
IRRU Co-Directors Manuela Galetto and Deborah Dean with Umar Boodoo

The IRRU Team

Dr Manuela Galetto (left) and Dr Deborah Dean (right) are IRRU's first Co-Directors and Dr Umar Boodoo, Seminar Series Co-ordinator (bottom right).

We are the latest in a long line of Directors of the Industrial Relations Research Unit and proud to be the first to share the role since the Unit’s inception in 1970. While the world of work seems to both change and remain the same, the excitingly varied work of our members and associate fellows continues IRRU’s distinguished tradition of rigour and relevance. Investigate, Research, Report, Understand.

Recent media coverage

For the last year of widespread industrial action across the UK, Dr Manuela Galetto and Dr Deborah Dean have provided regular media commentary on this current wave, along with analysis of the government's proposed new legislation for 'minimum service levels' during strikes.

Our Impact

Over five decades of empirical research and theoretical reflection on the ever-changing world of work, IRRU has been in the vanguard of emergent debates in the fields of industrial relations, employment, and human resource management.

IRRU has also made a central and substantive contribution to WBS’s mission to work in partnership with policy and practice to catalyse the impact of its work.

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Prior to Brexit, IRRU, in collaboration with Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research, was the UK national centre for the EU observatory, EurWORK, looking at industrial relations, working conditions and restructuring, supplying features and reports on national development, and thematic comparative analysis.

Images of Coventry by Mark Pemberton Photography

(Twitter: @MarkPem28587357, Instagram: @pemberton_mark and website: