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Researching the Changing Workplace

[William Brown] and Paul Edwards, in W. Brown, A. Bryson, J. Forth and K. Whitfield, eds, The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), 1-22.

This chapter introduces a volume on change in the employment relationship in Britain since 1980, the book draws centrally on the five Workplace Employment Relations Surveys of 1980-2004. The chapter reviews the changing context of the workplace and outlines key changes in the characteristics of workplaces, notably the decline in manufacturing, a growth in foreign ownership, and tighter controls of workplaces by higher levels of organizations. In other respects, there has been less change than is often thought, for example, in the size of workplaces.