[Excerpt] Taken as a whole, The Evolution of the Modern Workplace can be seen as fulfilling two different, but equally important roles. The first is as a compendium of information and data on key aspects of workplace employment relations. One could imagine it serving as an excellent assigned reading for a graduate seminar on British employment relations as well as a useful reference guide and handbook for researchers in this area. At the same time, the contributions to the volume also combine to provide a picture of employment relations system change that should shape thinking in this field and inspire future research. The volume fills this second role in part because it captures the evolution of workplace employment relations during a period of major transformation of the system. Most notably from an industrial relations perspective, this era saw a major decline in union membership levels and in collective bargaining coverage. Attendant to this shift were a series of other, interconnected changes: the increased legalization of employment relations; the increasing influence of the EU on the UK; the decline of manufacturing and rise of private service sector employment; the rise of human resource management and high involvement work practices; and the growing influence of foreign ownership.
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