The Changing Nature of Employee and Labor-Management Relationships

Thomas A. Kochan, Christine A. Riordan, Alexander M. Kowalski, Mahreen Khan, Duanyi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article reviews work and employment research, paying particular attention to theory and applications by scholars in organizational psychology and organizational behavior (OP/OB) and employment or industrial relations (ER), with the objective of better understanding employee and labor-management relationships. Our animating premise is that juxtaposing these two research traditions provides a stronger basis for analyzing these relationships today. OP/OB offer micro-and meso-level focuses, whereas ER focuses on organizations, collective actors, and labor markets, with an emphasis on historical context. We hope this review motivates efforts to think about and build new social and psychological contracts that are attuned to the evolving dynamics present in the economy, workforce, and society. To this end, we look to the future and propose ways of deepening, broadening, and accelerating the pace of research that might lead to useful changes in practices, institutions, and public policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-219
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 21 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • changing nature of work
  • Employee relationships
  • labor-management relationships
  • psychological contract
  • social contract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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