Adaptation, evolution and survival? The political economy of Whitleyism and public service industrial relations in the U.K. 1917–present
AbstractThe Whitley Reports, 1917, were seen by contemporaries as conservative: they reflected pre-existing voluntaristic approaches to the labour problem rather than a radical departure. Largely neglected by the well-established private sector, for whom they were intended, Whitley Councils were taken up by the newly emerging public service unions. The inter-war years demonstrated Whitleyism’s lack of clout. But, endorsed by governments during and after the Second World War, public sector Whitleyism came to embody the tenets of progressive public administration by providing nationally determined pay, career progression and a public service ethos. These hard-won union gains are under attack from neo-liberal reforms that attempt to model public service labour relations on the private sector. The paper examines the major weaknesses and strengths of the Whitley model for managing public service industrial relations through an analysis of a century of Whitleyism.
CitationGill-McLure, W. (2017) 'Adaptation, evolution and survival? The political economy of Whitleyism and public service industrial relations in the U.K 1917–present'. Labor History, 59 (1), pp. 15-37
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor and Francis in L:abor History on 26/10/2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/0023656X.2017.1375579 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
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