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Celebrating 70 years of Human Relations

Can, and should, social science contribute to better quality jobs? A 70-year retrospect and prospect


As part of our 70th Anniversary celebrations, Human Relations ran a workshop addressing the contribution of research to practice. The event was designed to be an engaged conversation among experts—scholars of work and employment, policy makers in employers’ organizations and trade unions, public officials, and researchers in research institutes with an interest in work and the labour market. It was intended as an active conversation with some short invited presentations, together with the opportunity for other participants to offer specific reflections from their own experience.


Written presentations from the event, revised as appropriate in light of the discussion, can be viewed here.

Reflections on the history of Human Relations


Human Relations is one of the oldest social science journals. It was established in 1947, ahead of journals such as the British Journal of Sociology (1950), and long before other leading management journals such as those published by the Academy of Management (the Journal, 1958, and the Review, 1976) and journals of work, organization and employment (e.g. Organization Studies, 1980 and Work, Employment and Society, 1987).

For the 70th anniversary of the journal's foundation, Professor Paul Edwards, FBA, looks back over its development and contents and offers a series of reflections.


Human Relations: The first 10 years, 1947–1956
Human Relations, 1957–1966
Human Relations, 1967–1986
Human Relations, 1987–1996 and beyond

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Human Relations welcomes critical reviews and essays:

Critical reviews advance a field through new theory, new methods, a novel synthesis of extant evidence, or a combination of two or three of these elements. Reviews that identify new research questions and that make links between management and organizations and the wider social sciences are particularly welcome. Surveys or overviews of a field are unlikely to meet these criteria.

Critical essays address contemporary scholarly issues and debates within the journal's scope. They are more controversial than conventional papers or reviews, and can be shorter. They argue a point of view, but must meet standards of academic rigour. Anyone with an idea for a critical essay is particularly encouraged to discuss it at an early stage with the Editor-in-Chief.


Why publish in Human Relations?

Human Relations is included in the FT50 journals list used by the Financial Times in compiling the FT Research rank, included in the Global MBA, EMBA and Online MBA rankings. Human Relations is an A* journal – the highest category of quality – in the Australian Business Deans Council (ABCD) Journal Quality List 2013. It is also ranked 4 in the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Academic Journal Guide 2015. With an impact factor of 2.622, it is ranked as one of the top 5 journals in social and interdisciplinary sciences (Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® Thomson Reuters, 2017).

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