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Previous Special Issues

The issues you see below are only a sample of the most recent publications, from all the thematic volumes published by the journal during its long history.

You can always click here to find all previous issues of Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations.



Répertoire des numéros thématiques précédemment publiés

Volume 77-3 : Éprouver la dualité des technologies digitales en croisant les regards disciplinaires / Cross-disciplinary perspectives on the duality of digital technologies

Eight articles from different disciplines (work psychology, ergonomics, sociology of work, labour economics and management sciences) provide theoretical, methodological and empirical insights in their examination of the duality of technologies.

Four particular angles are evident in this special issue when examining these issues:

  1. Analysis of the uses and consequences of technologies on the conditions under which activity is carried out, the quality of working life and more generally health at work.

  2. Analysis of new forms and modalities of activity and new models of work organisation, which are allowed, favored, constrained or even amplified by the use of technologies.

  3. The way in which the development of these technologies transforms employment and skills, access to them as well as training conditions as well as effects the career paths of employees.

  4. Critical analysis of methods and approaches aimed at accompanying and supporting digital transformations.


Click here to read the full issue.

Volume 75-4 : Régulation du travail et de l’emploi à l’ère numérique/Digitalization and Regulation of Work and Employment

This thematic issue places much emphasis on the disruptive impact of digitalization on the regulation of work and employment. As noted, traditional forms of institutional regulation appear to be out of sync with the reality of the contemporary labour market. Degryse takes a step forward by arguing that the platform economy is actually undermining the foundations of the social model of work and employment that came into being over the last century. This line of thinking is consistent with the Coiquaud and Morissette study of the taxi cab industry in Quebec. Such developments also create space for different kinds of experimentation and exert pressure on collective actors to create new norms, rules and cognitive frames.

Power relations affect the process and outcome of experimentation. In some cases, experimentation is dominated by companies and/or the state and yields negative outcomes for workers (e.g., Coiquaud and Morissette; Gautié, Jaehrling and Perez). Elsewhere, the results are less clear-cut and yield both positive and negative outcomes. A distinctive feature of such cases is the active role of labour and trade unions in reinventing their identities, repertoires of action, networks and organizational and sectoral governance structures. In some cases, the experimentation has involved recasting and extending the traditional repertoire of action to increase the capacity to act of trade unions (Stroud, Timperley and Weinel; Rutherford and Frangi; Gasparri and Tassinari). In other cases, the experimentation has involved a more radical change to trade union identities, networks and repertoires of action; for example, the cases described by Degryse and the OUR Walmart campaign studied by Hocquelet. The latter study demonstrates how an independent association, initially promoted as part of a union campaign, developed an out-of-the-box repertoire of action and was able, via the utilization of digital technology, to reinforce worker identity and solidarity. The lessons are striking.

Volume 73-1 : Pour une approche renouvelée de la gestion des ressources humaines (GRH) / A Renewed Approach to Human Resource Management (HRM)

In the same vein as current critical debates, the call for papers for this special issue aimed at renewing approaches to HRM by taking a more human approach to management (Taskin and Dietrich, 2016). In this issue, we wish to challenge the influences of organizational behaviour approaches and the instrumentalization of HRM. The perspective adopted focuses not only upon the critical analysis of current HRM practices, but also upon experiments relating to alternative approaches. Indeed, critical discourse must be supported by empirical studies that are anchored in the ‘field’, in the reality of work, close to the workers (including managers and senior leadership), and that realize not only the effects produced by traditional HRM (loss of meaning, dilution of the collective, distancing…), but also collective and individual strategies that are implemented in an attempt to reconstruct meaning and workplace communities. These studies should also focus on innovations aimed at a more pluralist HRM. That is, an HRM that directs its efforts towards the regulation of the employment relationship from an institutional complementarity perspective (state, union, business, community, etc.).

Clck here to read the full issue.

Volume 72-3 : Les nouvelles frontières de la relation d’emploi / New Frontiers of the Employment Relationship

In this issue we will explore these ‘new’ employment relationship boundaries. In response to criticism of research trends that focus too narrowly on so-called atypical jobs, which mask the fact that labour transformations ‘destabilize stables’ (Castel, 2009) or extend precariousness and risk to typical jobs (Vosko, 2007), it is necessary to study the characteristics associated with diversity in the employment relationship or, in other words, the effects stemming from the cohabitation of workers having different statuses and/or employers or parties giving the order in concrete work situations. Indeed, if solidarities arise in workplaces based on a common condition and a shared subordination (Castel, 2003), the coexistence of identical positions that have distinct employment statuses in the same work space clearly raises the question of the conditions for the emergence of these solidarities at work. Under the threat of unemployment and the precariousness of jobs, employees are driven to play a game of ‘competition between equals’, which contributes to the weakening of intra-categorical homogeneities. We see that it is a question of collective representation and class solidarity on the one hand, but on the other, and particularly in America, it is also about access to social protection.

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Volume 72-1 : Symposium : Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) / Symposium : santé et sécurité au travail (SST)

This special issue of Relations industrielles / Industrial Relations presents articles based on original research on fundamental changes to work and work arrangements that undermine workers’ health and safety, exacerbate health inequalities and pose major challenges to those who want to resist a 'race to the bottom' in working conditions and imagine and promote regulatory reforms to better protect workers and their health. The papers in this special issue not only make a contribution to knowledge about work intensification and employment precariousness and their impact on health and safety, but also shed light on further challenges presented by the current globalized work environment: the association of precariousness with international, regional and local employment-related mobility, both in developed and developing countries; the commuting difficulties faced by some workers in precarious employment; the non-standard work schedules resulting from work intensification pressures and the consequential health and work family balance difficulties; and the dilution of responsibility for health and safety and for workers’ compensation in international supply chains. One paper illustrates an old but still pervasive challenge: the production of a 'paradigm of doubt' which uses and even produces scientific uncertainty to obscure the effects of hazards to workers’ health, thus delaying the prevention and compensation of their negative effects on health

Cliquez here to read the full issue.