The term industrial relation refers to industry and relations. Industrial relations deal with the relationship between labour and management and their organisation.  The concept is very much broad and it is not only limited to the relationship between management and employees but also covers aspects like empowerment of the work, collective bargaining, conflict resolution etc.


Dale Yoden defines industrial relations as a designation of the whole field of relationships that exists because of the necessary collaboration of men and women in the employment process of the industry.

According to Dale Young, Industrial Relation is the relationship between labour and management and their organisation which is based on mutual adjustment of interests and goals.

According to R.A. Lester, Industrial relations involve attempts at workable solutions between conflicting objectives and values between incentive and industrial democracy between authority and freedom between bargaining and co-operation.

 The term industrial relation may be conceptualised as relations between labour and management, as a result of their composite attitude for the betterment and industry and nation as a whole.


Industrial relation has their root in the industrial revolution. It created modern employment relationships by spawning a free labour market and large scale industrial organisations with thousands of wage workers.  There was a massive economic and social change that led to labour problems. Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work and abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes and the threat of social instability. All these factors will lead to the establishment of industrial relations.

The concept was first introduced in the book of ‘Sidney and Beatrico’ namely Industrial democracy in 1897.

In India, the evolution of industrial Relations developed a long time ago. The caste system greatly influenced the ancient industries and their development. Due to successive foreign invasions in India, the living condition of slaves and artisans could not be differentiated.

The autocratic regimes of Muslim rulers worsened the conditions of employees. Under British rule also, the working conditions of workers were harsh with low pay and tough working conditions. This gave rise to various disputes between management and employees.

During the 1st World War, the workmen’s compensation Act, 1923,  the trade union act, 1926, trade dispute act, 1917 were enforced.

After the 2nd World War in 1994, Philadelphia Charter was adopted this stated that labour is not a commodity but a resource.

Objectives and Significance

The primary objective is to bring about good and healthy relations between the two partners in industry labour and management. The labour management committee of Asian Regional Conference of Industrial Labour Organisation has highlighted the following objective of Industrial relations:

  • To safeguard the interest of labour as well as of management.
  • To avoid the conflicts and develop harmonious relations.
  • To establish and maintain industrial democracy based on labour partnership.
  • To bring down strikes and lockouts by providing better wages and working conditions.
  • To ensure that state bridges the gap between unbalanced disordered and maladjusted social order.

The most important benefit of industrial relations is the continuity of production and there is continuous employment for all. Lack of industrial disputes will result in an atmosphere of industrial peace which promotes co-operation and increases production. Good industrial relations encourage the employees to work with more enthusiasm as it ensures that they are secure economically and are taken care of.  Industrial relations promote new programmes for labours such as training facilities, labour increases the efficiency of workers which results in higher and better production at lower costs. Industrial relation also serves for the protection of national interest by ensuring a harmonious relationship between management and labour and thus efficient production.  


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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