The Intellectual and Institutional Development of BUIRA: A 60 Years Retrospective

The foundation of BUIRA’s predecessor in 1950 signified an important turn in the academic life of Great Britain, as it set the proper bases for the development of the field of Industrial Relations in the country.

Although the study of industrial relations- related matters occupied the British literature since the 19th century, it was the establishment of BUIRA that gave the impetus for the further institutionalisation of the field.

However, BUIRA was not always perceived, either by its members or by the rest of the society, as a professional association actively representing a community of “Industrial Relations” scholars; the passage of BUIRA from an informal annual meeting, or “gentlemen’s club”, to a professional association occurred gradually.

In parallel to the evolution of BUIRA’s identity, its role also changed, from an association interested primarily in the promotion of its members’ interests to an association actively interfering in the public debate concerning the future of the field of Industrial Relations in Britain.

Operating, nowadays, in a rather hostile environment for the study of industrial relations, BUIRA seems to resist the degenerating trends in British academia, and to continue to be valued as an important institution for British Industrial Relations.

Dr. Horen Voskeritsian (April 2010)


Voskeritsian, H. (2010) The Intellectual and Institutional Development of BUIRA: a 60 Years Retrospective. BUIRA

The article is available in full here.

BUIRA Presidents and Officers 1950-2010

Year President Officers Host Institution
1950-1953 J.H. Richardson J.D.M. Bell; K.J.W. Alexander University of Leeds
1953-1956 H.S. Kirkaldy J.D.M. Bell; D.J. Robertson; H.R. Kahn University of Cambridge
1956-1959 E.H. Phelps-Brown D.J. Robertson; H.R. Kahn; N.S. Ross London School of Economics
1959-1962 A.D. Flanders N.S. Ross; J.P. Davison University of Oxford
1962-1965 D.J. Robertson J.P. Davison; G.L. Reid University of Glasgow
1965-1968 B.C. Roberts R.F. Banks; R.J. Loveridge London School of Economics
1968-1971 H.A. Turner L.J. Handy University of Cambridge
1971-1974 H.A. Clegg G.S. Bain University of Warwick
1974-1977 W.E.J. McCarthy J.W. Durcan University of Oxford
1977-1980 L.C. Hunter A.W.J. Thomson University of Glasgow
1980-1983 Dorothy Wedderburn Paul Willman Imperial College, London
1983-1986 J.F.B. Goodman J.R.K. Berridge University of Manchester
1986-1989 William Brown Colin Gill University of Cambridge
1989-1992 John Gennard C.J. Lockyer University of Strathclyde
1992-1995 Christine Edwards Edmund Heery Kingston University
1995-1998 John Purcell Nicholas Kinnie University of Oxford
1998-2001 Linda Dickens Stephen Bach; Caroline Lloyd University of Warwick
2001-2004 Roger Seifert Carole Thornley; Mike Ironside; Paul Smith; Steve French Keele University
2004-2007 Stephanie Tailby Hazel Conley; Andy Danford; Martin Upchurch University of the West of England
2007-2010 Rosemary Lucas Paul Brook; Hamish Mathieson; Carol Atkinson Manchester Metropolitan University
2010-2013 Paul Stewart Kirsty Newsome; Ian Cunningham; Kay Gilbert University of Strathclyde
2013-2016 Mark Stuart Jane Holgate; Christopher Forde; Ian Greenwood; Robert MacKenzie University of Leeds
2016-2019 Jo McBride Ana Lopes; Stewart Johnstone; Michael Brookes; Stephen Procter Newcastle University
2019-2022 Tony Dobbins Andy Hodder; Alex Wood; Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme; David Bailey; Paul Lewis University of Birmingham
2022-2023 Peter Turnbull Tonia Novitz; Alex Wood; Jennifer Johns; Huw Thomas; Giorgos Gouzoulis; Harry Pitts; Manoj Dias-Abey; Kavya Bharadkar University of Bristol