William McCarthy (Lord McCarthy of Headington), is a Fellow of Nuffield College and Templeton College, Oxford.
Of hats and cattle: or the limits of macro-survey research in industrial relations
Article first published online: 1 JUL 2007
Industrial Relations Journal
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 315–322, December 1994
How to Cite
McCarthy, W. (1994), Of hats and cattle: or the limits of macro-survey research in industrial relations. Industrial Relations Journal, 25: 315–322. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2338.1994.tb00715.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 1 JUL 2007
Attempts to use WIRS 3 data to assess the impact of HRM and specialist personnel management have produced implausible, inconclusive and contradictory results–demonstrating the severe limitations of the new macro-survey approach to industrial relations research. Yet macro-surveys threaten to become the dominant methodology. Imaginative insights, with practical implications, will not be achieved in this way. A major reorientation of research effort is needed before it is too late. Given its long tradition, of attempting to be both original and useful, British IR research deserves something better.