Chapter 10 in Wilkinson, A., Dundon, T., Donaghey, J., Colvin, AJ.S., (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Employment Relations pp 138-150
Building on previous work that has examined the use of research methods in industrial relations/employment relations (IR/ER), particularly Whitfield and Strauss (2000), this chapter updates its empirical work and re-examines its key postulates. IR/ER research continues to show a wide range of research methods and approaches. It is highly empirical, with a large proportion of papers published in its leading journals involving data collected by the author(s), and there is still a significant level of research that has a policy orientation. A significant number of case studies are undertaken by IR/ER researchers, but perhaps not as many as is generally thought. There is little evidence of the development of multi-method research, despite a recognition that such an approach could be beneficial for the development of the field. Instead, authors tend to stick to their own preferred approach. This might change as researchers in the field take a greater interest in epistemological/ontological issues, especially as this is leading to a greater interest in critical realism.