Originally Posted: November 24, 2003
The Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA) is considering a name change to reflect its broader interests in research, practice, theory, and public policy in the fields of labor, employment, and the workplace. The new name being considered is the Labor and Employment Relations Association.
While the idea of a name change had been debated for years, it wasn't until June 2003 that the Executive Board formally discussed and agreed upon the new name. But before the change can become final, comments from members will be solicited up to December 19, 2003. Local chapters of the IRRA have also been asked to consider the name change at their fall 2003 meetings and send their views to the national office. All of these comments will then be discussed at the organization's Executive Board meeting and General Membership meeting to be held in San Diego in January 2004. Finally, in spring 2004, the proposal for the name change will be submitted to the membership in a mail vote.
A key event leading up to the change was a decision by past president John Burton, Jr., to appoint a Special Strategic Membership Committee to consider how the IRRA could expand its membership. In the course of this task, the range of the organization's activities was reviewed, and the option of a name change considered in light of trade-offs that could affect recruitment. Ultimately, the term "industrial relations " was considered to have evolved into too narrow a focus. The current IRRA constitution provided a basis for a name change by specifying the group's purposes to include "the encouragement of research in all aspects of the field of labor, employment, and the workplace."1
1 "Board Considering Changing IRRA Name to Labor and Employment Relations Association," on the Internet at http://www.irra.uiuc.edu/Pubs/newsletters/2003%20IRRA%20NL/NameChangeProposal090803.htm, visited September 29, 2003.