MIT Sloan Management Institute for Work & Employment Research

The interdisciplinary IWER doctoral program

Devoted to issues related to work, labor, and employment relations, as well as human resource management, labor market issues, and related public policies. Learn more.


IWER Seminar Series

Each Tuesday, IWER hosts one of the longest-running seminar series at MIT. It brings together faculty and students from across the Institute and the wider community to discuss research in progress on contemporary work and employment issues. Learn More.

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Work, the workforce, and the economy are interdependent and rapidly changing. But the institutions and policies governing work still map to the industrial economy of the past. At the Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER), faculty from MIT Sloan and other departments across the Institute are educating a new generation of researchers to reinvent the ways we work. The mission: address the needs and realities of 21st-century workers and the organizations that employ them.

IWER is a highly collaborative hub for the study of work and employment. The PhD program and weekly seminars attract researchers from around the world who want to learn about—and contribute to—the evolution of processes, policies, and procedures at the frontier of work.


Walton and McKersie 50th Anniversary:  Another Tribute

Jesse Jackson

On Thursday March 5 a large and diverse set of negotiations experts gathered at the Harvard Program on Negotiations for a symposium honoring the 50th anniversary of Richard Walton and Robert McKersie’s  A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations. This session followed up on the workshop held at the LERA meetings in January (click here to read more about the celebration at LERA).

Nothing better symbolized the continuing relevance of their work than a “surprise” video comment provided by Reverend Jesse Jackson who reflected on Bob’s work with him in Chicago in the 1960s and on the relevance of their work to the on-going struggles for racial justice. Click on the video below to hear his comments.

Over the course of the day, researchers and teachers from fields as diverse as law, political science, psychology, urban studies, economics, and industrial relations commented on the impact this landmark book continues to have on research, teaching and practice. As Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, one of the organizers of the event noted, everyone took great delight in negotiating over what part of the theory was most important and what part still needed work!  In the end participants heartily agreed that the Behavioral Theory is one of the most important texts in industrial relations and likely the most important contribution by industrial relations to social science more broadly.

What a wonderful tribute.  Congratulations to Bob and Dick, again!



speakupforworkThis is a project to encourage ourselves, and you, to speak up about your job, your career, and your life… Listen to what young workers today are saying. Agree. Disagree. Comment. Let’s have an open and honest conversation about this, and maybe together we can bring American values of fairness, respect and opportunity to bear in shaping the future of work.

Join us. Speak Up For Work.

Speak Up for Work is an initiative to encourage people to speak up about work—so individually and together we can bring American values of fairness, respect, and human decency to bear in shaping the future of work for the next generation.