Employment with a Human Face:
Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice

John W. Budd

Winner -- Richard A. Lester Prize
for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations
published in 2004

English Cover
ILR Press Imprint
Cornell University Press, 2004
Paperback, 2005
Chinese Cover
Chinese Translation
Peking University Press, 2007
Arabic Cover
Arabic Translation
Al-Ahlia, 2007
Turkish Cover
Turkish Translation
Kure Yayinlari, 2018

This book is about the objectives of the employment relationship and the alternatives for their achievement. The economic aspect of employment emphasizes competitiveness, productivity, and profitability (in other words, efficiency). But work is more than an economic transaction-it is a fully human activity with material and psychological rewards undertaken by human beings in a democratic society. As such, employees want and are entitled to fair treatment (equity) and opportunities to have input into decisions that affect them (voice). Further, achievement of economic prosperity, respect for human dignity, and equal appreciation for the competing human rights of property rights and labor rights require that efficiency, equity, and voice be balanced. Drawing on wide-ranging scholarship from industrial relations, economics, law, political theory, moral philosophy, human rights, theology, psychology, sociology, and history, I therefore develop a broad intellectual framework for analyzing employment institutions and practices: balancing the three core objectives of efficiency, equity, and voice. This framework is applied to analyzing important employment-related topics such as workplace governance, the New Deal industrial relations system, comparative industrial relations systems, labor union strategies, and globalization. In both research and practice, a narrow focus on efficiency should be widened to include a greater respect for human concerns for equity and voice in the employment relationship-thus creating "employment with a human face."

Click here for the marketing flyer
January 2004, 288 pages, 14 charts/graphs, 10 tables
Cloth ISBN 0-8014-4208-7
Paper ISBN 0-8014-7260-2
British Journal of Industrial Relations (June 2005)
Choice (September 2004)
Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal (Spring 2003)
Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal Symposium (June-September 2005)
Human Resource Management (Spring 2005)
Journal of Economic Issues (March 2005)
Journal of Industrial Relations (December 2004)
Lagos Organization Review (August - October 2005)
Perspectives on Work (Winter 2005)
Organizations, Occupations, and Work Newsletter (Fall 2004)
Relations Industrielles (Spring 2004)
Available at:
Barnes and Noble
Cornell University Press
Powell's Books



Chapter 1: The Objectives of the Employment Relationship

Chapter 2: The Balancing Imperative: Conflicting Human Rights

Chapter 3: Balancing Outcomes: The Environment and Human Agents

Chapter 4: Balancing Outcomes Revisited: The Ethics of the Employment Relationship

Chapter 5: The Balancing Alternatives: Workplace Governance

Chapter 6: The New Deal Industrial Relations System

Chapter 7: The Geometry of Comparative Industrial Relations

Chapter 8: Alternatives to Job Control Unionism

Chapter 9: Balancing the Global Workplace


Epilogue: The Late Middle Ages of Industrial Relations

"Employment with a Human Face will quickly be viewed as a classic statement of the first principles underlying the study and practice of modern human resources and industrial relations. John W. Budd's clear articulation of efficiency, equity, and voice as the objectives that underlie the field, accompanied by a strong ethical and real-world empirical analysis of the challenges we face in transforming our policies and practices, makes his book a required and refreshing reading for any serious student, scholar, or practitioner in the profession."
Thomas A. Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management

"John W. Budd has presented us with a magnificently researched and well-written analysis of industrial relations in our time, its history, and its current difficulties and confusions, along with some challenging insights concerning its future. His fundamental principle is that employment is not only an economic activity but also a fully human activity that requires 'fair treatment and opportunities to have input.' His analytic device is a simple triangle whose points are efficiency, equity, and voice. His subjects include every issue, particularly the difficult ones, in the world of human resources and industrial relations, such as possible futures for the labor movement, employee empowerment unionism, the conflict between labor rights and property rights, international comparisons, and the role of international labor standards. This is a must read for academics, practitioners, and anyone else interested in the field."
Lynn Williams, Past President, United Steelworkers of America


November 26, 2018
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