SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge
Prof Ralph Darlington
Prof Ralph Darlington
postal addressSalford Business School, Room 313b, Maxwell Building, University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT.
Key Memberships
From January 2001 to September 2010.
Full Member of Research Centre: Business and Management Research Centre
From September 2015 to present.
Full Member of Research Centre: Organisational Behaviour & Leadership
From September 2009 to August 2015.
Member of College: College of Business & Law
From October 2012 to August 2015.
Profile Summary

Ralph's research is concerned with the dynamics of trade union organisation, activity and consciousness in Britain and internationally within both contemporary and historical settings.

Contemporary studies have been conduced into different sectors of manufacturing industry, Royal Mail, Fire Service, Manchester Airport, London Underground, the railways and McDonalds fast food restaurants, amongst others. Historical studies have been conducted into various aspects of the international labour movement, including the British First World War Shop Stewards Movement, the labour militancy of the early 1970s, and the international revolutionary syndicalist movement during the first quarter of the 20th century. 

Both sets of research have been concerned with the changing nature of trade unionism, the relationship between union members and full-time union officers, and the interplay between workplace militancy, union leadership and socialist politics and organisation.

Ralph has authored, co-authored and edited six books, including The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (1994), The Political Trajectory of J.T. Murphy (1998), Glorious Summer (2001), Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism: An International Comparative Analysis (2008), What's the Point of Industrial Relations?: In Defence of Critical Social Science (2009), and Radical Unionism (2013). In addition Ralph has published numerous articles in both British and international journals (including the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Industrial Relations Journal, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Work, Employment and Society, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations, Employee Relations, Capital and Class, Labor History, and Revue Belge De Philologie Et D'Histoire).

Ralph's research findings have been presented at many different conferences in Britain and elsewhere (including the British Universities' Industrial Relations Association Conference, Work, Employment and Society Conference, Society for the Study of Labour History Conference, International Employment Relations Association Congress, International Labour Process Conference, International Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest, European Social Science History Conference, Swedish Labour Movement Conference, Canadian Industrial Relations Association Conference, and North American Labor History Conference).

Ralph is an editorial board member of the 4* ranked journal Work, Employment and Society and an editorial advisory member of the journal Employee Relations. He has recently acted as guest editor for a special issue of the journal Socialist History (2010), and co-editor of special issues of Capital and Class (2012) and Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (2012). He is editing a special issue of Employee Relations examining the changing nature of employment relations over the last 50 years which will appear in 2015.

He is an executive member of the main professional body in his field, the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), and member of the executive board of the International Association on Social Conflict and Strikes. He has received a number of research grants from the Economic and Social Research Council, British Academy, Lipman-Milliband Trust and Sainsbury Trust,

For the last 23 years Ralph has been secretary of the Manchester Industrial Relations Society (,  the primary forum for academic and practitioner debates in the field of industrial relations in the north-west of England. He organsed a 50th anniversary one-day national conference in November 2014.

In addition to acting in an advioy capacity for anumber of trade unions, his research has been featured in national and local newspapers and on radio and television.

Key Qualifications
Key Projects
The Scope and Limits of Radical Political Unionism in Europe
British Academy, £9,672.00.
Principal Investigator: R Darlington (100%).
Union Militancy and Left Wing Agitation
British Academy, £5,640.00.
Investigator: R Darlington (100%).
Key Publications
Authored Books
Refereed Journal Articles
Book Sections
Edited Books
Encyclopedia Entries
Guest Editorships of Journals
Magazine Articles
Papers in Published Conference Proceedings
Reports for External Bodies
Key Presence
Conference Organisation

Chief co-ordinatior of one-day special British Universities Industrial Relations Association conference


Manchester Organising Committee member


Chief co-ordinator of special one-day Manchester Industrial Relations Society conference


Chief co-ordinator of special one-day Manchester Industrial Relations Society conference

Consultancy Roles

Manchester Industrial Relations Society:



Journal Editorship

The Changing Face of Employment Relations Over the Last 50 Years


Co-editor of special issue on the 1910-14 'Labour Unrest'


Member of the editorial board of 4* ranked journal Work, Employment and Society


Co-editor of special issue on the work of Richard Hyman


Editor of special issue on revolutionary unionism

Other Research Activity

British Journal of Industrial Relations, Industrial Relations Journal, Work, Employment and Society, Employee Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations, Labor History, Internationa... more >>.