The IRI and its Swedish connection (International Industrial Relations Institute)

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The story of the International Industrial Relations Institute (IRI), its de facto leader Mary van Kleeck from the United States and its first chairman Kerstin Hesselgren from Sweden begins in 1925, when the IRI was established at a congress for welfare and personnel workers in Holland. At first the organization was focused on scientific management and industrial relations but during the Great Depression its activities began. revolving around economic planning. The story of the IRI thus reflects a shift in the approach to social engineering, from being a question of industrial relations to becoming a matter of economic planning. The present article also tries to answer the more precise question why some 20 Swedes first joined and then abandoned the organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-32
JournalAmerican Studies in Scandinavia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History


  • scientific management
  • social engineering
  • IRI
  • Mary van Kleeck
  • Kerstin Hesselgren
  • industrial relations
  • economic planning


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