The Changing Nature of the Workforce and the Workplace

Deadline extended to February 17, 2017

Canadian Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference
May 31 – June 1, 2017
Ryerson University, Toronto

The 54th annual CIRA conference is being hosted in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our goal is to bring together scholars, students, policy-makers and labour relations practitioners from across the globe on issues of work and employment relations.

The theme for this year is: The Changing Nature of the Workforce and the Workplace. The world of work has evolved dramatically over the last several decades. Internationalization, trade liberalization and technological change have dramatically altered patterns of production and organizational structure. Concurrently there have been various shifts in the organization of work and employment, including growth in both organizational “fissuring” and various forms of so-called “non-standard” employment relations and the increasing prevalence of work/employment precarity.  Deregulation and privatization, changing cultural values, and various forms of public policy may also influence these dynamics.  Changes in the nature of work have stimulated strong reactions among varioussocial actors.  Negative implications for workers and society have been critically highlighted.  Unions are actively attempting to renew themselves within this new environment.  New social actors may also be coming to the forefront in fostering workers’ rights.    We support the continued scholarly exploration of these developments from a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. What are the factors that are driving these changes?  What are their consequences? How are social actors responding and adapting to these changes?  What are the relationships between these developments and existing labour/employment policy, and what are the implications for policy reform? The 2017 CIRA-ACRI conference will seek to explore these questions, drawing from a gamut of analytical perspectives and methodological approaches concerning the world of work.

As in other years, CIRA also welcomes proposals that address other themes and issues related to the broad and interdisciplinary field of work, employment, labour studies, human resources and industrial relations. We consider our annual event as a setting in which researchers, practitioners and public policy-makers exchange on all issues related to work and employment and want it to be a venue for the best contemporary research.

Paper proposals should be submitted in the form of an abstract (maximum 300 words).  Please also include all the authors and their respective affiliations and email addresses. A full paper is not required.

Submissions for a panel or symposium around a specified theme with multiple speakers should contain a brief description of the topic (maximum 300 words), a list of speakers with their respective affiliations and email addresses, and a brief description of each speaker’s contribution to the panel (maximum 100 words for each speaker).

Submissions may be in English or French and are subject to a blind peer-review.  The deadline to submit a proposal is January 15, 2017. All proposals should be submitted through the abstract submission form on the CIRA conference website:

Simultaneous English/French translation service will be provided for the plenary session and some break-out sessions.  

Students wishing to apply to the Allen Ponak Best Student Paper Award should submit an abstract as part of this call, and indicate that they intend to submit a full paper to the competition. Both French and English student papers are welcome. Details and deadlines for full paper submissions will be made available on the conference website at

Doctoral Student Consortium is also being organized and will be held on May 30th, the afternoon before the first day of the conference.

The 2017 CIRA conference will take place within the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University in Toronto. Scholars will thus also have the opportunity to present papers in cognate associations ( CIRA will hold a joint session with the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies (CAWLS).

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