“When the IRC board asked me to develop my memoir, it was both to memorialize the long history of my association with IRC and ORC and to preserve another aspect of the operating history of these two unique organizations. I undertake this task with humility and excitement, for IRC and ORC were both organizations that have contributed a great deal over the years to support and advance the development of a sophisticated function to help workers and managers join together to make contributions to the economies of their companies and the countries where we have worked.”

Richard A. Beaumont
2017


  • 1 – The Birth of Employee Relations (and the Beginnings of HR)

    1 – The Birth of Employee Relations (and the Beginnings of HR)

    It may be a surprise to some people that John D. Rockefeller Jr. was a champion of what we now know as the broad field of human resources. But Rockefeller was so much more than a petroleum industry heir or even an engaged philanthropist.

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  • 2 – The Champion of Work Relations

    2 – The Champion of Work Relations

    Among Rockefeller’s many actions was the establishment in 1926 of Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc.—renamed Innovation Resource Center for Human Resources (IRC4HR) in 2015 —as a nonprofit research and educational organization to “advance the knowledge and practice of human relations” in the workplace.

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  • 3 – Appreciating Diversity, Experiencing Inclusion

    3 – Appreciating Diversity, Experiencing Inclusion

    In my school years in New York City during the early 1930s, I was exposed to schoolmates from almost every background imaginable. My friends were from diverse religious beliefs, national backgrounds, race, and economic circumstances.

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  • 4 – Life: A Mix of Serendipity, Opportunity, and Choice

    4 – Life: A Mix of Serendipity, Opportunity, and Choice

    I was drafted into the Army shortly after my 18th birthday and, because of my interest and background in chemistry, the Army decided that Medical Corps basic training was a good fit with my interests. I was sent to Camp Grant, Illinois, and soon discovered that Medical Corps basic training was not for me.

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  • 5 – An Ongoing Interest in Recognizing and Bridging Difference

    5 – An Ongoing Interest in Recognizing and Bridging Difference

    I knew that at the end of my military service, I would need to find ways to learn to understand our world better than I did, and that my earlier focus on science was not the path to understanding.

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  • 6 – In Search of a Framework for Understanding People and Organizations

    6 – In Search of a Framework for Understanding People and Organizations

    I will never forget the lesson taught by the one-question final exam for one of my philosophy classes.

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  • 7 – A Job: Defining the Core Element of Work and Organizations

    7 – A Job: Defining the Core Element of Work and Organizations

    I entered law school after college, and a friend from law school invited me to join him in his native Hawaii to work on a consulting project to assist the Territorial Government of Hawaii make the transition to statehood.

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  • 8 – A Major Project Leads to a Life-Changing Opportunity

    8 – A Major Project Leads to a Life-Changing Opportunity

    So far as we knew, nowhere were agricultural workers included in any state’s unemployment insurance system.

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  • 9 – Good Management, Employee Representation

    9 – Good Management, Employee Representation

    IRC’s mission has always been to promote sound management and employee relations and to help companies be smart in managing their employee relations responsibilities.

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  • 10 – Diversity, Circa 1955

    10 – Diversity, Circa 1955

    Around 1955, the IRC staff developed a proposal for the Ford Foundation and the National Urban League to study the employment of African Americans in industry. This report had the working title “The Negro Study.”

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  • 11 – The IRC Culture: Everyone Had a Voice

    11 – The IRC Culture: Everyone Had a Voice

    At IRC, everyone mattered, and everyone felt that our mission mattered. We were all a team.

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  • 12 – IRC: Research and Education

    12 – IRC: Research and Education

    In the late 1960s, IRC got a five-year research support commitment from Chevron, DuPont, Exxon, General Electric, General Motors, Gulf Oil, Procter & Gamble, Westinghouse, Western Electric, and Standard Oil of Indiana.

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  • 13 – Automation and Human Resources

    13 – Automation and Human Resources

    During the early 1960s, it was revolutionary to see automobiles being assembled with very few human workers in sight on an assembly line.

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  • 14 – Dividing IRC: Consulting and Research Interests

    14 – Dividing IRC: Consulting and Research Interests

    In the 1950s, then-president Carroll E. French believed it would be good business to split the organization into a nonprofit that would retain the IRC name designator and a similar name for a company with the word “service” added to it.

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