Evaluating the State of the Employment Relationship: A Balanced Scorecard Approach Built on Mackenzie King’s Model of an Industrial Relations System


A century ago, the governments of Canada and the United States (US) created federal-level investigative committees to explore and evaluate the deteriorated state of employer-employee relations. These Commissions mark the effective birth of the industrial relations (IR) field. As a 100th anniversary marker, this paper provides an updated investigation and evaluation of the state of employment relations (ER), but with modern methods and data. An evaluation instrument is developed from the balanced scorecard concept in strategic management; the scorecard's structure and diagnostic measures are informed by Mackenzie King's (1918) model of an IR system; and the scorecard is filled in with fifty-three measures from a new US workplace survey. The mean ER performance grade given by employers and employees is, respectively, B+ and C+.


  • Adrian Wilkinson
  • Rafael Gomez
  • Michael Barry
  • Bruce E. Kaufman

Publication Type

Journal Name

Relations Industrielles / Industrial Relations