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In 1926, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. established a nonprofit research, education, and consulting entity – Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc. – “to advance the knowledge and practice of human relationships in industry, commerce, education, government, and nongovernmental organizations.”

For nearly a century, IRC has led and promoted the development of management practices and social policies that have enhanced the effectiveness and shared successes of organizations and employees around the world. In 1970, IRC’s consulting unit was spun off as a separate for-profit company. In 2010, the unit was sold to a third party and IRC rededicated itself to its not-for-profit mission of research and education.

In 2015, IRC adopted the name Innovation Resource Center for Human Resources (IRC4HR™). According to Executive Director, Jodi Starkman, “we are like a 90-year-old start-up; the new name is to recognize our role as a source for innovation and practical insights, while signaling continuity with IRC’s long-term commitment to bringing together employers, academics, policy makers, and other stakeholders for collaborative, ‘make-a-difference’ projects on challenging workplace issues.”

IRC4HR™ is currently funding two important programs:

  • A multi-national research project on the current state of the employment relationship
  • An open-source, CHRO-driven initiative on the future of the HR profession

“In the spirit of Mr. Rockefeller’s original vision,” said Hal Burlingame, IRC board president and former HR executive at AT&T, “IRC4HR seeks to make organizations more competitive, productive, and effective through improved people management practices, and to advance the mutually beneficial interests of organizations, workers, and society.”