Adrienne Eaton

Adrienne Eaton

  • Dean, Office of the Dean
  • Distinguished Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations (LSER)
Janice H. Levin Building, 94 Rockafeller Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8054

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Curriculum Vitae - CV (PDF)

  • Union participation in management decision-making and the relationship of unions to direct forms of worker participation
  • Negotiation, effectiveness and outcomes of neutrality and card check agreements
  • Impact of unionization of particular groups of workers

Adrienne Eaton is the Dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations. Dean Eaton is a past President of the Labor and Employment Relations Association and serves as a member of New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Task Force on the Future of Work.  She is a member of the editorial board for Labor Studies Journal and past Editor-in-Chief of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, a position she held from 2002-2009. She served as a member of New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission from January 2010 to June 2011. She is also a past President of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the union of faculty and graduate student employees at Rutgers. The Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) named her a LERA Fellow in 2017 in recognition of her research on union and worker participation in management decision-making; neutrality and card check agreements in union organizing; and other key labor issues.

Dean Eaton remains research active in a number of areas of focus. She is continuing her research on labor-management partnerships particularly in health care. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on this topic and in 2009 she published, along with co-authors Tom Kochan, Paul Adler and Robert McKersie, the book, Healing Together: The Kaiser Permanente Labor-Management Partnership. Her research on the unionization of graduate student employees has been cited in National Labor Relations Board cases and published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review.  She is currently extending this research stream to students at private sector universities. Her most recent edited book, Informal Workers and Collection Action: A Global Perspective, was published in 2017 and co-edited with Susan Schurman and Martha Chen. Finally, her ground-breaking research concerning the negotiation, effectiveness and outcomes of neutrality and card check agreements has been published in Industrial and Labor Relations ReviewPerspectives on Work, in a book chapter, and in technical reports and cited in congressional floor debates.

Research Publications

Trade Union Organizing in the Informal Economy: A Review of the Literature on Organizing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Western, Central and Eastern Europe - The purpose of this report is to review the existing literature on efforts throughout the globe by workers who labor outside the formal labor and employment relations policy framework of their country to form or join trade unions as well as unions’ efforts to organize and represent them.

Healing Together: The Labor-Management Partnership at Kaiser Permanente, co-authored with Tom Kochan, Bob McKersie (both from MIT) and Paul Adler (USC). The book is based on years of research with Kaiser and its unions. As John Paul McDuffie’s blurb on the back of the book says, “Healing Together’s clear-eyed view of the ever-present perils and potential payoffs for all parties makes this the most comprehensive and valuable account of labor-management innovation in years – and just in time, as the nation turns to the twin challenges of reforming both labor relations and health care.” 

Informal Workers and Collective Action:  A Global PerspectiveAdrienne E. Eaton, Susan J. Schurman and Martha A. Chen (eds). Cornell University Press, 2017.  This book explores nine cases of collective action from a diverse set of countries—Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Liberia, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uruguay—that focus on two broad types of informal workers: "waged" workers, including port workers, beer promoters, hospitality and retail workers, domestic workers, low-skilled public sector workers, and construction workers; and self-employed workers, including street vendors, waste recyclers, and minibus drivers. These cases demonstrate that workers and labor organizations around the world are rediscovering the lessons of early labor organizers on how to aggregate individuals' sense of injustice into forms of collective action that achieve a level of power that can yield important changes in their work and lives. 

Organizational Change at SEIU - Authors:  Adrienne Eaton, Ph.D, Janice Fine, Ph.D,  Saul Rubenstein, Ph.D, Allison Prter, MSOD. (1996-2009)

Since the election of Andy Stern in 1996, SEIU has doubled its membership, built a powerful political machine, and become a major force for progressive change. 

This article is a reflection on the enormity of the changes they had made, the leaders of SEIU decided to commission an independent study of their organization from the time the current administration took office to the present.  We took on that task in 2006 and completed it in the summer of 2009.

  • Labor and Employment Relations Association:  President (June 2020-June 2021).  Program Chair, June 2020 meeting: Theme:  Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability and the World of Work.

  • International Labor Process Conference: Member, Steering Committee 2010-present. 

  • Labor Studies Journal, Member, Editorial Board, April 1999-present. 

  • Member, N.J. Governor's Task Force on the Future of Work, 2019-2022.

  • Member, New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, January 2010 to June 2011.