INTRODUCTION German Industrial Sociology has expanded considerably over the past two decades. It would of course be beyond the scope of this article to describe this process in its entirety. Selection is necessary, the aim here being to provide an overview of the 'hard core' of Industrial Sociology developed around the work of a handful of industrial-sociological research institutes. 1 Those areas in which Industrial Sociology overlaps with neighbouring disciplines, some of which avail themselves of industrial-sociological methods2, will be excluded, as will the relevant work of other industrial-sociological institutes such as that of the Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund (Social Research Institute, Dortmund) and that of ASIF (Arbeitsgruppefur Sozialwissenschaftliche Industrieforschung (Bielefeld)). The bias towards industrial-sociological research of a few research institutes is both unavoidable, given the limited space available, and necessary in order to examine the continuity and development of the specific problems addressed.