Change is endemic in the U. S. economy and in worker-management relations. This change can be examined from the perspective of increasing centralization in which public policy dictates that corporations and the state act in concert, to a decentralized market system in which assets are constantly being reconfigured to more productive uses. This paper looks at the evolution of industrial relations and personnel administration to human resource management within this context of continual change through centralized versus decentralized perspectives. Major shifts in HR policies in American companies are described. Within these major shifts, a wide diversity of policy options for workermanagement relations exist. A strategic-contingency model may provide a unifying framework to assist decision makers in choosing among these policy options.