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Lawrence Root

Professor Emeritus of Social Work

Lawrence  Root

Lawrence Root is a professor in University of Michigan's School of Social Work. His research and practice have focused on the intersection of employment and social welfare. He has directed programs and published in the areas of fringe benefits and social policy, employee assistance programs, aging and work, work-family flexibility, employment issues among low-income individuals, and international labor. From 1993 to 2008, he directed the University's Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations (subsequently re-organized as the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy). During that time, he worked extensively with union-management joint programs and, with colleagues, developed Institute programs, such as “Urban Entrepreneurship” and “Labor and Global Change.” Within the University, he chaired of the President’s Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights, which addressed sweatshop conditions in the apparel industry.

Recent international work has included projects developing labor-management committees in Chinese companies and developing methods for assessing labor standards as a part of trade agreements. This work has been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of State. Most recently he has been working on developing educational and research opportunities in India.

Research Interests/Focus

Social welfare/employment, services in the workplace, work-family, and cross-national labor policy/practices.

Contact Information

[email protected]4648 SSWBUniversity of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 S. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-3116University of Michigan
Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations
1111 Catherine St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Year Degree   School
1980 PhD Social Service Administration University of Chicago, IL
1971 MSS Community Organizations/Social Planning Bryn Mawr College, PA
1968 AB Philosophy/Religion Haverford College, PA
Year Description
2002 University of Michigan Regent's Medal for distinguished service on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee
1999 Computerworld Smithsonian Laureate, University of Michigan's UAW-Ford University collaboration

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