In 2009 plans for several major innovations and changes were elaborated at the IISH, based on a problem analysis performed largely in 2008. Implementation is scheduled to begin in many areas at once in 2010. The changes may in part be regarded as necessary maintenance and are also in part attributable to changed positioning and ambitions of the IISH.
Surrounding factors that influenced formulation of these plans include rapid globalization, the growing importance of digitization, the desire to demonstrate social relevance, and transparency of administration and management.
These plans derive substantially from the IISH 2007 strategy memorandum, in which the following priorities were identified:
- Research: guide the international research agenda, continue to integrate ‘global labour history’ and ‘global economic history’; develop a global research network; build large-scale data collections for the entire field.
- Collections: emphasize primary sources; build virtual collections; ensure coherent presentation of the collections; mass digitization, and sustainable digital archives.
The ultimate objective of the institute is to perform its two core duties: rescuing, managing, and providing access to the documentary legacy of social movements and performing comparative research on the history of labour relations in a modern, efficient, and inspirational manner to enable the IISH to maintain its global leadership in scholarship and to obtain broad national acknowledgement of this achievement. To this end, the IISH deploys resources and people flexibly to accommodate changes and benefit from opportunities.