Do Motorola, Herman Miller, and the Donelly corporations all share a secret of business? Without a doubt, it is the ability to continually change—their "only hope for survival and success"—change based on a participatory management style, often referred to as the Scanlon Plan—identity, participation, equity, and managerial competence—these corporations have succeeded where others have failed. Changing Forever builds on the forty years of research, experience, and development that have gone into the Scanlon Plan. Documenting fully the principles and processes of the Scanlon Plan, Carl Frost gives the reader a clear view of how the plan works and how it can be adapted to suit the needs of businesses large and small. The conclusions of his research are not surprising: with implementation of the four basic principles of the Scanlon Plan comes an optimal synergistic relationship between all employees and management.
Have you ever wondered why some work teams greatly out-perform others within the same organizational settings? Have you questioned whether work teams from very different sectors of the economy and society achieved a high performance level by using similar means? Have you considered what you or others might do to help eams increase their chances of becoming truly high performing? Increasing the Odds for High-Performance Teams is written for the business leader who is inquisitive but busy—who seeks new lessons about high team performance but wants them to be succinct and efficient.
The book is intended to assist professionals in private, public, and not-for-profit organizations who want to use teams to enhance job performance. Also, it is intended to be helpful to the team members, team leaders, mentors, coaches, and administrators across these sectors who want to diagnose their team and organizational conditions, in order to make improvements.
In response to the tragedy of the Ludlow Massacre, John D. Rockefeller Jr. introduced one of the nation’s first employee representation plans (ERPs) to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1915. With the advice of William Mackenzie King, who would go on to become prime minister of Canada, the plan—which came to be known as the Rockefeller Plan—was in use until 1942 and became the model for ERPs all over the world.In Representation and Rebellion Jonathan Rees uses a variety of primary sources—including records recently discovered at the company’s former headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado—to tell the story of the Rockefeller Plan and those who lived under it, as well as to detail its various successes and failures. Taken as a whole, the history of the Rockefeller Plan is not the story of ceaseless oppression and stifled militancy that its critics might imagine, but it is also not the story of the creation of a paternalist panacea for labor unrest that Rockefeller hoped it would be.Addressing key issues of how this early twentieth-century experiment fared from 1915 to 1942, Rees argues that the Rockefeller Plan was a limited but temporarily effective alternative to independent unionism in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre. The book will appeal to business and labor historians, political scientists, and sociologists, as well as those studying labor and industrial relations.
Socialist Review Book Award, Socialist Review, 1987
This volume makes available in one place a complete statement of Fred Block's perspective for students and participants in the ongoing debate on state theory. His substantial Introduction serves as an intellectual autobiography in which he assesses the field-including the theories of Domhoff, Poulantzas, and Skocpoland situates his own work within it. Block also discusses his relationship to different strands of Marxism.
In his analysis of the relationship between business and the state, Block argues that while business interests have far more influence over state policy than other constituencies, state actors still have substantial autonomy in formulating policies. In particular, the business community's internal divisions and difficulties in assessing its own interests limit its capacity to control events. Block insists that when business influence is greatest, as during the Reagan years, state policies will be least successful in solving the society's problems.
"What is at work here is a relatively simple sociological dynamic--that institutionalized relations of power tend to become visible only when they weaken. When these institutionalized relations are most effective, they tend to be invisible, precisely because the justifying ideologies so dominate people's commonsense understandings. The classic recent example is the existence of women's subordination. In the fifties, people would have responded to the claim that women were systematically discriminated against in American society with incredulity because they had so totally accepted an ideology that justified differential treatment of men and women as normal and natural. The full-blown analysis and critique of male domination emerges only in the seventies, when patriarchal arrangements are already weakening....
"In state theory, the development is analogous. In the fifties, pluralist arguments dominate because the exercise of power has been rendered invisible. The relation between business and the state works so well that it leaves few traces. Moreover, there is little real debate about how the society should be structured, so the extent to which everyone's basic assumptions fit with the interests of corporate capitalism is not at all obvious. Since nobody was even asking the big questions of who should make investment decisions and how should income and wealth be distributed, it was not apparent that the narrow limits of debate fit exactly with the interests of business.... However, the cumulative impact of Vietnam and racial conflict in the late sixties, the drama of Watergate, and the growing economic difficulties of advanced capitalist societies in the early seventies served to make the exercise of power in American society widely visible. The previous functional relation between the state and business had been disrupted and the efforts by each side to advocate its own interests became more apparent."
--From the Introduction
The historical relationship between capital and labor has evolved in the past few decades. One particularly noteworthy development is the rise of shared capitalism, a system in which workers have become partial owners of their firms and thus, in effect, both employees and stockholders. Profit sharing arrangements and gain-sharing bonuses, which tie compensation directly to a firm’s performance, also reflect this new attitude toward labor.
Shared Capitalism at Work analyzes the effects of this trend on workers and firms. The contributors focus on four main areas: the fraction of firms that participate in shared capitalism programs in the United States and abroad, the factors that enable these firms to overcome classic free rider and risk problems, the effect of shared capitalism on firm performance, and the impact of shared capitalism on worker well-being. This volume provides essential studies for understanding the increasingly important role of shared capitalism in the modern workplace.
America searched for an answer to "The Labor Question" during the Progressive Era in an effort to avoid the unrest and violence that flared so often in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the ladies' garment industry, a unique experiment in industrial democracy brought together labor, management, and the public. As Richard Greenwald explains, it was an attempt to "square free market capitalism with ideals of democracy to provide a fair and just workplace." Led by Louis Brandeis, this group negotiated the "Protocols of Peace." But in the midst of this experiment, 146 mostly young, immigrant women died in the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. As a result of the fire, a second, interrelated experiment, New York's Factory Investigating Commission (FIC)—led by Robert Wagner and Al Smith—created one of the largest reform successes of the period. The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace, and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York uses these linked episodes to show the increasing interdependence of labor, industry, and the state. Greenwald explains how the Protocols and the FIC best illustrate the transformation of industrial democracy and the struggle for political and economic justice.
Once they accept a job, most Americans have little control over their work environments. In Worker Participation, John Pencavel examines some of those rare workplaces where employees both own and manage the companies they work for: the plywood cooperatives and forest worker cooperatives of the Pacific Northwest. Rather than relying on abstract theories, Pencavel reviews the actual experiences of these two groups of worker co-ops. He focuses on how worker-owned companies perform when compared to more traditional firms and whether companies operate more efficiently when workers determine how they are run. He also looks at the long-term viability of these enterprises and why they are so unusual. Most businesses are constantly caught in the battle over whether to use the firm's profits to pay labor or to increase capital. Worker cooperatives provide an appealing case study because the interests of labor and capital are aligned. If individuals have a role in setting goals, they should have an added incentive to help meet those goals, and productivity should benefit. On the other hand, observers have long argued that, since any single employee in a co-op reaps only a small benefit from working hard, workers may shirk work, and productivity can flag. Furthermore, co-ops often have difficulty raising capital, since they are constrained by how much money the workers have, and banks are often reluctant to lend them money. Using some fifteen years of data on forty mills in Washington State, Pencavel examines how worker co-ops really function. He assesses the practical problems of running a workplace where every employee is a boss. He looks at worker productivity, on-the-job injuries and financial risks facing owner-workers. He considers whether co-ops are inherently unstable and if they are plagued by infighting among the many worker-owners. Although many of the co-ops he studied have closed or been replaced by conventional businesses, Pencavel judges them to have been a success. Despite the risks inherent in such operations, allowing workers to make the decisions that profoundly affect them produces many benefits, including workplace efficiency and increased job security. However, Pencavel concludes, if more Americans are to enjoy such a working arrangement, labor laws will have to be changed, participation encouraged, and a more vigorous public debate about worker participation must take place. This book provides an excellent place to start the discussion.