Wilfredo Alvarez’s Everyday Dirty Work: Invisibility, Communication, and Immigrant Labor is an exploration into co-cultural communication practices within the workplace. Specifically, Alvarez investigates how Latin American immigrant janitors communicate from their marginalized standpoints in a predominantly White academic organization. He examines how custodial workers perceive, interpret, and thematize routine messages regarding race, ethnicity, social class, immigrant status, and occupation, and how those messages and overall communicative experiences affect both their work and personal lives.
A Latin American immigrant himself, Alvarez relates his own experiences to those of the research participants. His positionality informs and enhances his research as he demonstrates how everyday interpersonal encounters create discursive spaces that welcome or disqualify people based on symbolic and social capital. Alvarez offers valuable insights into the lived experiences of critical––but often undervalued and invisible––organizational members. Through theoretical insights and research data, he provides practical recommendations for organizational leaders to improve how they can relate to and support all stakeholders.
An innovator in contemporary thought on economic and political development looks here at decline rather than growth. Albert O. Hirschman makes a basic distinction between alternative ways of reacting to deterioration in business firms and, in general, to dissatisfaction with organizations: one, “exit,” is for the member to quit the organization or for the customer to switch to the competing product, and the other, “voice,” is for members or customers to agitate and exert influence for change “from within.” The efficiency of the competitive mechanism, with its total reliance on exit, is questioned for certain important situations. As exit often undercuts voice while being unable to counteract decline, loyalty is seen in the function of retarding exit and of permitting voice to play its proper role.
The interplay of the three concepts turns out to illuminate a wide range of economic, social, and political phenomena. As the author states in the preface, “having found my own unifying way of looking at issues as diverse as competition and the two-party system, divorce and the American character, black power and the failure of ‘unhappy’ top officials to resign over Vietnam, I decided to let myself go a little.”
Do you put family photos on your desk at work? Are your home and work keys on the same chain? Do you keep one all-purpose calendar for listing home and work events? Do you have separate telephone books for colleagues and friends? In Home and Work, Christena Nippert-Eng examines the intricacies and implications of how we draw the line between home and work.
Arguing that relationships between the two realms range from those that are highly "integrating" to those that are highly "segmenting," Nippert-Eng examines the ways people sculpt the boundaries between home and work. With remarkable sensitivity to the symbolic value of objects and actions, Nippert-Eng explores the meaning of clothing, wallets, lunches and vacations, and the places and ways in which we engage our family, friends, and co-workers. Commuting habits are also revealing, showing how we make the transition between home and work selves though ritualized behavior like hellos and goodbyes, the consumption of food, the way we dress, our choices of routes to and from work, and our listening, working, and sleeping habits during these journeys.
The ways each of us manages time, space, and people not only reflect but reinforce lives that are more "integrating" or "segmenting" at any given time. In clarifying what we take for granted, this book will leave you thinking in different ways about your life and work.
In this book, Mauro F. Guillén explores differing historical patterns in the adoption of the three major models of organizational management: scientific management, human relations, and structural analysis. Moving beyond Reinhard Bendix's classic Work and Authority, Models of Management takes a fresh look at how managers have used these models in four countries during the twentieth century.
Guillén's study of two liberal-democratic societies (the United States and Great Britain) and two corporatist societies (Germany and Spain) reveals significant differences in the way managerial elites and firms have adopted the three models. His data show that ideas themselves—independent of material interests and technology—can cause organizational change. Throughout the book, contrasts between modernist-technocratic and liberal-humanist mentalities, as well as between Protestant and Catholic religious backgrounds, emerge as decisive factors in determining managerial ideology and practice.
In addition to analyzing management methods in organizations, Guillén explores larger issues: the interaction among managerial, government, and labor elites; the impact of the state and the professions on managerial behavior; and the role that managers play in modern societies.
Grassroots organizing and collective action have always been fundamental to American democracy but have been burgeoning since the 2016 election, as people struggle to make their voices heard in this moment of societal upheaval. Unfortunately much of that action has not had the kind of impact participants might want, especially among movements representing the poor and marginalized who often have the most at stake when it comes to rights and equality. Yet, some instances of collective action have succeeded. What’s the difference between a movement that wins victories for its constituents, and one that fails? What are the factors that make collective action powerful?
Prisms of the People addresses those questions and more. Using data from six movement organizations—including a coalition that organized a 104-day protest in Phoenix in 2010 and another that helped restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated in Virginia—Hahrie Han, Elizabeth McKenna, and Michelle Oyakawa show that the power of successful movements most often is rooted in their ability to act as “prisms of the people,” turning participation into political power just as prisms transform white light into rainbows. Understanding the organizational design choices that shape the people, their leaders, and their strategies can help us understand how grassroots groups achieve their goals.
Linking strong scholarship to a deep understanding of the needs and outlook of activists, Prisms of the People is the perfect book for our moment—for understanding what’s happening and propelling it forward.
In Shaping Science, Janet Vertesi draws on a decade of immersive ethnography with NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams to create a comparative account of two great space missions of the early 2000s. Although these missions featured robotic explorers on the frontiers of the solar system bravely investigating new worlds, their commands were issued from millions of miles away by a very human team. By examining the two teams’ formal structures, decision-making techniques, and informal work practices in the day-to-day process of mission planning, Vertesi shows just how deeply entangled a team’s local organizational context is with the knowledge they produce about other worlds.
Using extensive, embedded experiences on two NASA spacecraft teams, this is the first book to apply organizational studies of work to the laboratory environment in order to analyze the production of scientific knowledge itself. Engaging and deeply researched, Shaping Science demonstrates the significant influence that the social organization of a scientific team can have on the practices of that team and the results they yield.