Book of the Month Archive

Equal: A Story of Women, Men & Money (Oct 2019)

Carrie Gracie

Gracie joined a group of high-profile BBC women who challenged the national broadcaster over equal pay after enforced disclosures revealed huge gaps between top men and women. Gracie had insisted on equal pay at the time of her China posting, and after trying with other BBC women to put things right through negotiation, she eventually resigned her post complaining publicly of a ‘secretive and illegal’ pay culture. Her protest triggered a parliamentary inquiry into BBC pay, and after a protracted internal complaints process, she won an apology from the BBC and a settlement, which she donated to the Fawcett Society.

In Equal Gracie will tell her own story, explore why it is often so hard for women to assert their value in the workplace and give practical guidance on what women, men and employers can do to achieve equality for this and future generations of women.  [from publisher web site]

London: VIrago Press, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. 279 pages
ISBN: 9780349013008
Call number: HD6061.2.G7 G73

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor (Sep 2019)

Steven Greenhouse

In an era when corporate profits have soared while wages have flatlined, millions of Americans are searching for ways to improve their lives, and they’re often turning to labor unions and worker action, whether #RedforEd teachers’ strikes or the Fight for $15. Wage stagnation, low-wage work, and blighted blue-collar communities have become an all-too-common part of modern-day America, and behind these trends is a little-discussed problem: the decades-long decline in worker power.

Steven Greenhouse sees this decline reflected in some of the most pressing problems facing our nation today, including income inequality, declining social mobility, the gender pay gap, and the concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy. He rebuts the often-stated view that labor unions are outmoded–or even harmful–by recounting some of labor’s victories, and the efforts of several of today’s most innovative and successful worker groups. He shows us the modern labor landscape through the stories of dozens of American workers, from G.M. workers to Uber drivers, and we see how unions historically have empowered–and lifted–the most marginalized, including young women garment workers in New York in 1909, black sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968, and hotel housekeepers today. Greenhouse proposes concrete, feasible ways in which workers’ collective power can be–and is being–rekindled and reimagined in the twenty-first century.  [from publisher web site]

New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 397 pages
ISBN: 9781101874431
Call number: HD8072.5 .G739

The Cambridge Handbook of Technology and Employee Behavior (Aug 2019)

Richard N. Landers (editor)

book cover

Experts from across all industrial-organizational (IO) psychology describe how increasingly rapid technological change has affected the field. In each chapter, authors describe how this has altered the meaning of IO research within a particular subdomain and what steps must be taken to avoid IO research from becoming obsolete. This Handbook presents a forward-looking review of IO psychology's understanding of both workplace technology and how technology is used in IO research methods. Using interdisciplinary perspectives to further this understanding and serving as a focal text from which this research will grow, it tackles three main questions facing the field. First, how has technology affected IO psychological theory and practice to date? Second, given the current trends in both research and practice, could IO psychological theories be rendered obsolete? Third, what are the highest priorities for both research and practice to ensure IO psychology remains appropriately engaged with technology moving forward?  [from publisher web site]

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 960 pages
ISBN: 9781108701327
Call number: HD6331 .C2665

Accountability Across Borders: Migrant Rights in North America (Jul 2019)

Xóchitl Bada, Shannon Gleeson (Editors)

Collecting the diverse perspectives of scholars, labor organizers, and human-rights advocates, Accountability across Borders is the first edited collection that connects studies of immigrant integration in host countries to accounts of transnational migrant advocacy efforts, including case studies from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Covering the role of federal, state, and local governments in both countries of origin and destinations, as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), these essays range from reflections on labor solidarity among members of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Toronto to explorations of indigenous students from the Maya diaspora living in San Francisco. Case studies in Mexico also discuss the enforcement of the citizenship rights of Mexican American children and the struggle to affirm the human rights of Central American migrants in transit. As policies regarding immigration, citizenship, and enforcement are reaching a flashpoint in North America, this volume provides key insights into the new dynamics of migrant civil society as well as the scope and limitations of directives from governmental agencies. [from publisher web site]

Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 325 pages
ISBN: 9781477318362
Call number: HD8045 .A33

Whistleblowing: Toward a New Theory (Jun 2019)

Kate Kenny

book cover

Despite their substantial contribution to society, whistleblowers are considered martyrs more than heroes. When people expose serious wrongdoing in their organizations, they are often punished or ignored. Many end up isolated by colleagues, their professional careers destroyed. The financial industry, rife with scandals, is the focus of Kate Kenny’s penetrating global study. Introducing whistleblowers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Ireland working at companies like Wachovia, Halifax Bank of Scotland, and Countrywide–Bank of America, Whistleblowing suggests practices that would make it less perilous to hold the powerful to account and would leave us all better off.

Kenny interviewed the men and women who reported unethical and illegal conduct at major corporations in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. Many were compliance officers working in influential organizations that claimed to follow the rules. Using the concept of affective recognition to explain how the norms at work powerfully influence our understandings of right and wrong, she reframes whistleblowing as a collective phenomenon, not just a personal choice but a vital public service. [from publisher web site]

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 282 pages
ISBN: 9780674975798
Call number: HD60 .K4822

A Field in Flux: Sixty Years of Industrial Relations (May 2019)

Robert B. McKersie

A Field in Flux chronicles the extraordinary journey of industrial and labor relations expert Robert McKersie. One of the most important industrial relations scholars and leaders of our time, McKersie pioneered the study of labor negotiations, helping to formulate the concepts of distributive and integrative bargaining that have served as analytical tools for understanding the bargaining process more generally.

The book provides a window into McKersie's life and work and its impact on the evolution of labor and industrial relations. Spanning six decades, the reader learns about the intersection of labor and the Civil Rights movement, the watershed moment of the Air Traffic Controller's Strike, his relationship with George Schultz, the shift from labor relations to human resource management, and McKersie's role in the seminal cases (Motorola, GM, Toyota) of the labor movement.

A Field in Flux serves two important functions: it demonstrates how people have influenced past employment policies and practices when called to action in critical situations, and it seeks to instill confidence in those who will be called on to address the big challenges facing the future of work today and in the years to come.

During a time when the basic values of industrial relations are being challenged and violated, McKersie argues that the profession must adapt to the changing world of work and not forget about the value placed on efficiency, equity, and inclusive employment policies and practices. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 234 pages
ISBN: 9781501740015
Call number: HD6960.5.U5 M45

The Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work (Apr 2019)

Ruth Yeoman, Catherine Bailey, Adrian Madden, and Marc Thompson (editors)

The Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work examines the concept, practices and effects of meaningful work in organizations and beyond. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this volume reflects diverse scholarly contributions to understanding meaningful work from philosophy, political theory, psychology, sociology, organizational studies, and economics.

In philosophy and political theory, treatments of meaningful work have been influenced by debates concerning the tensions between work as unavoidable and necessary, and work as a source of self-realization and human flourishing. This tension has come into renewed focus as work is reshaped by technology, globalization, and new forms of organization. In management studies, much empirical work has focused on meaningful work from the perspective of positive psychology, but more recent research has considered meaningful work as a complex phenomenon, socially constructed from interactive processes between individuals, and between individuals, organizations, and society. This Handbook examines meaningful work in the context of moral and pragmatic concerns such as human flourishing, dignity, alienation, freedom, and organizational ethics.

The collection illuminates the relationship of meaningful work to organizational constructs of identity, belonging, callings, self-transcendence, culture, and occupations. Representing some of the most up to date academic research, the editors aim to inspire and equip researchers by identifying new directions and methods with which to deepen scholarly inquiry into a topic of growing importance. [from publisher web site]

Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 508 pages
ISBN: 9780198788232
Call number: HF5548.8 .O93 2019

The New Politics of Transnational Labor: Why Some Alliances Succeed: (Mar 2019)

Marissa Brookes

Over the years many transnational labor alliances have succeeded in improving conditions for workers, but many more have not. In The New Politics of Transnational Labor, Marissa Brookes explains why this dichotomy has occurred. Using the coordination and context-appropriate (CCAP) theory, she assesses this divergence, arguing that the success of transnational alliances hinges not only on effective coordination across borders and within workers' local organizations but also on their ability to exploit vulnerabilities in global value chains, invoke national and international institutions, and mobilize networks of stakeholders in ways that threaten employers' core, material interests.

Brookes uses six comparative case studies spanning four industries, five countries, and fifteen years. From dockside labor disputes in Britain and Australia to service sector campaigns in the supermarket and private security industries to campaigns aimed at luxury hotels in Southeast Asia, Brookes creates her new theoretical framework and speaks to debates in international and comparative political economy on the politics of economic globalization, the viability of private governance, and the impact of organized labor on economic inequality. From this assessment, Brookes provides a vital update to the international relations literature on non-state actors and transnational activism and shows how we can understand the unique capacities labor has as a transnational actor. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 202 pages
ISBN: 9781501733192
Call number: HD6475.A1 B76

The Winding Road to the Welfare State: Economic Insecurity and Social Welfare Policy in Britain (Feb 2019)

George R. Boyer

How did Britain transform itself from a nation of workhouses to one that became a model for the modern welfare state? The Winding Road to the Welfare State investigates the evolution of living standards and welfare policies in Britain from the 1830s to 1950 and provides insights into how British working-class households coped with economic insecurity. George Boyer examines the retrenchment in Victorian poor relief, the Liberal Welfare Reforms, and the beginnings of the postwar welfare state, and he describes how workers altered spending and saving methods based on changing government policies.

From the cutting back of the Poor Law after 1834 to Parliament’s abrupt about-face in 1906 with the adoption of the Liberal Welfare Reforms, Boyer offers new explanations for oscillations in Britain’s social policies and how these shaped worker well-being. The Poor Law’s increasing stinginess led skilled manual workers to adopt self-help strategies, but this was not a feasible option for low-skilled workers, many of whom continued to rely on the Poor Law into old age. In contrast, the Liberal Welfare Reforms were a major watershed, marking the end of seven decades of declining support for the needy. Concluding with the Beveridge Report and Labour’s social policies in the late 1940s, Boyer shows how the Liberal Welfare Reforms laid the foundations for a national social safety net.

A sweeping look at economic pressures after the Industrial Revolution, The Winding Road to the Welfare State illustrates how British welfare policy waxed and waned over the course of a century. [from publisher web site]

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 346 pages
ISBN: 9780691178738
Call number: HN385 .B69 2019

Workers Without Borders: Posted Work and Precarity in the EU (Jan 2019)

Ines Wagner

How the European Union handles posted workers is a growing issue for a region with borders that really are just lines on a map. A 2008 story, dissected in Ines Wagner’s Workers without Borders, about the troubling working conditions of migrant meat and construction workers, exposed a distressing dichotomy: how could a country with such strong employers’ associations and trade unions allow for the establishment and maintenance of such a precarious labor market segment?

Wagner introduces an overlooked piece of the puzzle: re-regulatory politics at the workplace level. She interrogates the position of the posted worker in contemporary European labour markets and the implications of and regulations for this position in industrial relations, social policy and justice in Europe. Workers without Borders concentrates on how local actors implement European rules and opportunities to analyze the balance of power induced by the EU around policy issues.

Wagner examines the particularities of posted worker dynamics at the workplace level, in German meatpacking facilities and on construction sites, to reveal the problems and promises of European Union governance as regulating social justice. Using a bottom-up approach through in-depth interviews with posted migrant workers and administrators involved in the posting process, Workers without Borders shows that strong labor-market regulation via independent collective bargaining institutions at the workplace level is crucial to effective labor rights in marginal workplaces. Wagner identifies structures of access and denial to labor rights for temporary intra-EU migrant workers and the problems contained within this system for the EU more broadly. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 176 pages
ISBN: 9781501729157
Call number: HD8378.5.A2 W34