The Bosses' Union: How Employers Organized to Fight Labor Before the New Deal (May, 2023)
At the opening of the twentieth century, labor strife repeatedly racked the nation. Union organization and collective bargaining briefly looked like a promising avenue to stability. But both employers and many middle-class observers remained wary of unions exercising independent power.
Vilja Hulden reveals how this tension provided the opening for pro-business organizations to shift public attention from concerns about inequality and dangerous working conditions to a belief that unions trampled on an individual's right to work. Inventing the term closed shop, employers mounted what they called an open-shop campaign to undermine union demands that workers at unionized workplaces join the union. Employer organizations lobbied Congress to resist labor's proposals as tyrannical, brought court cases to taint labor's tactics as illegal, and influenced newspaper coverage of unions. While employers were not a monolith nor all-powerful, they generally agreed that unions were a nuisance. Employers successfully leveraged money and connections to create perceptions of organized labor that still echo in our discussions of worker rights. [from publisher web site]
Data and Democracy at Work: Advanced Information Technologies, Labor Law, and the New Working Class (April, 2023)
As our economy has shifted away from industrial production and service industries have become dominant, many of the nation's largest employers are now in fields like retail, food service, logistics, and hospitality. These companies have turned to data-driven surveillance technologies that operate over a vast distance, enabling cheaper oversight of massive numbers of workers. Data and Democracy at Work argues that companies often use new data-driven technologies as a power resource—or even a tool of class domination—and that our labor laws allow them to do so.
Employers have established broad rights to use technology to gather data on workers and their performance, to exclude others from accessing that data, and to use that data to refine their managerial strategies. Through these means, companies have suppressed workers' ability to organize and unionize, thereby driving down wages and eroding working conditions.
Labor law today encourages employer dominance in many ways—but labor law can also be reformed to become a tool for increased equity. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation have indicated an increased political mobilization of the so-called essential workers of the pandemic, many of them service industry workers. This book describes the necessary legal reforms to increase workers' associational power and democratize workplace data, establishing more balanced relationships between workers and employers and ensuring a brighter and more equitable future for us all. [from publisher web site].
Also available to read as an open access ebook. See: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11253.001.0001
Scaling Migrant Worker Rights: How Advocates Collaborate and Contest State Power (March, 2023)
Business the NHL Way: Lessons from the Fastest Game on Ice (February, 2023)
The National Hockey League is at its apex in terms of its business success. Even a global pandemic could not slow it down. The league generates more than $5 billion annually, its revenues and media deals continue to grow, and its properties are increasing in value, innovation, and quantity. More clubs are profitable than are not, and the game of hockey is expanding globally.
Business the NHL Way draws on hockey-inspired stories to show how brands, institutions, and individuals associated with the NHL have consistently survived a variety of challenges and thrived as a result of its decisions. The book explores twelve business-related scenarios from the sport of hockey and links each lesson back to business, leadership, diversity, management, and sport outcomes.
Using ice hockey as an analogy for life, Norm O’Reilly and Rick Burton – leaders in the business of sports and former amateur hockey players – inform business and industry professionals on best practices to achieve strategic outcomes and career advancement. The book aims to help businesses emerge from the financial and health disruptions of the global COVID-19 pandemic that not only altered the future of hockey but threatened business sustainability in every sector. Business the NHL Way will appeal to both casual and passionate hockey fans, as well as anyone eager to follow in the footsteps of a successful professional sports organization. [from publisher web site]
Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance (January, 2023)
Long-haul truckers are the backbone of the American economy, transporting goods under grueling conditions and immense economic pressure. Truckers have long valued the day-to-day independence of their work, sharing a strong occupational identity rooted in a tradition of autonomy. Yet these workers increasingly find themselves under many watchful eyes. Data Driven examines how digital surveillance is upending life and work on the open road, and raises crucial questions about the role of data collection in broader systems of social control.
Karen Levy takes readers inside a world few ever see, painting a bracing portrait of one of the last great American frontiers. Federal regulations now require truckers to buy and install digital monitors that capture data about their locations and behaviors. Intended to address the pervasive problem of trucker fatigue by regulating the number of hours driven each day, these devices support additional surveillance by trucking firms and other companies. Traveling from industry trade shows to law offices and truck-stop bars, Levy reveals how these invasive technologies are reconfiguring industry relationships and providing new tools for managerial and legal control—and how truckers are challenging and resisting them.
Data Driven contributes to an emerging conversation about how technology affects our work, institutions, and personal lives, and helps to guide our thinking about how to protect public interests and safeguard human dignity in the digital age. [from publisher web site]
Working 9 to 5: A Women's Movement, a Labor Union, and the Iconic Movie (December, 2022)
Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn't (November, 2022)
Every year America becomes more diverse, but change in the makeup of the management ranks has stalled. The problem has become an urgent matter of national debate. How do we fix it? Bestselling books preach moral reformation. Employers, however well intentioned, follow guesswork and whatever their peers happen to be doing. Arguing that it’s time to focus on changing systems rather than individuals, two of the world’s leading experts on workplace diversity show us a better way in the first comprehensive, data-driven analysis of what succeeds and what fails. The surprising results will change how America works.
Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev draw on more than thirty years of data from eight hundred companies as well as in-depth interviews with managers. The research shows just how little companies gain from standard practice: sending managers to diversity training to reveal their biases, then following up with hiring and promotion rules, and sanctions, to shape their behavior. Almost nothing changes. It’s time, Dobbin and Kalev argue, to focus on changing the management systems that make it hard for women and people of color to succeed. They show us how the best firms are pioneering new recruitment, mentoring, and skill training systems, and implementing strategies for mixing segregated work groups to increase diversity. They explain what a difference ambitious work–life programs make. And they argue that as firms adopt new systems, the key to making them work is to make them accessible to all—not just the favored few. [from publisher web site]. Online Methodological Appendix available here.
Profitably Healthy Companies: Principles of Organizational Growth and Development (October, 2022)
Every company faces challenges, but some are able to achieve long-term vitality while others flame out. What distinguishes a healthy, high-performing organization? Which ingredients, decisions, and values result in a business that is built for the long haul?
Profitably Healthy Companies lays out ten essential principles of organizational development for sustained success. Bringing together practical and academic expertise, W. Warner Burke and Michael O’Malley detail proven methods for every organization at each level. They demonstrate why a focus on employee and community well-being is more likely to ensure lasting profitability than a single-minded focus on the bottom line. Burke and O’Malley explain the keys to company resilience, examining safeguards against decline and disaster as well as tools for generative renewal and growth. They show how organizational culture encourages optimal performance, flexible and adaptive corporate strategy, and employee motivation and commitment. The book emphasizes up-to-the-moment issues, such as how to center diversity and inclusion and the promise and pitfalls of remote work.
Burke and O’Malley base their recommendations on research in organizational psychology as well as their own extensive consultative experience, providing a rich array of case studies and examples. Profitably Healthy Companies is a clear and authoritative guide for practitioners, leaders, and decision makers, synthesizing an all-inclusive treatment of organizational life with a comprehensive checklist of what organizations must do in order to thrive. [from publisher web site]
Latinas on the Line: Invisible Information Workers in Telecommunications (September, 2022)
Working Democracies: Managing Inequality in Worker Cooperatives (August, 2022)
In this inside look at worker cooperatives, Joan Meyers challenges long-held views and beliefs. From the outside, worker cooperatives all seem to offer alternatives to bad jobs and unequal treatment by giving workers democratic control and equitable ownership of their workplaces. Some contend, however, that such egalitarianism and self-management come at the cost of efficiency and stability, and are impractical in the long run. Working Democracies focuses on two worker cooperatives in business since the 1970s that transformed from small countercultural collectives into thriving multiracial and largely working-class firms. She shows how democratic worker ownership can provide stability and effective business management, but also shows that broad equality is not an inevitable outcome despite the best intentions of cooperative members.
Working Democracies explores the interconnections between organizational structure and organizational culture under conditions of worker control, revealing not only the different effects of managerialism and "participatory bureaucracy," but also how each bureaucratic variation is facilitated by how workers are defined by at each cooperative. Both bureaucratic variation and worker meanings are, she shows, are consequential for the reduction or reproduction of class, gender, and ethnoracial inequalities. Offering a behind the scenes comparative look at an often invisible type of workplace, Working Democracies serves as a guidebook for the future of worker cooperatives. [from publisher web site]