Book of the Month Archive
We do business in a results-oriented world. Our focus on growth is laudable for its clarity, but one of its downsides is that firms can lose sight of the process: how business gets done and the individuals or employees through whom results are achieved. This leads to compromised decisions and unethical behavior. It is not just what we accomplish that matters but also how we accomplish it.
In The Process Matters, Joel Brockner shows that managers have to do more than just meet targets and goals. They have to reach those ends in the right ways—with input, consistency, and accountability—if they want to effectively lead and manage in their organizations. Brockner discusses what goes into the right process, how it leads to better outcomes, why it is easier said than done, and how to overcome obstacles along the way.
Brockner demonstrates that a high-quality process often costs little and may not even require a great deal of time. In light of these facts, he considers the puzzling question of why good business practice doesn't happen more often. Brockner draws from various real-life workplace examples—from Jay Leno's departure (twice) from his TV show, to the improvement of shooting accuracy in the U.S. Navy, to the surprising results of layoffs in Canada. He also factors in a wide swath of studies to examine such issues as the importance of perceived fairness in the process, the management of organizational change, and the encouragement of a strong sense of self in those involved in decisions—in short, the ways that managers can bring out the best in their people.
Relevant to anyone who is in a managerial position—from the CEO on down—The Process Matters proves that seemingly simple differences in process can go a long way.
Fighting for Total Person Unionism: Harold Gibbons, Ernest Calloway, and Working-Class Citizenship (Dec 2015)
During the 1950s and 1960s, labor leaders Harold Gibbons and Ernest Calloway championed a new kind of labor movement that regarded workers as "total persons" interested in both workplace affairs and the exercise of effective citizenship in their communities.
Working through Teamsters Local 688 and viewing the city of St. Louis as their laboratory, this remarkable interracial duo forged a dynamic political alliance that placed their "citizen members" on the front lines of epic battles for urban revitalization, improved public services, and the advancement of racial and economic justice. Parallel to their political partnership, Gibbons functioned as a top Teamsters Union leader and Calloway as an influential figure in St. Louis's civil rights movement. Their pioneering efforts not only altered St. Louis's social and political landscape but also raised fundamental questions about the fate of the post-industrial city, the meaning of citizenship, and the role of unions in shaping American democracy. (from publisher web site)
Rhacel Salazar Parreñas
Servants of Globalization offers a groundbreaking study of migrant Filipino domestic workers who leave their own families behind to do the caretaking work of the global economy. Since its initial publication, the book has informed countless students and scholars and set the research agenda on labor migration and transnational families.
With this second edition, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas returns to Rome and Los Angeles to consider how the migrant communities have changed. Children have now joined their parents. Male domestic workers are present in significantly greater numbers. And, perhaps most troubling, the population has aged, presenting new challenges for the increasingly elderly domestic workers. New chapters discuss these three increasingly important constituencies. The entire book has been revised and updated, and a new introduction offers a global, comparative overview of the citizenship status of migrant domestic workers. Servants of Globalization remains the defining work on the international division of reproductive labor. (from publisher web site)
Edward E. Lawler III and John W. Boudreau
Since 1995, USC's Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) has conducted the definitive longitudinal study of the human resource management function in organizations. By analyzing new data every three years since then, the Center has been able to consistently chart changes in how HR is organized and managed, while at the same time providing guidance on how professionals in the field can drive firm performance. Global Trends in Human Resource Management, the seventh report from CEO, provides the newest findings about what makes HR successful and how it can add value to organizations today. Edward E. Lawler III and John W. Boudreau conclude that HR is most powerful when it plays a strategic role, makes use of information technology, has tangible metrics and analytics, and integrates talent and business strategies.
To adapt to the demands of a changing global marketplace, HR is increasingly required to span the boundaries between its function, the organization as a whole, and the dynamic environment within which it operates. This report tracks changes in a global sample of firms that shows how HR differs across Europe, the U.S., and Asia, providing an international benchmark against which to measure a company's practice and shows how HR can adapt in a rapidly changing landscape. (from publisher web site)
Daniel Berliner, Anne Regan Greenleaf, Milli Lake, Margaret Levi, Jennifer Noveck
The authors examine developments in labor standards in global supply chains over the past thirty years, analyzing factors that create challenges and opportunities for improving working conditions. They illustrate the complex dynamics within and among key groups, including brands, suppliers, governments, workers and consumers.
Using extended examples from China, Honduras, Bangladesh and the United States, as well as new quantitative evidence, the authors analyze stakeholders and mechanisms that create or obstruct opportunities for improving labor rights. They evaluate key clusters of actors and their interests in order to comprehensively map the complex interactions and relationships that make up global supply chains. Original data and analyses, including four in-depth case studies, present a systematic evaluation of the points of leverage for changing labor standards in sectors including apparel, footwear, and electronics.
This exciting new contribution to a burgeoning field of study will benefit scholars of labor rights and human rights, as well as students with an interest in labor and working conditions. It also presents critical information for political scientists, NGOs, and practitioners looking to effect change in working conditions and learn more about key players in the global economy. (from publisher web site)
Do service-sector workers represent the future of the U.S. labor movement? Mid-twentieth-century union activism transformed manufacturing jobs from backbreaking, low-wage work into careers that allowed workers to buy homes and send their kids to college. Some union activists insist that there is no reason why service-sector workers cannot follow that same path. In If We Can Win Here, Fran Quigley tells the stories of janitors, fry cooks, and health care aides trying to fight their way to middle-class incomes in Indianapolis. He also chronicles the struggles of the union organizers with whom the workers have made common cause.
The service-sector workers of Indianapolis mirror the city's demographics: they are white, African American, and Latino. In contrast, the union organizers are mostly white and younger than the workers they help rally. Quigley chronicles these allies’ setbacks, victories, bonds, and conflicts while placing their journey in the broader context of the global economy and labor history. As one Indiana-based organizer says of the struggle being waged in a state that has earned a reputation as antiunion: "If we can win here, we can win anywhere." The outcome of the battle of Indianapolis may foretell the fate of workers across the United States. [from publisher web site]
Apparel manufacturing in the American South, by virtue of its size, its reliance upon female labor, and its broad geographic scope, is an important but often overlooked industry that connects the disparate concerns of women’s history, southern cultural history, and labor history. In Striking Beauties, Michelle Haberland examines its essential features and the varied experiences of its workers during the industry’s great expansion from the late 1930s through the demise of its southern branch at the end of the twentieth century.
The popular conception of the early twentieth-century South as largely agrarian informs many histories of industry and labor in the United States. But as Haberland demonstrates, the apparel industry became a key part of the southern economy after the Great Depression and a major driver of southern industrialization. The gender and racial composition of the workforce, the growth of trade unions, technology, and capital investment were all powerful forces in apparel’s migration south. Yet those same forces also revealed the tensions caused by racial and gender inequities not only in the region but in the nation at large. Striking Beauties places the struggles of working women for racial and economic justice in the larger context of southern history. The role of women as the primary consumers of the family placed them in a critical position to influence the success or failure of boycotts, union label programs and ultimately solidarity. [from publisher web site]
During the first decade of the twenty-first century, worker resistance in China increased rapidly despite the fact that certain segments of the state began moving in a pro-labor direction. In explaining this, Eli Friedman argues that the Chinese state has become hemmed in by an “insurgency trap” of its own devising and is thus unable to tame expansive worker unrest. Labor conflict in the process of capitalist industrialization is certainly not unique to China and indeed has appeared in a wide array of countries around the world. What is distinct in China, however, is the combination of postsocialist politics with rapid capitalist development.
Other countries undergoing capitalist industrialization have incorporated relatively independent unions to tame labor conflict and channel insurgent workers into legal and rationalized modes of contention. In contrast, the Chinese state only allows for one union federation, the All China Federation of Trade Unions, over which it maintains tight control. Official unions have been unable to win recognition from workers, and wildcat strikes and other forms of disruption continue to be the most effective means for addressing workplace grievances. In support of this argument, Friedman offers evidence from Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, where unions are experimenting with new initiatives, leadership models, and organizational forms. [from publisher web site]
Mignon Duffy, Amy Armenia, Clare L. Stacey (eds.)
A nurse inserts an I.V. A personal care attendant helps a quadriplegic bathe and get dressed. A nanny reads a bedtime story to soothe a child to sleep. Every day, workers like these provide critical support to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Caring on the Clock provides a wealth of insight into these workers, who take care of our most fundamental needs, often at risk to their own economic and physical well-being.
Caring on the Clock is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research on a wide range of paid care occupations, and to place the various fields within a comprehensive and comparative framework across occupational boundaries. The book includes twenty-two original essays by leading researchers across a range of disciplines—including sociology, psychology, social work, and public health. They examine the history of the paid care sector in America, reveal why paid-care work can be both personally fulfilling but also make workers vulnerable to burnout, emotional fatigue, physical injuries, and wage exploitation. Finally, the editors outline many innovative ideas for reform, including top-down and grassroots efforts to improve recognition, remuneration, and mobility for care workers.
As America faces a series of challenges to providing care for its citizens, including the many aging baby boomers, this volume offers a wealth of information and insight for policymakers, scholars, advocates, and the general public. [from publisher web site]
Harry C. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, Alexander J. S. Colvin
Compelled by the extent to which globalization has changed the nature of labor relations, Harry C. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, and Alexander J. S. Colvin give us the first textbook to focus on the workplace outcomes of the production of goods and services in emerging countries. In Labor Relations in a Globalizing World, they draw lessons from the United States and other advanced industrial countries to provide a menu of options for management, labor, and government leaders in emerging countries. They include discussions based in countries such as China, Brazil, India, and South Africa which, given the advanced levels of economic development they have already achieved, are often described as “transitional,” because the labor relations practices and procedures used in those countries are still in a state of flux.
Katz, Kochan, and Colvin analyze how labor relations functions in emerging countries in a manner that is useful to practitioners, policymakers, and academics. They take account of the fact that labor relations are much more politicized in emerging countries than in advanced industrialized countries. They also address the traditional role played by state-dominated unions in emerging countries and the recent increased importance of independent unions that have emerged as alternatives. These independent unions tend to promote firm- or workplace-level collective bargaining in contrast to the more traditional top-down systems. Katz, Kochan, and Colvin explain how multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups that act across national borders increasingly influence work and employment outcomes. [from publisher web site]