Book of the Month Archive

Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China (May 2015)

Eli Friedman

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]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 214 pages
ISBN: 9780801452697
Call number: HD6837 .F77 2014

Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work (Apr 2015)

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]

New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 332 pages
ISBN: 9780813563121
Call number: HD8039.S45 C37 2015

Labor Relations in a Globalizing World (Mar 2015)

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]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 348 pages
ISBN: 9780801453816
Call number: HD8943 .K38 2015

Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management: A Diversity Perspective (Feb 2015)

Mine Karatas_-O_zkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou, Mustafa F. O_zbilgin (editors)

This innovative book analyses the intersection between the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resource Management (HRM), with a focus on diversity management. The book presents the scope of institutional engagements with CSR and diversity policies in a range of organizations and organizational networks.

The editors explore the macro, meso and micro aspects of CSR, answering questions such as: what are the socio-economic, political, legal and cultural influences shaping CSR and diversity management? What are the institutional practices for linking CSR and HRM, and what are the implications of this for employee and organizational well-being? And, how can the differing needs and expectations of a diverse workforce be fulfilled through CSR?

Including both theoretical and empirical chapters, the contributors explore how global organizations and organizational networks can collaborate with stakeholders within their community to leverage their HRM strategies. They share their knowledge of the management process involved in mainstreaming diversity through effective design and implementation of CSR programs in organizations.

This book will be a valuable resource for students at postgraduate and research level. It will also appeal to international audiences, including academic researchers, policy makers and organizational practitioners interested in the concept of corporate social responsibility and its links to human resource management in the context of globalization.  [from publisher web site]

Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. 334 pages
ISBN: 9781848447936
Call number: HF5549 .C67 2014

The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right (Jan 2015)

Sophia Z. Lee

Today, most Americans lack constitutional rights on the job. Instead of enjoying free speech or privacy, they can be fired for almost any reason or no reason at all. This book uses history to explain why. It takes readers back to the 1930s and 1940s when advocates across the political spectrum – labor leaders, civil rights advocates, and conservatives opposed to government regulation – set out to enshrine constitutional rights in the workplace. The book tells their interlocking stories of fighting for constitutional protections for American workers, recovers their surprising successes, explains their ultimate failure, and helps readers assess this outcome.  [from publisher web site]

New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 401 pages
ISBN: 9781107613218
Call number: KF3369 .L368 2014

The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations (Dec 2014)

William K. Roche, Paul Teague and Alexander J.S. Colvin (editors)

This book explores conflict management in organizations, focusing on the various organizational practices and procedures used to resolve and sometimes prevent conflict in the workplace in countries such as Japan, China, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Britain, and the United States. It looks at conventional approaches based on standard grievance and dispute resolution procedures as well as alternative dispute resolution methods that seek ways other than civil litigation or turn to administrative agencies that implement employment laws. It discusses grievance procedures under collective bargaining and in non-union firms, along with workplace mediation, interest-based bargaining, the nature and outcomes of conflict management systems, and the role of the organizational ombudsman, third parties, and line managers in conflict management and resolution. In addition, the book examines developments in employment rights and human resources management perspectives on conflict management. It also presents a series of case studies of exemplars and innovators in conflict management, including ‘judicial mediation’ practiced by employment tribunals in the UK. [from publisher web site]

Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. 541 pages
ISBN: 9780199653676
Call number: HD42 .O936 2014

What Does the Minimum Wage Do? (Nov 2014)

Dale Belman and Paul J. Wolfson

Belman and Wolfson have compiled the most comprehensive, analytical, and unbiased assessment of the effects of minimum wage increases that has ever been produced. Based on a rigorous meta-analysis of more than 200 scholarly publications published since 1991 (most after 2000) that address the various impacts of raising the minimum wage, the authors observe several outcomes influenced by increases in the minimum wage, how long it takes those outcomes to respond, the magnitude of effects, why increases in the minimum wage have the results they do, and the workers most likely to be impacted. The breadth and depth of their investigation clarifies the issues surrounding employment, wages, poverty and inequality, and effect by gender.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in the effects of raising the minimum wage.

Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. 471 pages
ISBN: 9780880994569
Call number: HD4918 .B45 2014

Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - And Helped Save an American Town (Oct 2014)

Beth Macy

The Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. Run by the same powerful Virginia family for generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, Virginia. But beginning in the 1980s, the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately Bassett was forced to send its production overseas.

One man fought back: John Bassett III, a shrewd and determined third-generation factory man, now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of more than $90 million. In Factory Man, Beth Macy brings to life Bassett's deeply personal furniture and family story, along with a host of characters from an industry that was as cutthroat as it was colorful. As she shows how he uses legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and sheer grit and cunning to save hundreds of jobs, she also reveals the truth about modern industry in America. [from publisher web site]

New York: Little, Brown and Company. 451 pages
ISBN: 9780316231435
Call number: HD9773.U74 V38 2014

The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations (Sep 2014)

David V. Day (Ed.)

The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations provides in-depth treatment on scholarly topics representing the discipline of leadership. The Handbook comprises a collection of comprehensive, state-of-the-science reviews and perspectives on the most pressing historical and contemporary leadership issues, with a particular focus on theory and research. It provides a broad picture of the leadership field, as well as detailed reviews and perspectives within the respective areas. The Handbook features the contributions of leading international scholars across forty chapters, which are organized into eight sections representing the history and background of leadership, research methods, leader-centric theories and approaches, follower-centric theories and approaches, dyadic and team-centric theories and approaches, emerging issues in organizational leadership, emerging contextual issues in leadership, and special issues in leadership. The knowledge compiled in this volume represents the state of the science with regard to leadership and organizations. [from publisher web site]

New York: Oxford University Press. 892 pages
ISBN: 9780199755615
Call number: HD57.7 .O966 2014

The Chicken Trail: Following Workers, Migrants, and Corporations Across the Americas (Aug 2014)

Kathleen C. Schwartzman

In The Chicken Trail, Kathleen C. Schwartzman examines the impact of globalization—and of NAFTA in particular—on the North American poultry industry, focusing on the displacement of African American workers in the southeast United States and workers in Mexico. Schwartzman documents how the transformation of U.S. poultry production in the 1980s increased its export capacity and changed the nature and consequences of labor conflict. She documents how globalization—and NAFTA in particular—forced Mexico to open its commodity and capital markets, and eliminate state support of corporations and rural smallholders. As a consequence, many Mexicans were forced to abandon their no longer sustainable small farms, with some seeking work in industrialized poultry factories north of the border.

By following this chicken trail, Schwartzman breaks through the deadlocked immigration debate, highlighting the broader economic and political contexts of immigration flows. The narrative that undocumented worker take jobs that Americans don't want to do is too simplistic. Schwartzman argues instead that illegal immigration is better understood as a labor story in which the hiring of undocumented workers is part of a management response to the crises of profit making and labor-management conflict. By placing the poultry industry at the center of a constellation of competing individual, corporate, and national interests and such factors as national debt, free trade, economic development, industrial restructuring, and African American unemployment, The Chicken Trail makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the implications of globalization for labor and how the externalities of free trade and neoliberalism become the social problems of nations and the tragedies of individuals.
[from publisher web site]

Ithaca: ILR Press/Cornell University Press. 202 pages
ISBN: 9780801451164
Call number: HD9437.U62 S49 2013