Book of the Month Archive

Downsizing: Is Less Still More? (Jul 2012)

Cary Cooper, Alankrita Pandey, James Campbell Quick (editors)

Downsizing is one of the most frequently used business strategies for reducing costs, returning firms to profit or for restructuring businesses following takeovers, mergers and acquisitions. Downsizing measures are also set to become much more prevalent in the public sector as governments seek to restrict levels of public spending. This book is one of the first to provide a thorough study of downsizing from a global perspective. It examines the phenomenon in its entirety, exploring how it is initiated and what the process of downsizing looks like. It also looks at the effects of downsizing at a number of different levels, from the individual (e.g., motivational effects, effects on health and stress levels) to the organizational (e.g., financial outcomes, reputational and productivity outcomes). Written by an international team of experts, the book provides a comprehensive overview of downsizing that examines both the strategic and human implications of this process. [from publisher web site]

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 429 pages
ISBN: 9781107004672
Call number: HD58.85 .D69 2012

Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management (Jun 2012)

Chris Brewster, Wolfgang Maryhofer (editors)

This unique and path-breaking Handbook explores the issue of comparative Human Resource Management (HRM) and challenges the notion that there can be a ‘one best way’ to manage HRM.

The Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management provides a theoretical, practical and regional analysis of comparative HRM. This book, edited by two specialists on comparative HRM and written by leading experts on each topic and from each region, explores the range of different approaches to conceptualising HRM, and highlights HRM policy and practice that occur in the various regions of the world. As such, the volume provides a challenge to the typical assumption that there are consistent problems in managing human resources around the globe that call for standardised solutions. Instead, the contributors emphasise the importance of institutional and cultural factors that make HRM a most context-sensitive management task.

Offering a comprehensive view for readers with different interests, this insightful Handbook will prove to be an essential resource for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in international business, business administration, HRM, socio-economics and cross-cultural management. Practitioners interested in the cultural aspects of HRM will also find this Handbook invaluable. [from publisher web site]

Cheltenham, UK : Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. 693 pages
ISBN: 9781847207265
Call number: HF5549.15 .H36 2012

Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street (May 2012)

John Nichols

This book is about the protest movement that captivated the nation and paved the path for Occupy Wall Street. More than 100,000 public employees, teachers, students, and their allies descended on the capital in Madison, Wisconsin after Governor Scott Walker announced his plan to eliminate the right of public sector employees to unionize. The struggle (and the Democratic caucus’ escape to Indiana in order to prevent a quorum from being reached) elicited extensive national media coverage and debate—as well as enormous grassroots support for protestors. Uprising provides an anatomy of the event and its implications for the political future of the nation. As state legislatures across the US (in Ohio and New Hampshire, to name a few) take up union busting measures, Nichols shows how the Wisconsin case is a blueprint for progressives around America who’ve had enough. He also explores how Wisconsin protesters organized and inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement.

New York: Nation Books. 192 pages
ISBN: 9781568587035
Call number: HD8083.W6 N53

Global Human Resource Management Casebook (Mar 2012)

James Hayton, Michal Biron, Liza Castro Christiansen, Bård Kuvaas (editors)

The Global Human Resource Management Casebook is a collection of business teaching cases, focusing on Human Resource Management issues around the world. Each case is based in a single country and illustrates one or more significant challenge faced by managers and HR practitioners. The influence of the unique national cultural and institutional context upon the issues in the case is emphasized. In total 32 unique and original cases are presented, each from different national contexts. Every case is followed by a set of questions for use in class discussion or private study of the cases.

This casebook is a project undertaken by a committee of international members of the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management (USA). The HR Division currently has over 3500 members worldwide, indicating a significant immediate audience for the text. The committee, referred to as the HR Ambassadors Committee (James Hayton, Chair) is intended to represent the global membership of the organization. We currently have members in over 60 countries, and Ambassadors for over 50 of these. The committee was established to contribute to the internationalization of the HR Division and the Academy of Management by creating collaborative projects that both involve and serve the global membership. This book, which represents the first product of our collaboration, is expected to provide a useful teaching tool for HRM educators, and secondarily is expected to be of use to HR practitioners with an interest in the globalization of HRM. [from publisher web site]

New York: Routledge. 406 pages
ISBN: 9780415893701
Call number: HF5549 .G5388 2012

Borrow: The American Way of Debt (Feb 2012)

Louis Hyman

Borrow is a lively history of consumer debt in America that demonstrates how the rise of consumer borrowing—virtually unknown before the twentieth century—has altered our culture and economy. Economic historian Louis Hyman gives a historical perspective on economic turmoil, demonstrating that today’s problems are not as new as we think. Hyman recently contributed “A Brief History of Debt” to the Huffington Post as well as an Op-Ed for the New York Daily News that discusses how budgets can lull consumers into a false sense of security. He was also interviewed by Salon and appeared on NPR’s The Roundtable. [from publisher web site]

New York: Vintage Books. 292 pages
ISBN: 9780307741684
Call number: HG3756.U54 H95 2012

Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey (Jan 2012)

Gary S. Fields

More than three billion people, nearly half of humankind, live on less than two-and-a-half U.S. dollars per person per day. Studies have shown repeatedly that the main and often the sole asset of the poor is their labor. It follows that to understand global poverty one must understand labor markets and labor earnings in the developing world. Excellent books exist on ending world poverty that discuss in depth many important aspects of economic development but do not focus on employment and self-employment, work and non-work. Working Hard, Working Poor fills in where the other books leave off.

Issues of analyzing poverty and low earnings in the developing world are quite different from those in the developed world. The discourse in the developed world is about incentive effects of social welfare programs, cultures of poverty, single-parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, ill health, mental illness, domestic violence, and the like. But in the developing world, different issues predominate, such as own-account work and household enterprises, agricultural work, casual employment, and informal work. And some of the policy issues--stimulating economic growth, harnessing the energies of the private sector, increasing paid employment, and raising the returns to self-employment--take a different twist. This book shows how people in poverty work, what has been effective in helping the poor earn their way out of poverty, and how readers might help. [from publisher web site]

New York: Oxford University Press. 230 pages
ISBN: 9780199794645
Call number: HC59.72.P6 F54 2011

Walmart in China (Dec 2011)

Anita Chan

Walmart and "Made in China" are practically synonymous; Walmart imports some 70 percent of its merchandise from China. Walmart is now also rapidly becoming a major retail presence there, with close to two hundred Walmarts in more than a hundred Chinese cities. What happens when the world's biggest retailer and the world's biggest country do business with each other? In this book, a group of thirteen experts from several disciplines examine the symbiotic but strained relationship between these giants. The book shows how Walmart began cutting costs by bypassing its American suppliers and sourcing directly from Asia and how Walmart's sheer size has trumped all other multinationals in squeezing procurement prices and, as a by-product, driving down Chinese workers' wages.

China is also an inviting frontier for Walmart's global superstore expansion. As China's middle class grows, the chain's Western image and affordable goods have become popular. Walmart's Arkansas headquarters exports to the Chinese stores a unique corporate culture and management ideology, which oddly enough are reminiscent of Mao-era Chinese techniques for promoting loyalty. Three chapters separately detail the lives of a Walmart store manager, a lower-level store supervisor, and a cashier. Another chapter focuses on employees' wages, "voluntary" overtime, and the stores' strict labor discipline. In 2006, the official Chinese trade union targeted Walmart, which is antilabor in its home country, and succeeded in setting up union branches in all the stores. Walmart in China reveals the surprising outcome. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press/Cornell University Press. 294 pages
ISBN: 9780801477317

Collision course : Ronald Reagan, the air traffic controllers, and the strike that changed America (Nov 2011)

Joseph A. McCartin

In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As Joseph A. McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers' inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO's fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics.

Collision Course sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world's busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who sought to make the airways safer and fought to win a secure place in the American middle class. It climaxes with the story of Reagan and the controllers, who surprisingly endorsed the Republican on the promise that he would address their grievances. That brief, fateful alliance triggered devastating miscalculations that changed America, forging patterns that still govern the nation's labor politics.

Written with an eye for detail and a grasp of the vast consequences of the PATCO conflict for both air travel and America's working class, Collision Course is a stunning achievement. [from publisher web site]

New York: Oxford University Press. 472 pages
ISBN: 9780199836789

From iron rice bowl to informalization : markets, workers, and the state in a changing China (Oct 2011)

Sarosh Kuruvilla, Ching Kwan Lee, and Mary E. Gallagher (editors)

In the thirty years since the opening of China's economy, China's economic growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. At the same time, however, its employment relations system has undergone a gradual but fundamental transformation from stable and permanent employment with good benefits (often called the iron rice bowl), to a system characterized by highly precarious employment with no benefits for about 40 percent of the population. Similar transitions have occurred in other countries, such as Korea, although perhaps not at such a rapid pace as in China. This shift echoes the move from "breadwinning" careers to contingent employment in the postindustrial United States.

In From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization, an interdisciplinary group of authors examines the nature, causes, and consequences of informal employment in China at a time of major changes in Chinese society. This book provides a guide to the evolving dynamics among workers, unions, NGOs, employers, and the state as they deal with the new landscape of insecure employment. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press. 233 pages
ISBN: 9780801450242
Call number: HD8736.5 .F76 2011

The Thought of Work (Sep 2011)

John W. Budd

What is work? Is it simply a burden to be tolerated or something more meaningful to one's sense of identity and self-worth? And why does it matter? In a uniquely thought-provoking book, John W. Budd presents ten historical and contemporary views of work from across the social sciences and humanities. By uncovering the diverse ways in which we conceptualize work—such as a way to serve or care for others, a source of freedom, a source of income, a method of psychological fulfillment, or a social relation shaped by class, gender, race, and power—The Thought of Work reveals the wide-ranging nature of work and establishes its fundamental importance for the human experience. When we work, we experience our biological, psychological, economic, and social selves. Work locates us in the world, helps us and others make sense of who we are, and determines our access to material and social resources.

By integrating these distinct views, Budd replaces the usual fragmentary approaches to understanding the nature and meaning of work with a comprehensive approach that promotes a deep understanding of how work is understood, experienced, and analyzed. Concepts of work affect who and what is valued, perceptions of freedom and social integration, identity construction, evaluations of worker well-being, the legitimacy and design of human resource management practices, support for labor unions and labor standards, and relationships between religious faith and work ethics. By drawing explicit attention to diverse, implicit meanings of work, The Thought of Work allows us to better understand work, to value it, and to structure it in desirable ways that reflect its profound importance. [from publisher web site]

Ithaca, NY: ILR Press. 247 pages
ISBN: 9780801449833
Call number: HD4904 .B78 2011