Book Description

From Publishers Weekly In this provocative and incisive social history of the corporation, British journalist Sampson observes that the 'organization man' of the 1950s and '60s?a loyal worker confident of annual raises and a growing pension?is virtually extinct. Today's company men and company women face insecurity in offices that seem placeless networks of telecommuters and data banks, with short-term specialists and consultants increasingly replacing lifetime employees. Drawing on an array of writers, including H. G. Wells, G. B. Shaw, Franz Kafka, Sinclair Lewis, Thorstein Veblen, Kurt Vonnegut and John Kenneth Galbraith, Sampson explores the often dehumanizing fabric of corporate life and charts the history of corporations from 17th-century European merchant companies and Rockefeller's Standard Oil to the present, with profiles of IBM, Microsoft, General Motors, Sony, Toyota and Shell, among others. While middle managers and clerical employees are being squeezed and are more vulnerable to layoffs, top bosses have become more powerful and better-paid than ever, and Sampson urges safeguards to protect both shareholders and employees against the lack of corporate accountability. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Library Journal With downsizing, home offices, global competition, and other shocks, the traditional white-collar worker is being transported to an alien work environment. British author Sampson (The Essential Anatomy of Britain, Harcourt, 1993) traces here the development of company workers and then examines the forces transforming the workplace. He reviews American companies as well as European and Japanese organizations. The author focuses on some specific examples, such as IBM and Exxon, to demonstrate the changes in corporate structure from early family businesses to corporate bureaucracy to raiders and international conglomerates, emphasizing how this progression has affected company loyalty and job security. Although Sampson constructs an interesting narrative about corporate growth and change, he offers few predictions about the future. A good selection for larger business collections.?Joshua Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more See all Editorial Reviews