Fat and Mean: The Corporate Squeeze of Working Americans and the Myth of Managerial "Downsizing"

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Title Fat and Mean: The Corporate Squeeze of Working Americans and the Myth of Managerial "Downsizing"
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 1996
Authors Gordon, D. M.
Publisher Free Press
Keywords bureaucracy, disposability, flexibility, psychic prison, rivalry
Notes disposability, flexibility"Part of the problem with the emergence of the 'disposable' worker is that the potential advantages of true 'flexiblity' at work have been compromised. Employers can benefit from some leeway in how they schedule their workforce. And many employees, especially those with children, can benefit from choice and discretion in scheduling their own working time. But disposability is not flexibility. As a result of recent trends, part-time and more contingent work is becoming a sentence, not an opportunity. Workers are losing rights, choice, and benefits." (p. 246) bureaucracy"I call it the 'bureaucratic burden'--the massive size and cost of the managerial and supervisory apparatus of private U.S. corporations. It's one of the most stunning features of the U.S. Economy." (p. 33) "Feudal baronies prospered and grew in the European countryside in the eleventh-thirteenth centuries. And the equivalent of feudal baronies prospered and grew in U.S. corporations in the postwar period. Reflecting on this baronial culture in the early 1980's, an officer of Chemical Bank concluded: 'The way you got ahead was getting more people under you than your rival had, which created more bureaucracy, of course.' This dynamic creates a pressure for managerial ranks to expand even to greater size than might otherwise be justified by the criteria of profitability." (p. 77)
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