Breaking the Mold: Redesigning Work for Productive and Satisfying Lives / Edition 2

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In Breaking the Mold, Lotte Bailyn argues that society's separation of work and family is no longer a tenable model for employees or the organizations that employ them. Unless American business is willing to radically rethink some of its basic assumptions about work, career paths, and time, both employee and employer will suffer in today's intensely competitive business environment. Bailyn's message was bold when this book was originally published in 1993. Now thoroughly updated to reflect the latest developments in the organization of work, the demography of the workforce, and attitudes toward the integration of work and personal life, this second edition is even more compelling.

Bailyn finds that implementation of policies designed to allow "flexibility" is rarely smooth and often results in gender inequity. Using real-life cases to illustrate the problems employees encounter in coordinating work and private life, she details how corporations generally handle these problems and suggests models for innovation. Throughout, she shows how the structure and culture of corporate life could be changed to integrate employees' other obligations and interests, and in the process help organizations become more effective. Drawing on international comparisons as well as many years of working with organizations of various kinds, Bailyn emphasizes the need to redesign work itself.

Breaking the Mold allows us to rethink the connections between organizational processes and personal concerns. Implementation of Bailyn's suggestions could help employees to become more effective in all realms of their complicated lives and allow employing organizations to engage their full productive potential.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Listen carefully! Herein lies a blueprint for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a postindustrial society. As well reasoned, carefully documented, and understated as it is, this small book is nothing less than a manifesto for change from one of the world's leading scholars of work and family issues. Standing on the foundation of a lifetime of solid research, Lotte Bailyn first shows us why our cultural assumptions about work no longer mesh with the lives we now lead. She then tells us how we can resolve the mismatch so that employers and employees both benefit. Breaking the Mold is an incisive, clearheaded, no-nonsense, and yet hopeful book about the role of work in our ever more complicated lives that rises above both the gender politics and the HR hype that often attend such discussions."—Stephen R. Barley, Charles M. Pigott Professor of Management Science and Engineering and Co-Director, Center for Work, Technology and Organization, Stanford University

"Lotte Bailyn, a towering innovator who helped put work/life issues on the map, has substantially rewritten her classic study so that it remains on the cutting edge. It is fresh, timely, and indispensable. Bailyn answers the key question of how to take a step beyond existing 'family-friendly policies' that are little used because they dead-end once-promising careers."—Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director, Center for WorkLife Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

"No one sees the all-powerful but sometimes invisible assumptions that shape the way Americans live and work more clearly than Lotte Bailyn. And no one describes these assumptions more articulately. If we are truly to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and 'break the mold' so that we can be more successful at work and at home, we will have to heed the profound lessons in this remarkable book."—Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801489983
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the world we live in 1
Interlude I Nancy Wright : success? 12
2 Organizational constraints : defining the road to success 21
3 Individual constraints : occupational demands on private life 33
4 Family as a complicating issue for organizations 48
Interlude II Elizabeth Gray : failure? 61
5 Rethinking commitment and time 69
6 Rethinking equity and control 86
7 Pathways to change 99
Interlude III The Thompsons : promise of things to come? 120
8 Envisioning the future 130
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