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Company Man: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life
     

Company Man: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life

by Anthony Sampson
 
The transformation of the corporate world is one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. How and why this transformation happened is the subject of this brilliant social history of business, which provides an intriguing look at how "the company man" has responded to the successive shocks of the past 20 years.

Overview

The transformation of the corporate world is one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. How and why this transformation happened is the subject of this brilliant social history of business, which provides an intriguing look at how "the company man" has responded to the successive shocks of the past 20 years.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Oct.)
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.
David Rouse
Management theorists and social critics can explain how work has been transformed and the employment contract altered in the information society with books such as Peter Drucker's "Post-Capitalist Society" (1993) or Jeremy Rifkin's "End of Work" (1995), but leave it to journalists such as Sampson to show that these changes have happened and what they mean. Readable and filled with insights, this social history paints a portrait of how the world of work has changed. Sampson begins his story in Seattle, where the contrasting cultures of that city's two most well known firms--Boeing and Microsoft--are dramatic examples of the extent of that change. Following "The Money Lenders", "The Midas Touch", "The Arms Bazaar", and "The Seven Sisters", "Company Man" is the latest in Sampson's 20-year string of successful, accessible business books.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812926316
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/26/1995
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.65(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.18(d)

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