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Industrial Democracy in America: The Ambiguous Promise

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Overview

Industrial democracy is an old idea that has once again become both in vogue and controversial. Originally deployed as part of a late nineteenth-century radical critique of American capitalism, the language of industrial democracy - of participation, empowerment, flexibility, and teamwork - is now more likely to be found in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and other business publications. This collection, composed of nine original essays by well-known students of industrial America, offers many insights into the ways in which workers, capitalists, unionists, and managers have come to understand and transform the meaning of democracy and consent in American workplaces, both white and blue collar. David Montgomery, Howell Harris, and Joseph McCartin probe the meaning of industrial democracy during the Progressive Era. Ronald Schatz, Nelson Lichtenstein, James Atleson, and David Brody critically rethink the effectiveness of the collective-bargaining mode, which reached its greatest influence between 1935 and 1970. Finally, Sanford Jacoby and Mike Parker assess current problems of industrial governance in a global workplace.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...informative, wide-ranging, and provocative....Academics and activists alike will find this a sound addition to their 'must-reading' shelf." Labor Studies Journal

"This is an important and rich book that should and must be read by anyone interested in the quality of working life." Bryn Jones, Contemporary Sociology

"The book is excellently organized and edited...the list of chapter authors is a virtual 'who's who' of labor scholarship...should be listed in any bibliography on the changing structure of work in the United States." Henry P. Guzda, Monthly Labor Review

"...an astonishingly cohesive edited volume that does more than simply provide a rich and detailed history of the idea and practice of industrial democracy in the United States....This is an important and rich book that should and must be read by anyone interested in the quality of working life." Bryn Jones, Contemporary Sociology

"The book is excellently organized and edited...the list of chapter authors is a virtual 'who's who' of labor scholarship...should be listed in any bibliography on the changing structure of work in the United States." Henry P. Guzda, Monthly Labor Review

"It is an excellent anthology, suffering from none of the usual pitfalls of such collections. The chapters are well written, related to a single topic with virtually no overlaps, yet referenced to each other. The introduction by the editors serves as an excellent guide to the contents of the book and the relationships between chapters. It is the book's own best review." Kenneth Casebeer, Law and History Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521431217
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/26/1993
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Introduction: A century of industrial democracy in America 1
2 Industrial democracy or democracy in industry?: the theory and practice of the labor movement, 1870-1925 20
3 Industrial democracy and liberal capitalism, 1890-1925 43
4 "An American feeling": workers, managers, and the struggle over industrial democracy in the World War I era 67
5 From Commons to Dunlop: rethinking the field and theory of industrial relations 87
6 Great expectations: the promise of industrial jurisprudence and its demise, 1930-1960 113
7 Wartime labor regulation, the industrial pluralists, and the law of collective bargaining 142
8 Workplace contractualism in comparative perspective 176
9 Pacific ties: industrial relations and employment systems in Japan and the United States since 1900 206
10 Industrial relations myth and shop-floor reality: the "team concept" in the auto industry 249
11 Epilogue: Toward a new century 275
About the authors 284
Index 287
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