• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Contemporary thinking about management is still frequently presented as a set of universal, eternal verities. In this fascinating book Roy Jacques presents a discursive history of industrial work relationships in the United States which powerfully demonstrates that they are not. A central concern is to show that current `common-sense' in management forms an historically and culturally specific way of thinking about work and society which is often inappropriate for `managing for the twenty-first century'. The author is equally interested in revealing the cultural basis for American management ideas, currently exported round the world as an objective science, disconnected from its cultural and historical roots.

Managing for the Next Century – or the Last?
Managing for the next century – or the last?

The revolution we started almost two years ago with the publication of Reengineering the Corporation [Hammer and Champy, 1993] continues …

(Hammer, 1995: xi)

The New Revolutionaries

The subtitle of Hammer and Champy (1993) is ‘a manifesto for business revolution.’ Manifesto? Revolution? Ever since that underdog victory of 1776–84, we Americans seem to have been consistently revolting (so to speak), but today a curious ‘radical’ is emerging. No less a management-consulting supernova than Tom Peters announced in the preface to his 1987 book that it was ‘about a revolution.’ In 1989, Rosabeth Moss Kanter threw in with the cause, announcing ‘a far-reaching revolution in business management.’ By 1992, Peters judged his ...

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