• 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.

Federalist Reality – the Pre-History of Management
Federalist reality – the pre-history of management

‘It's Not the Same America’ proclaims a 1994 article in Inc. magazine. According to this article:

America has always been, above all else, the land of opportunity, a country where those at the bottom can work their way up the ladder to succeed. But now that ideal is endangered – the bottom rung is broken. For some surprising reasons, the American Dream is being destroyed where it's needed most. (Welles, 1994: 82)

Welles echoes Bardwick's (1991:7) claim that ‘the American Dream is based on a contract that says, “if you work hard, you are going to be more successful than your parents were.”’ It is not surprising that Newman (1988) entitled her study of ...

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