by David W. Ewing ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 1, 1982
Positive, up-to-the-minute thinking about employee fights for employers--by the managing editor of the Harvard Business Review and the author, most pertinently, of Freedom Inside the Organization (1977). Ewing first reviews--empathically and pragmatically--the reasons for the growth of employee dissidence: for one, ""there is less willingness to let someone else be the hero""; for another, the ""courts have come to the aid of employee critics and conscientious objectors."" The ""good"" organization, then, adapts. Utilizing recent cases of employee dissidence, Ewing proceeds from situations where management prerogatives are strong and employee rights are weak, to situations where ""prerogatives and rights are in uneasy balance,"" to those where prerogatives are weak and rights are strong. Among the latter is the case of US Steel salesman George Geary, who forfeited his job for opposing a defective new pipe--but, ""astonishingly"" and significantly, sued and lost ""by only one shaky vote."" The lesson: a superior can no longer brush off objections involving ""the safety or health of users and employees."" (On ethical issues in general, Ewing cautions, managers are no more than equal.) Subsequent sections ring changes on the theme of a new balance-of-power. To make despots squirm, Ewing sets out ""A Fiend's Manual of Perfidious Punishment"" (ways critics are forced out); to give managers some reserve ammunition, he offers a ""code of conduct"" for critics; to foster harmony, he applies Fisher and Ury (Getting to Yes) negotiating stratagems to previously cited situations. Most conventionally, he describes--per Harvard Business Review studies--the practices (participatory management, etc.) of ""good"" organizations. As regards the bedrock concepts, no substitute for the Alan Westin-Stephan Salisbury reader, Individual Rights in the Corporation (1981)--but a brisk, intelligent attempt to change managers' minds as well as their methods.
Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1982
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1982
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