THE CORPORATE COUPLE: Living the Corporate Game by Peggy J. Berry

THE CORPORATE COUPLE: Living the Corporate Game

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With a title like this, one would expect a new in-depth look into the trendy yuppie couple so much with us lately. Instead, we get something between a sociology textbook and an advice column in a women's magazine. As in a sociology text, here are categories, regroupings and labels. Berry states the obvious and categorizes it, for what seems for no other reason than mere exercise. In the corporate game, there are ""rookies,"" ""stars,"" and ""coaches."" Upon becoming a rookie in a corporation, most idealistic and ambitious youngsters of 23 get hooked into climbing the success stairway. In Berry's opinion, there are three basic motivations for this climb: socialization, company initiation, and ego. In the ""star"" phase, we naturally get three categories of stars: superstars, stabilizers, and dropouts. Coaches are governed by the management style of their corporation: autocratic or participatory and so on. This incessant pigeonholing goes on until the reader forgets which labels represent which categories and why. Berry is primarily concerned with the depressing effects a corporate husband's long hours, frequent traveling and relocations have on the wife. She has some encouraging pep talks for wives--all four types of them: the ""supportive wife,"" ""working wife,"" ""career wife"" and ""family as career"" wife. But telling a corporate spouse ""to develop and retain your sense of self"" and that ""communication is a major source of conflict in most marriages"" are not particularly breakthrough concepts. For all the trite advice, Berry does offer some innovative suggestions to improve the corporate structure. She makes a plea for corporations to assist employees to have a better relationship with families and friends by implementing spouse job assistance, child-care centers and employee counseling. She also makes the point that the dearth of any corporate-sponsored research into employee life-style problems shows that their interest in humanism lacks sincerity and credibility. Since Berry offers no real-life examples of her postulations and categorical labels (except for an occasional composite anecdote), the human element needed to galvanize the restructuring of corporate America is sadly missing.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Watts