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The author of the Ridden Persuaders and The Waste Makers is denigrated in some circles, but his titles have become household symbols. The Pyramid Climbers as a pat phrase may not have such an impact, but the research represented by the book covers a fact of American life that may have an even greater long-term significance: the relationship between the large industrial corporation and its management-level employees. Packard has synthesized the trend of articles in leading business and management magazines with his own observations of interviews, seminars, sessions, and social . He has had access to forms, records, procedures of personnel departments, consulting firms, and testing agencies, and has even subjected himself to some of the tests given managers. He notes the distinction between responsibilities involved in risk taking decisions and those of problem-solving decisions, and the contrasts between corporate man and entrepreneurs. He has outlined the most striking attributes and grievous failings of executives, their health and marital problems, the of and pressures upon frequently-transferred men and their families to put community rools, the most (and least) likely routes to the top of the pyramid. The strain of keeping a place in the pecking-order is no mean problem to the middle level manager who happens to the temperamentally better equipped to be president than he is to hold his tongue until he is promoted. Packard's most interesting chapters focus on the dilemma of those who face that danger, of ""washing out"" before they achieve their potential. So many people are looking for a toehold on the ledges of corporate pyramids, these days, that the book's reception stands in little doubt. The quality of his reporting has reached a rather higher level of stability, which makes him perhaps closer to target than ever before.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1962
Publisher: McGraw-Hill