In the 1980s, corporate America experienced massive cutbacks and organizational decline after decades of economic growth and dominance. The institutional and ideological changes that were part of the transformation created a new landscape of work and social relations for corporate middle managers.
Managing in the Corporate Interest assesses this landscape by examining a large diversified bank that restructured its organizational and personnel policies to meet a new era of corporate competition. Drawing on interviews with managers and personnel management employees, observation of management training seminars, and documentary sources, this book examines the unique mission handed to middle managers to scale back paternalistic employment policies. It also analyzes the intra-management conflict incurred when corporate top managers attempted to disguise their downsizing strategies and refused to acknowledge their own role in creating the bank’s economic crisis.
Vicki Smith's work suggests that quick-fix strategies such as downsizing and cutbacks, which dominated corporate profitability strategies in the 1980s, can corrode trust and legitimacy in the workplace. In the long run, such strategies also undermine consent to the current and very necessary transformation of the way American firms do business.
Managing in the Corporate Interest contains important lessons about the rise and decline of economic enterprises and provides a wide-ranging look at changes in the management, structure, and production processes of American corporations. Richly documented and accessibly written, this incisive work will appeal to business people and scholars alike.
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1990.