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Managing in the Modern Corporation
The Intensification of Managerial Work in the USA, UK and Japan


  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521189873

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • In recent years, widespread organisational change in large corporations has almost invariably led to work intensification and increased stress for managers. Managing in the Modern Corporation explains how and why large companies have changed their organisational structures and philosophies, focusing in particular on how these changes affect the careers of middle managers. Based on in-depth interviews with over two hundred middle and senior managers working in large corporations in the USA, UK and Japan, it shows how the working lives of managers have been subjected to major disruption, involving work intensification and reduced opportunities for career progression. Furthermore, it argues that such widespread overwork and poor treatment of highly skilled and highly motivated staff has created a major international problem that must be addressed. The book presents a range of solutions to this important problem, suggesting that there are possibilities for saner, less brutal organisational environments.

    • Integrated approach to organisational restructuring explores the empirical evidence and specific case studies alongside detailed theoretical discussion of the modern corporation
    • Coverage of the USA, UK and Japan allows the reader to compare international differences in work organization and different approaches to dealing with workplace restructuring
    • Lengthy and detailed excerpts from interviews with over 200 managers provide organisational stories in the words of those directly caught up in organisational change
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'They are disparaged and downsized, yet middle managers are the backbone of contemporary organizations. At last, we have a study that takes the middle-managers' world seriously, and chronicles the ruthless pressures to which they have been subjected in recent years as well as their strategies for survival and resistance. Through extensive interviewing and an impressively thorough review of the evidence, Hassard, Morris and McCann reveal startling similarities in the condition of middle managers across the UK, USA and Japan.' Paul Adler Professor of Management and Organisation, University of Southern California

    Review of the hardback: 'Eschewing rhetoric, the authors provide a refreshing return to the roots of sociological theory and the reality of organizational change, linking the political economy of hyper-capitalism to the structural changes in large corporations that create 'ratcheted pressures and reduced entitlements' for middle managers. Carefully researched over several years in American, British and Japanese corporations, the book is filled with vivid accounts of the contradictory changes in managers' working lives and careers. Concrete, provocative, and insightful for practitioners, policy makers and scholars of organization theory and management studies.' Rosemary Batt Alice H. Cook Professor of Women and Work, Cornell University

    Review of the hardback: 'Managing in the Modern Corporation explores beyond and behind the hype of most current popular accounts of management as a privileged self-serving cadre. Global competition has flattened organizations enormously. With this flattening there has been a hollowing out of firms that, spread globally, have restructured and reengineered, stretched their hierarchies, remuneration ratios and workload for those managers who survive. Highly paid managers in Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, and their changing employment fortunes, are charted in this book, based primarily on in-depth, life-history interviews with middle managers and strategy-focused consultations with senior human resource executives. With clarity, depth of insight and analytic acumen drawn for the best of contemporary social science, the authors redefine the reality of managerial work in the current era.' Stewart Clegg Professor of Organisational and Work Culture, University of Aston Business School

    Review of the hardback: 'This fascinating book offers an appraisal of middle managers, whose job it is to restructure companies to keep them efficient. As the authors show, the irony of the situation is that middle managers pay a high price even when restructuring is successful: longer hours, more stress, less satisfaction at work. Yet all is not lost. The book is attentive to the varieties of managerial work - in different industries and different countries - and it is in these details that the authors hint at possibilities for a more sensible and humane approach to the work that middle managers do.' Sanford M. Jacoby Professor of Management, History and Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles

    Review of the hardback: 'This important book takes us inside thirty large corporations in America, Britain and Japan to examine the experiences of middle managers dealing with the realities of restructuring and organizational change. In-depth interviews with 200 middle managers and 50 senior executives provide a compelling picture of the politics of corporate life and the human costs of restructuring. The contrast of restructuring in different cultural contexts illuminates similarities and differences in corporate response to international competition. This book is required reading for anyone concerned about the dignity and meaning of work in large organizations today.' Robert Perrucci Professor of Sociology, Purdue University and co-author, with Carolyn Perrucci, of America at Risk: The Crisis of Hope, Trust, and Caring (2009)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521189873
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    About the cover
    1. Going under the knife: downsizing and delayering the modern corporation
    2. Exploring corporate life: a realist view on management restructuring
    3. Living in the house that Jack built: management restructuring in America
    4. Maximising shareholder value: management restructuring in Britain
    5. New world of the salaryman: management restructuring in Japan
    6. Fighting back? Addressing the human costs of management restructuring
    Author index
    Subject index.

  • Authors

    John Hassard, University of Manchester

    Leo McCann, University of Manchester

    Jonathan Morris, Cardiff University

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