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The Vanishing American Corporation

Author: Gerald F. Davis
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 1626562806
Size: 31.41 MB
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It may be hard to believe in an era of Walmart, Citizens United, and the Koch brothers, but corporations are on the decline. The number of American companies listed on the stock market dropped by half between 1996 and 2012. In recent years we've seen some of the most storied corporations go bankrupt (General Motors, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak) or disappear entirely (Bethlehem Steel, Lehman Brothers, Borders). Gerald Davis argues this is a root cause of the income inequality and social instability we face today. Corporations were once an integral part of building the middle class. He points out that in their heyday they offered millions of people lifetime employment, a stable career path, health insurance, and retirement pensions. They were like small private welfare states. The businesses that are replacing them will not fill the same role. For one thing, they employ far fewer people—the combined global workforces of Facebook, Yelp, Zynga, LinkedIn, Zillow, Tableau, Zulily, and Box are smaller than the number of people who lost their jobs when Circuit City was liquidated in 2009. And in the “sharing economy,” companies have no obligation to most of the people who work for them—at the end of 2014 Uber had over 160,000 “driver-partners” in the United States but recognized only about 2,000 people as actual employees. Davis tracks the rise of the large American corporation and the economic, social, and technological developments that have led to its decline. The future could see either increasing economic polarization, as careers turn into jobs and jobs turn into tasks, or a more democratic economy built from the grass roots. It's up to us.

Managed By The Markets

Author: Gerald F. Davis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199216614
Size: 67.95 MB
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The retail industry now employs far more Americans than the manufacturing sector. Wal-Mart alone employs more Americans than the dozen largest manufacturers combined. Managed by the Markets explains how finance has replaced manufacturing at the center of the American economy and what it means for business, banking, government, and individuals. For much of the 20th century, American society was shaped by large corporations and their business and employment practices. But since the early 1980s, finance and financial considerations have increasingly taken center stage, reshaping the institutions of American society along the way. Corporations have become more focused and network-like, with an overriding orientation toward creating shareholder value, while their personnel practices no longer provide secure employment, economic mobility, health insurance, or retirement benefits. Instead, employees are advised to become shareholding free-agents, responsible for their own fate. Banking has shifted from a traditional format of taking in deposits and making loans to an originate-and-distribute model, turning loans (such as mortgages or corporate debt) into bonds owned by institutional investors. The financial services industry is both more concentrated among large banks and mutual funds, yet more disaggregated among under-regulated specialists such as mortgage finance companies and hedge funds. States increasingly act as "vendors" in a global marketplace of law andemulate the business practices of network firms such as Nike, hiring contractors to do much of the basic work of government. Without stable corporate employers, individuals and households find their welfare tied to the stock market and the mortgage market. The turbulence of the stock market and the housing market in the early years of the 21st century have demonstrated the dangers of tying society too closely to financial markets. Managed by the Markets explains how the new finance-centered system works, how we got here, and what challenges lie ahead.

Government By Contract

Author: Jody Freeman
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674032088
Size: 38.23 MB
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The dramatic growth of government over the course of the twentieth century since the New Deal prompts concern among libertarians and conservatives and also among those who worry about governmentâe(tm)s costs, efficiency, and quality of service. These concerns, combined with rising confidence in private markets, motivate the widespread shift of federal and state government work to private organizations. This shift typically alters only who performs the work, not who pays or is ultimately responsible for it. âeoeGovernment by contractâe now includes military intelligence, environmental monitoring, prison management, and interrogation of terrorism suspects. Outsourcing government work raises questions of accountability. What role should costs, quality, and democratic oversight play in contracting out government work? What tools do citizens and consumers need to evaluate the effectiveness of government contracts? How can the work be structured for optimal performance as well as compliance with public values? Government by Contract explains the phenomenon and scope of government outsourcing and sets an agenda for future research attentive to workforce capacities as well as legal, economic, and political concerns.

Management A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Hendry
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199656983
Size: 51.54 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, John Hendry provides a lively introduction to the nature and principles of management. Tracing its development over the past century, Hendry looks not only at the jobs managers do today and their place in the culture of work, but also provides an insight into modern management theory.

Changing Your Company From The Inside Out

Author: Gerald Davis
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
ISBN: 1422185109
Size: 63.42 MB
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MAKE YOUR COMPANY A FORCE FOR GOOD You’re ambitious. You’re not afraid to take risks. You want to bring about positive social change. And while your peers have left a trail of failed start-ups in their wake, you want to initiate change from within an established company, where you can have a more far-reaching, even global impact. Welcome to the club—you’re a social intrapreneur. But even with your enviable skill set, your unwavering social conscience, and your determination to change the world, your path to success is filled with challenges. So how do you get started and maintain your momentum? Changing Your Company from the Inside Out provides the tools to empower you to jump-start initiatives that matter to you—and that should matter to your company. Drawing on lessons from social movements as well as on the work of successful intrapreneurs, Gerald Davis and Christopher White provide you with a guide for creating positive social change from within your own organization. You’ll learn how to answer four key questions: • When is the right time for change? Learn how to read your organization’s climate. • Why is this a compelling change? Use language and stories to connect your initiative to your organization’s mission, strategy, and values. • Who will make this innovation possible? Identify the decision makers you need to persuade and the potential resisters you need to steer around. • How can you mobilize your supporters to collaborate on your innovation? Use the online and offline tools and platforms that best support your initiative. This book is a road map for intrapreneurs seeking to reshape their companies into drivers of positive change. If you want to spearhead social innovation from within your company, use this book as your guide.

The Fracturing Of The American Corporate Elite

Author: Mark S. Mizruchi
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674075366
Size: 58.97 MB
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Critics warn that corporate leaders have too much influence over American politics. Mark Mizruchi worries they exert too little. American CEOs have abdicated their civic responsibilities in helping the government address national challenges, with grave consequences for society. A sobering assessment of the dissolution of America’s business class.

Business Lessons From A Radical Industrialist

Author: Ray C. Anderson
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1429997168
Size: 48.39 MB
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In 1994, Interface founder and chairman Ray Anderson set an audacious goal for his commercial carpet company: to take nothingfrom the earth that can't be replaced by the earth. Now, Anderson leads the way forward and challenges all of industry to share that goal. The Interface story is a compelling one: in 1994, making carpets was a toxic, petroleum-based process, releasing immense amounts of air and water pollution and creating tons of waste. Fifteen years after Anderson's call for change, Interface has: —cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82%—cut fossil fuel consumption by 60%—cut waste by 66%—cut water use by 75%—invented and patented new machines, materials, and manufacturing processes—increased sales by 66%, doubled earnings, and raised profit margins With practical ideas and measurable outcomes that every business can use, Anderson shows that profit and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; businesses can improve their bottom lines and do right by the earth. Ray Anderson is featured in the film, So Right, So Smart, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at how his leadership transformed Interface into a company with a sustainable business practices that made it more profitable than it was before.

The Vanishing American Adult

Author: Ben Sasse
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1250114411
Size: 44.36 MB
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THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In an era of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and an unprecedented election, the country's youth are in crisis. Senator Ben Sasse warns the nation about the existential threat to America's future. Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America's youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy. Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant—are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents. From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life. In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body—and explains how parents can encourage them. Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly—without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms, The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we're raising our children and the future of our country.

Indispensable And Other Myths

Author: Michael Dorff
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520281012
Size: 70.57 MB
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Prodded by economists in the 1970s, corporate directors began adding stock options and bonuses to the already-generous salaries of CEOs with hopes of boosting their companies’ fortunes. Guided by largely unproven assumptions, this trend continues today. So what are companies getting in return for all the extra money? Not much, according to the empirical data. In Indispensable and Other Myths: Why the CEO Pay Experiment Failed and How to Fix It, Michael Dorff explores the consequences of this development. He shows how performance pay has not demonstrably improved corporate performance and offers studies showing that performance pay cannot improve performance on the kind of tasks companies ask of their CEOs. Moreover, CEOs of large established companies do not typically have much impact on their companies’ results. In this eye-opening exposé, Dorff argues that companies should give up on the decades-long experiment to mold compensation into a corporate governance tool and maps out a rationale for returning to the era of guaranteed salaries.

Middle Class Meltdown In America

Author: Kevin T Leicht
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134631499
Size: 63.51 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In accessible prose for North American undergraduate students, this short text provides a sociological understanding of the causes and consequences of growing middle class inequality, with an abundance of supporting, empirical data. The book also addresses what we, as individuals and as a society, can do to put middle class Americans on a sounder footing.