Company Man:: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life

Anthony Sampson, Author Crown Business $27.5 (354p) ISBN 978-0-8129-2631-6
In this provocative and incisive social history of the corporation, British journalist Sampson observes that the ``organization man'' of the 1950s and '60s--a loyal worker confident of annual raises and a growing pension--is virtually extinct. Today's company men and company women face insecurity in offices that seem placeless networks of telecommuters and data banks, with short-term specialists and consultants increasingly replacing lifetime employees. Drawing on an array of writers, including H. G. Wells, G. B. Shaw, Franz Kafka, Sinclair Lewis, Thorstein Veblen, Kurt Vonnegut and John Kenneth Galbraith, Sampson explores the often dehumanizing fabric of corporate life and charts the history of corporations from 17th-century European merchant companies and Rockefeller's Standard Oil to the present, with profiles of IBM, Microsoft, General Motors, Sony, Toyota and Shell, among others. While middle managers and clerical employees are being squeezed and are more vulnerable to layoffs, top bosses have become more powerful and better-paid than ever, and Sampson urges safeguards to protect both shareholders and employees against the lack of corporate accountability. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
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