Series editor(s): David Lewin and Paul Gollan
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||SUMNER SLICHTER ON PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE NEW DEAL|
|Author(s):||Bruce E Kaufman|
|Volume:||12 ISBN: 978-0-76231-028-9 eISBN: 978-1-84950-215-3|
|Citation:||Bruce E Kaufman (2003), SUMNER SLICHTER ON PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE NEW DEAL, in (ed.) 12 (Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations, Volume 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.223-269|
|DOI:||10.1016/S0742-6186(03)12009-4 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
The employment practices of major American companies underwent a marked transformation in the fifteen-year period dating roughly from the beginning of World War I to the oncoming of the Great Depression in late 1929 (Jacoby, 1985; Lescohier, 1935). At the start of World War I, the practice of personnel management was unknown in American industry. Instead, employment practices were largely informal, unscientific and administered in a decentralized, often heavy-handed and capricious manner by foremen and gang bosses. Labor was typically viewed as a commodity to be bought for as little possible and used for only as long as needed, leading to an employment relationship that was short-term and insecure. The prevailing methods of management were also highly autocratic and arbitrary, with workers expected to obey whatever orders were given and at risk of being fired for any offense real or imagined.
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