New Styles in Work-Place Management

February 26, 1988

Report Outline
Special Focus


As American businesses have faced greater competition from abroad and at home, they have turned to two radically different, and perhaps incompatible, styles of managing their employees. Both approaches have shown promise during relatively good economic times, but no one knows which one will better withstand the strain of a recession.

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If, as many economists predict, a recession does begin this year, there is likely to be a new wave of on-the-job turmoil for many of America's 113 million workers. The working lives of millions of people—from the lowest minimum-wage earners to the upper reaches of corporate executives—will continue to be shaped by the developments that have already transformed employee-management relations in the past decade.

An economic downturn, if it occurs, will come at the end of a period of extraordinary stress and change for American businesses. Faced with an array of economic challenges posed by increased competition—from abroad, from deregulation, from ever-changing technology—many U.S. corporations have had to undergo a radical rethinking of the ways in which they operate.

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Labor Standards and Practices
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