(Editor's note: Email notices of newly published books on labor and employment topics to Mike Lillich, or snail mail to LERA, 115 Labor and Employment Relations Building, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 504 E. Armory Ave., Champaign, IL 61820. Current LERA members' books will be considered for review in the Perspectives on Work magazine and the Perspectives Online Companion. Send review copies to address above.)
Click on titles for book descriptions and ordering information.
The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor (Russell Sage Foundation Press) by Chris Rhomberg, who recently joined both LERA and the Employment Policy Research Network. From the Russell Sage description ofThe Broken Table: "When the Detroit newspaper strike was settled in December 2000, it marked the end of five years of bitter and violent dispute. No fewer than six local unions, representing 2,500 employees, struck against the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and their corporate owners, charging unfair labor practices. The newspapers hired permanent replacement workers and paid millions of dollars for private security and police enforcement; the unions and their supporters took their struggle to the streets by organizing a widespread circulation and advertising boycott, conducting civil disobedience, and publishing a weekly strike newspaper. In the end, unions were forced to settle contracts on management's terms, and fired strikers received no amnesty. In The Broken Table, Chris Rhomberg sees the Detroit newspaper strike as a historic collision of two opposing forces: a system in place since the New Deal governing disputes between labor and management, and decades of increasingly aggressive corporate efforts to eliminate unions. As a consequence, one of the fundamental institutions of American labor relations — the negotiation table — has been broken, Rhomberg argues, leaving the future of the collective bargaining relationship and democratic workplace governance in question. ..." <Read more> The Russell Sage Foundation is providing startup funding for the Employment Policy Research Network. Rhomberg is an associate professor of sociology at Fordham University.
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (W.W. Norton) by Joseph Stiglitz. From the W.W. Norton description of The Price of Inequality: "A forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality by the Nobel Prize–winning economist. The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. And, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that 'their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.' Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems. With characteristic insight, Stiglitz examines our current state, then teases out its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization. He closes with a plan for a more just and prosperous future." Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia Univesity. <Read more>
The Paradox of American Unionism: Why Americans Like Unions More than Canadians Do, But Join Much Less (Cornell University Press) When ordering book use the code CAU6 to receive a 20 percent discount.) by Seymour Martin Lipset, Noah M. Meltz with Rafael Gomez and Ivan Katchanovski.) Foreward by past LERA president Thomas Kochan (MIT, pictured below). From the Cornell University Press description of The Paradox of American Unionism: "Why have Americans, who by a clear majority approve of unions, been joining them in smaller numbers than ever before? This book answers that question by comparing the American experience with that of Canada, where approval for unions is significantly lower than in the United States, but where since the mid-1960s workers have joined organized labor to a much greater extent. Given that the two countries are outwardly so similar, what explains this paradox? This book provides a detailed comparative analysis of both countries using, among other things, a detailed survey conducted in the United States and Canada by the Ipsos-Reid polling group. The authors explain that the relative reluctance of employees in the United States to join unions, compared with those in Canada, is rooted less in their attitudes toward unions than in the former country's deep-seated tradition of individualism and laissez-faire economic values. Canada has a more statist, social democratic tradition, which is in turn attributable to its Tory and European conservative lineage. Canadian values are therefore more supportive of unionism, making unions more powerful and thus, paradoxically, lowering public approval of unions. Public approval is higher in the United States, where unions exert less of an influence over politics and the economy." For reviews, click here. The late Seymour Martin Lipset was Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and Hazel Professor of Public Policy and Sociology Emeritus at George Mason University. His numerous books include American Exceptionalism and Continental Divide. The late Noah M. Meltz was Principal of Woodsworth College and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. LERA member Rafael Gomez is a Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Research Fellow at the University of Toronto's Centre for Industrial Relations.
The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revised (University of Chicago Press) by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern (pictured, right),
eds. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation funded this new volume on the 50th anniversary of the publication of the original 1962 book, The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors (edited by Richard Nelson), published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. From the University of Chicago description of The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: "While the importance of innovation to economic development is widely understood, the conditions conducive to it remain the focus of much attention. This volume offers new theoretical and empirical contributions to fundamental questions relating to the economics of innovation and technological change while revisiting the findings of a classic book. Central to the development of new technologies are institutional environments, and among the topics discussed here are the roles played by universities and other nonprofit research institutions and the ways in which the allocation of funds between the public and private sectors affects innovation. Other essays examine the practice of open research and how the diffusion of information technology influences the economics of knowledge accumulation. Analytically sophisticated and broad in scope, this book addresses a key topic at a time when economic growth is all the more topical." The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity co-editor Scott Stern is an Employment Policy Research Network researcher. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is funding the EPRN Sustainable Entrepreneurship topic. The Kauffman Foundation news release on the publication of the new book is available here.
Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage Foundation) by Paul Osterman and Beth Shulman. From the Russell Sage description of Good Jobs America: "America confronts a jobs crisis that has two faces. The first is obvious when we read the newspapers or talk with our friends and neighbors: there are simply not enough jobs to go around. The second jobs crisis is more subtle but no less serious: far too many jobs fall below the standard that most Americans would consider decent work. A quarter of working adults are trapped in jobs that do not provide living wages, health insurance, or much hope of upward mobility. The problem spans all races and ethnic groups and includes both native-born Americans and immigrants. But Good Jobs America provides examples from industries ranging from food services and retail to manufacturing and hospitals to demonstrate that bad jobs can be made into good ones. Paul Osterman and Beth Shulman make a rigorous argument that by enacting policies to help employers improve job quality we can create better jobs, and futures, for all workers." ... <More> Paul Osterman is a LERA member and a faculty member of MIT's Sloan School of Management and the the MIT Department of Urban Planning. The late Beth Shulman (above left) was a senior fellow at Demost, chair of the board of the National Employment Law Project and co-chair of the Fairness Initiative on Low-Wage Work. She was the author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans. Newsweek's Anna Quindlen said The Betrayal of Work "should be required reading for every presidential candidate and member of Congress." Shulman, who was a LERA board member from 1998-2000, died in February 2010.
An Evolutionary Approach to Entrepreneurship: Selected Essays by Howard E. Aldrich (Edward Elgar Publishing) by Howard E. Aldrich. From the Edward Elgar Publishing description of An Evolutionary Approach to Entrepreneurship: "This much-needed book draws together Howard Aldrich’s key contribution to entrepreneurship research over recent decades. In an original introduction, the author first lays out the evolutionary approach, examining the assumptions and principles of ‘selection logic’ that drive evolutionary explanations. The book then expands on evolutionary theory as applied to entrepreneurship, emphasizing the role of historical and comparative analysis before focusing on the importance of social networks, particularly as they affect the genesis of entrepreneurial teams. Professor Aldrich takes a strategic approach to the creation of new organizational populations and communities, using examples from the commercialization of the Internet and the collapse of the Internet bubble. The book then presents his contributions to gender and family, offering a ‘family embeddedness’ perspective before focusing on the implications of entrepreneurship for stratification and inequality in modern societies, combining an evolutionary with a life course perspective. Finally, he concludes the book with another original essay, reflecting on future directions for entrepreneurship research." Aldrich is a distinguished professor and sociology department chair and an adjunct professor of management at the University of North Carolina.
Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller (Princeton University Press). Shiller is a Yale University professor and author. From the Princeton University Press' description of Finance and the Good Society: "The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance — he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation — not less — and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals. ..." <More>
Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? What National and Local Job Quality and Dynamics Mean for U.S. Workers (Russell Sage Foundation Press) by Harry Holzer (pictured left), Julia I. Lane, David B. Rosenblum, Fredrik Andersson. From the Russell Sage description of Where Are All the Good Jobs Going?: "Deindustrialization in the United States has triggered record-setting joblessness in manufacturing centers from Detroit to Baltimore. At the same time, global competition and technological change have actually stimulated both new businesses and new jobs. The jury is still out, however, on how many of these positions represent a significant source of long-term job quality and security. Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? addresses the most pressing questions for today’s workers: whether the U.S. labor market can still produce jobs with good pay and benefits for the majority of workers and whether these jobs can remain stable over time. What constitutes a 'good' job, who gets them, and are they becoming more or less secure? Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? examines U.S. job quality and volatility from the perspectives of both workers and employers. The authors analyze the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the book covers data for 12 states during 12 years, 1992–2003, resulting in an unprecedented examination of workers and firms in several industries over time. Counter to conventional wisdom, the authors find that good jobs are not disappearing, but their character and location have changed. The market produces fewer good jobs in manufacturing and more in professional services and finance. Not surprisingly, the best jobs with the highest pay still go to the most educated workers. The most vulnerable workers — older, low-income, and low-skilled — work in the most insecure environments where they can be easily downsized or displaced by a fickle labor market." ... <More> Harry J. Holzer is professor of public policy at Georgetown University and an Employment Policy Research Network researcher. Julia I. Lane is program director of Science of Science and Innovation Policy at the National Science Foundation, research fellow at the Institute of Labor, Bonn Germany, and former senior research fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census. David B. Rosenblum is senior economic analyst at NORC at the University of Chicago. Fredrik Andersson is an economist in the economics department of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Employment Law: Cases and Materials (Lexis Nexis) by Steven L. Willborn, Stewart J. Schwab, John F. Burton Jr., Gillian L. L. Lester. From the LexisNexis promotional material: "Employment Law: Cases and Materials has been a strong presence in the legal education market for nearly two decades. There are many notable features of this book that have been included throughout the years and that have been improved in this new Fifth Edition. For example, this well-received book:
John F. Burton Jr. is a LERA Lifetime member and past (2002) president of LERA. He is a Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations professor emeritus. Professors can request a review copy by clicking here.
What Price the Moral High Ground? How to Succeed Without Selling Your Soul (Princeton University Press) by Robert H. Frank, the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management at Cornell and Economix blogger for the New York Times. From the Princeton University Press description of What Price the Moral High Ground?: "Financial disasters — and stories of the greedy bankers who precipitated them — seem to underscore the idea that self-interest will always trump concerns for the greater good. Indeed, this idea is supported by the prevailing theories in both economics and evolutionary biology. But is it valid? In What Price the Moral High Ground?, economist and social critic Robert Frank challenges the notion that doing well is accomplished only at the expense of doing good. Frank explores exciting new work in economics, psychology, and biology to argue that honest individuals often succeed, even in highly competitive environments, because their commitment to principle makes them more attractive as trading partners.Drawing on research he has conducted and published over the past decade, Frank challenges the familiar homo economicus stereotype by describing how people create bonds that sustain cooperation in one-shot prisoner's dilemmas. He goes on to describe how people often choose modestly paid positions in the public and nonprofit sectors over comparable, higher-paying jobs in the for-profit sector; how studying economics appears to inhibit cooperation; how social norms often deter opportunistic behavior; how a given charitable organization manages to appeal to donors with seemingly incompatible motives; how concerns about status and fairness affect salaries in organizations; and how socially responsible firms often prosper despite the higher costs associated with their business practices." <Read more>
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Invention by Jon Gertner (Penguin Press). Gertner is an editor at Fast Company magazine. From the New York Times Sunday book review by Walter Issacson (author of the recent best-selling biography of Apple's Steve Jobs): "In 1909, top executives at AT&T decided to commit themselves to a challenge: building a transcontinental phone line that could connect a call between New York and San Francisco. The problem was one that required not just engineering skill but advances in pure science. They needed, among other things, to create a repeater or amplifier for the electric signals so that they would not attenuate after a few miles. Thus was the seed planted for a new collaborative industrial organization — teaming up theoreticians, experimentalists, material scientists, metallurgists, engineers and even telephone pole climbers — that eventually became Bell Labs. Jointly owned by AT&T and its affiliated equipment maker, Western Electric, Bell Labs went on to invent the transistor and make major contributions to the field of lasers and cellular telephony. Jon Gertner, an editor at Fast Company magazine, has produced a well-researched history of Bell Labs, filled with colorful characters and inspiring lessons. But more important, “The Idea Factory” explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation? Why does it happen, and how might we nurture it? The lesson of Bell Labs is that most feats of sustained innovation cannot and do not occur in an iconic garage or the workshop of an ingenious inventor. They occur when people of diverse talents and mind-sets and expertise are brought together, preferably in close physical proximity where they can have frequent meetings and serendipitous encounters." <Read more>
Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent by Edward Luce (Atlantic Monthly Press). Luce is the chief U.S. columnist for the Financial Times. The title comes from a quote by Sir Ernest Rutherford, winner of the Nobel Prize in Nuclear Physics: "Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It is time to start thinking." From the April 3, 2012 New York Times Book Review by Jonathan Rauch: "In 1990, Japan was at the peak of its prosperity. It seemed an unstoppable force. But the boom turned out to be a bubble. Remember MITI, Japan’s economic planning agency? It’s now defunct, but then it was the envy of “competitiveness” gurus the world over. MITI, plus public-private cooperation, plus thrifty citizens and dedicated workers, plus demanding schools and diligent students, plus a sheltered domestic economy, plus ferociously competitive exporters — all worked together to create a new variety of capitalism, one destined to eat America’s lunch. Or so it seemed. If you stepped into any bookstore in Tokyo, however, you saw stacks, veritable towers, of a discordant book. The Sun Also Sets, by Bill Emmott, sold spectacularly in Japan. The Japanese felt that something was amiss; they (and Emmott, later the editor of The Economist) were right. So now, two Japanese lost decades later, a generation has passed. Again Americans are worried about decline; again we fear that an Asian economic superpower — now China, of course, not Japan — will eat our lunch. For those old enough to have lived through the competitiveness debate of 20 years ago, Edward Luce’s new book, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent, will seem awfully familiar." <Read more>
Employment Growth from Public Support of Innovation in Small Firms by Albert N. Link and John T. Scott (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research). From authors' abstract of Employment Growth from Public Support of Innovation in Small Firms: "We investigate the impacts of the U.S. publicly-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program’s funding on the overall employment growth of SBIR-award recipient firms. This paper is motivated by the U.S. Congress’ continued emphasis of employment growth during its deliberations on the reauthorization of the SBIR program. We set forth a model of employment growth; the model offers a framework through which we can compare the firm’s actual level of employment after receipt of an SBIR award and completion of the research project to the level of employment predicted by the firm’s characteristics prior to the award. Using data collected by the National Research Council within the National Academies, we estimate our model, and we conclude that, on average, the overall employment effects associated with the SBIR program are large absolutely and relative to dollars of funding, but these effects are, in general, not statistically significant." Link is a University of North Carolina-Greensboro economist. Scott is a Dartmouth economist.
Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools and Children's Life Chances by Greg J. Duncan and Richard Murnane (Russell Sage Foundation Press. For a 30 percent discount on Whither Opportunity?, use the discount code "Opportunity" at the Russell Sage Foundation check-out.) From the Russell Sage Foundation description of Whiter Opportunity?: "As the incomes of affluent and poor families have diverged over the past three decades, so too has the educational performance of their children. But how exactly do the forces of rising inequality affect the educational attainment and life chances of low-income children? In Whither Opportunity? a distinguished team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy examines the corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, insecure labor markets, and worsening school conditions on K-12 education. This groundbreaking book illuminates the ways rising inequality is undermining one of the most important goals of public education — the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success. The most ambitious study of educational inequality to date, Whither Opportunity? analyzes how social and economic conditions surrounding schools affect school performance and children’s educational achievement. The book shows that from earliest childhood, parental investments in children’s learning affect reading, math, and other attainments later in life. Contributor Meredith Phillip finds that between birth and age six, wealthier children will have spent as many as 1,300 more hours than poor children on child enrichment activities such as music lessons, travel, and summer camp. Greg Duncan, George Farkas, and Katherine Magnuson demonstrate that a child from a poor family is two to four times as likely as a child from an affluent family to have classmates with low skills and behavior problems – attributes which have a negative effect on the learning of their fellow students. As a result of such disparities, contributor Sean Reardon finds that the gap between rich and poor children’s math and reading achievement scores is now much larger than it was fifty years ago. And such income-based gaps persist across the school years, as Martha Bailey and Sue Dynarski document in their chapter on the growing income-based gap in college completion. ... "<Read more> Greg Duncan is distinguished professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Richard Murnane is Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family by Liza Mundy (Simon and Schuster). From the Amazon.com's rather breathless description of The Richer Sex: "A revolution is under way. Within a generation, more households will be supported by women than by men. In The Richer Sex, Liza Mundy takes us to the exciting frontier of this new economic order: she shows us why this flip is inevitable, what painful adjustments will have to be made along the way, and how both men and women will feel surprisingly liberated in the end.The bestselling author and Washington Post writer goes deep inside the lives of the couples on this cutting edge to paint of picture of how dating, marriage, and home life are changing. How does this new generation of breadwomen navigate paying for a night on the town? In whose interest is it to delay commitment? Are men for the first time thinking of marriage the way women used to — as a bet on the economic potential of a spouse? In this new world of men marrying up, are women learning to value new realms of male endeavor — like parenting, protection, and a margarita at the ready?The future is here, with couples today debating who must assume the responsibility of primary earner and who gets the freedom of being the slow track partner. With more men choosing to stay home, Mundy shows how that lifestyle has achieved a higher status and all the ways males have found to recover their masculinity. And the revolution is global: Mundy takes us from Japan to Denmark to show how both sexes are adapting as the marriage market has turned into a giant free-for-all, with men and women at different stages of this transformation finding partners in other countries who match their expectations.The Richer Sex is a wild ride into the future, grounded in Mundy’s peerless journalism, and bound to cause women and men of all generations to rethink what this social upheaval will mean. Click here to listen to The Richer Sex author, Liza Mundy, discuss her book on NPR's March 18, 2012, Weekend Edition.
Negotiation at Work: Maximize Your Team's Skills with 60 High-Impact Activities (Amacom) by Ira G. Asherman. From the Amacom overview of Negotiation at Work: "Negotiation is an essential part of doing business, but to be an effective negotiator one must master a wide variety of skills such as listening, self-awareness, conflict resolution, assertiveness, and more. So it stands to reason that in order to teach such a complicated subject, managers and trainers need proven, powerful activities.Negotiation at Work is the answer. The book is packed with 60 interactive lessons designed to instill confidence and transform participants into strong negotiators. Each activity includes a description, detailed directions, goals, additional resources as well as notes for the trainer. The exercises are designed to help learners:
• Plan effectively for a negotiation
• Ask the right questions
• Build trust
• Analyze each negotiation creatively
• Strategically frame each party’s needs and interests
• Successfully negotiate with difficult people
• Determine their own negotiating style ..." <Read more>
The author is a management consultant and president of Asherman Associates.