Look for the Union Label; August 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Wallich; 2 Page(s)
After nearly a century of unionmanagement warfare in the U.S., a series of nationwide surveys showing that union shops dominate the ranks of the country¿s most productive workplaces may come as a surprise. In fact, according to Lisa M. Lynch of Tufts University and Sandra E. Black of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, economic Darwinism--the survival of the fittest championed by generations of hard-nosed tycoons--may be doing what legions of organizers could not: putting an end to autocratic bosses and regimented workplaces.
American industry has been trying to reinvent itself for more than 20 years. Management gurus have proclaimed Theories X, Y and Z, not to mention Quality Circles, Total Quality Management (TQM) and High-Output Management. Only in the past few years, however, have any solid data become available on which techniques work and which don¿t. Businesses do not always respond to surveys, and previous attempts to collect data ran into response rates of as low as 6 percent, making their results unrepresentative. Enter the U.S. Census¿s Educational Quality of the Workforce National Employer Survey, first conducted in 1994, which collected data on business practices from a nationally representative sample of more than 1,500 workplaces.