Historical Overview and Review of the Literature



Labour relations under capitalism have been affected by numerous social forces. The formation of labour unions, strikes, mass demonstrations and political unrest, immigration, and prevailing economic conditions have all had an impact on how corporations have responded to demands for change. The emerging bureaucratic reforms in the workplace — which Quality Circles are a part of — are not new. In order to understand the contemporary debate (and its often misplaced emphasis on industrial democracy and work reform), let us examine the historical programmes and bureaucratic changes which were often linked with the notion of democratic industrial reforms.


Collective Bargaining Labour Relation Scientific Management Historical Overview Quality Circle 
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  1. 1.
    Giussepe de Lampedusa, The Leopard, translated from the Italian by Archibald Colquhoun (New York: Pantheon, 1960), p. 40Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The National Industrial Conference Board, Practical Experience with Profit-Sharing in Industrial Establishments, Report 29 (Boston, Mass., June 1920), p. 6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alfred Chandler, Jr., The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    John Howell Harris, The Right to Manage: Industrial Relations Policies of American Business in the 1940s (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), p. 17.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Thomas A. Kochan, Harry C. Katz and Robert B. McKersie, The Transformation of American Industrial Relations (New York: Basic Books, 1986), p. 148.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Steve Fraser, ‘Industrial Democracy in the 1980s’, Socialist Review, Vol. 13, No. 6 (November/December, 1983): 11.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Report of a Special Task Force to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Work in America (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    John Simmons and William Mares, Working Together (New York: Knopf, 1983);Google Scholar
  9. 10a.
    William Ouchi, Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1981);Google Scholar
  10. 10b.
    R. Katzell et al., A Guide to Worker Productivity Experiments in the U.S. 1971–75 (New York: NYU Press, 1977);Google Scholar
  11. 10c.
    and Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960).Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Walter R. Nord, ‘The Failure of Current Applied Behavioral Science — A Marxian Perspective’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 10: 4 (October–December 1974), p. 576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 12.
    Ivar Berg, Marcia Freedman and Michael Freeman, Managers and Work Reform: A Limited Engagement (New York: The Free Press, 1978), p. 11. Emphasis in original.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Michael Burawoy, Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    Barry Stein and Rosabeth Moss Kanter, ‘Building the Parallel Organization and Creating Mechanisms for Permanent Quality of Work Life’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 6 (1980) No. 3: 371–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 20.
    Donald M. Wells, Empty Promises: Quality of Work Life Programs and the Labor Movement (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lorraine Giordano 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Research in Vocational EducationUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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