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Breaking the Mold Hardcover – November 1, 1993

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bailyn has written a book employees will want to give to their bosses. The author, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, argues that the traditional way companies organize their operations and measure success--around time concepts--needs to be revised. Bailyn contends that changes in society, primarily the increasing number of women in the workforce, should prompt companies to find methods that allow their employees to "work smarter, not longer." Using such techniques as occupational autonomy, empowerment and flexibility, corporations can devise organizational structures that can both increase productivity and lessen chances of burnout. The book has its limitations, however. Bailyn frequently lapses into academese, which could discourage readers. Another drawback, and one which Bailyn herself acknowledges, is that the book deals only with professional employees (e.g., lawyers, consultants, engineers), making the application of some of her theories to the factory floor questionable. Still, for employers interested in learning what they can do to adapt to the needs of a changing workforce, Bailyn's book should be able to provide a tip or two.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With the increasing numbers of single parents and dual-career families in the American work force, changing family structures create more demands at home, causing workers to shift their priorities to balance their careers and families. At the same time, businesses are asking their employees to work harder and longer. Bailyn, an MIT professor and corporate consultant, addresses the problems of coordinating work and home life among people in managerial, technical, and other professional positions. She believes that businesses must change their management styles to accommodate time constraints and alternative career goals. Bailyn explores strategies for management, illustrating her points with case studies and examples of corporate innovations. This book offers some solutions to problems outlined in Juliet Schor's The Overworked American ( LJ 1/92). A useful addition to all business collections.
- Gary W. White, Pennsylvania State Univ., Harrisburg
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029012813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029012819
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,672,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Drago on November 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It took awhile, but I just read Lotte Bailyn's "Breakingthe Mold: Women, Men and Time in the New Corporate World" ... . The fun in reviewing a book seven years after publication is the future perspective. In this case, the author was amazingly prescient!
The book is written for social scientists, managers, unionists, and the general public, and is very readable. Basically, Bailyn challenges our thinking about work/family and especially about the way work is designed. Like Hochschild's work, much of the purpose is to make our society value time with families and particularly children. Like Fried's much later work, there is a clear feminist perspective. Like Williams' recent book, issues of fairness are framed in terms of current career structures and the ideal worker norm generating discrimination against women in particular and parents in general. Most impressive, in the concluding chapter Bailyn foresees the increases in worker autonomy and flexibility that were later documented in the 1997 National Study of the Changing Workforce, and she both predicts and explicitly responds to the backlash against w/f policies which did in fact develop. In other words, if you want a wonderful summary of where the field is headed today, it is virtually all here (without the latest references :-).
But there is more. What moved me to read the book at this time was my own conclusion that solving the "time divide" between overworked and underworked Americans is going to be a bit trickier than just creating part-time professional careers (a daunting and worthy task in itself). The fundamental problem is that the overworked folks tend to be professionals and the underworked tend to have less education and fit into very different occupations.
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