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No Collar: The Humane Workplace And Its Hidden Costs Paperback – August 26, 2004


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No Collar: The Humane Workplace And Its Hidden Costs + White-Collar Sweatshop: The Deterioration of Work and Its Rewards in Corporate America + Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (August 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592131506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592131501
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The new economy's "no collar movement," in which companies embraced openness, cooperation and self-management among employees, captured the interest of Ross, director of New York University's American studies program. Fed up with reports of increasingly dehumanized workplaces in the wake of Jack Welch-style takeovers and downsizing, he investigated whether the new economy's trend to honor and utilize, rather than suppress, employees' human qualities had the potential to transfer to other industries. Studying two Manhattan-based new media companies, Ross found a refreshing excitement among workers at Razorfish, a design shop-cum-media consulting firm, and 360hiphop.com, a multi-ethnic media site. As Ross conducted in-depth interviews and closely observed operations at these companies, he discovered the young enthusiasts loved their work so much they found themselves working 70-hour workweeks and had almost no outside lives. Ross was also around to witness the wreckage caused when the Internet bubble burst and the companies had to switch their emphasis from the artisan/worker ideal to one focusing on the bottom line (with newly arriving hordes of MBAs calling the shots). The neo-sweatshop conditions may have been justified as being freely chosen before the bubble burst, but Ross's insights into the upheavals and heartbreak that followed the inevitable layoffs have much to say about the real-world limits to building more humane workplaces today. His chilling assessment of the price new economy workers paid for na‹ve faith in their bosses' promises can also be viewed more broadly as a direct message to all citizens of Free Agent Nation.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"[Ross] provides many insights into the IT Workplace. . This book has much to offer. Ross has written a well-researched, cautionary analysis of the IT work environment that is not deterministic or unjustifiably celebratory. Anyone reading this book will find that the IT industry is not particularly unique; nor are the workplaces operating in it." Labour/Le Travail "No-Collar is a wonderful read, with well-written prose and an engaging style. It can be read as an interesting story about a period of time, a description of a particular group of people, or an insightful critique of our market civilization." Administrative Science Quarterly "Provides a balanced, richly textured, and, in the end, chilling account of work in the high-tech digitized world of the New Economy." --William Wolman, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grrich on February 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It doesn't appear that the reader from Los Angeles read this particular book; it seems he/she simply took this space as an opportunity to rant about Andrew Ross and other vaguely related issues. Ross's book is a nuanced look at the peculiar culture of the new media workplace, just as the golden years began to fade. Considering that Ross was not actually an employee of Razorfish, the main company in his case study, his perspective is surprisingly sensitive. After spending the dot-com golden years in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, I was prepared to scoff at an outsider's interpretation of what the new media workplace was like, and how it felt to be an employee of that workplace. I was further prepared to roll my eyes at his choice of exploring New York's new media world rather than making the trip to the heart of it all, the San Francisco Bay Area. But in the end I was impressed: he explains his reasons for choosing New York, and they make sense. And he hits the nail on the head in terms of what was most odd and most interesting--as well as most consequential--about the feel-good, creative, ambitious new media work environment. The book grows significantly more "readable" after the first few chapters give way to more anecdotal scene-setting and conversations with Razorfish employees.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DallasMatt on January 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
An entertaining and informative read about a time that will be remembered right along side tulip mania. No Collar differs from many business books because it gives valuable insights through the use of the powerful medium of story telling. The writer spent a good deal of time inside the company he focuses on and gives a compelling first hand account.
The lessons and ideas to be learned from this book are not spelled out like in many management books. The reader must read between the lines and come to his/her own conclusions.
One essential lesson to be learned from this account of a company during the inernet explosion and subsequent implosion is the necessity of corporate values and a vision.(built to last) While there is nothing wrong with striving to construct a workplace utopia, clear goals and direction are essential for any company. These ideas are not mutually exclusive from optimum working conditions and do not have to come at the expense of creativity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ross is always worth reading, and this book might just be his best so far. If it's not, it's certainly the best hands-on analysis of what the New Economy was like for the grunts in the office, and for those us who do knowledge work. No one else took the time he did (over a year) to go inside companies and talk to employees on the daily grind, week in week out. I'm mostly convinced by his conclusions about the perils of the humane workplace, though there's lot more to this book than that. The best thing is that he puts it all in the larger context of historical patterns of work in corporate America. No one, that I know of, has done that. And it's a great read, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By joe white on December 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
No-Collar is excellent. As someone who worked in a dot.com during the 90s boom, I can really appreciate the in-depth analysis that Ross offers. Most people think that my job had to do with free massages and pinball machines, but Ross dispels the myth that work can be play. While my job was a lot of fun at times, Ross hits the nail on the head when he discusses the "hidden costs" involved. I also liked the way this book puts the dot.com world and its unique management style in the larger context of late 20th century labor issues.
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