Books

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Wright, C. & Nyberg, D. (forthcoming) Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self- Destruction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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Climate change, the greatest threat of our time, is the definitive manifestation of the well-worn links between progress and devastation. Yet, as we shamble towards a tipping point from which there is no meaningful return, the corporate world promotes a familiar refrain: ‘business as usual.’ This book is about that message. It is about the corporate world’s relationship with climate change; the terrible paradox at the heart of that relationship; and how that relationship affects us all. It is about how such a message could come to be accepted in the face of the steady annihilation of our planet; and how we might recognise it for what it is – the most dangerous of fallacies. The book explains how the processes of creative self-destruction paper over the contradictions of corporate responses to climate change and, in so doing, points to possible alternative responses.

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9781107020962

 
Sturdy, A., Wright, C. & Wylie, N. (2015) Management as Consultancy: Neo-bureaucracy and the Consultant Manager, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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The nature of management is changing: managers are becoming more like consultants, focusing on projects, functional integration, change and ‘clients’. This timely book is based on a large-scale, international study of new management practices and examines the emergence of consultant managers. It breaks new ground in our understanding of this hybrid role, uncovering working practices, identities and occupational dynamics, to shed light on both management and consultancy. It unpacks the changing relationship between external consultants and management to reveal important implications for the future of consultancy. Both private and public sectors are covered, with a focus on managers in large and multinational organisations such as former consultants and those in specialisms such as human resource management who adopt consulting roles. In addition to advancing our understanding of changes in management, this book offers a demystifying view of consultancy as a whole, from one of the largest ever studies of this occupation.

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Wright, C. (1995) The Management of Labour: A History of Australian Employers, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

The Management of Labour analyses the policies and practices of Australian employers throughout the twentieth century, emphasising the links between enterprise-level initiatives and the broader environment of product and labour markets, government, arbitration tribunals, trade unions and employer groups. Particular emphasis is placed on developments in employer practice during the last twenty years and the extent to which contemporary changes have followed earlier patterns of labour management. Such a history not only provides a gauge by which to assess the impact of current reforms, but also highlights the danger of repeating the failures of the past. Management has become an increasingly popular area of research and inquiry in Australia. An ever expanding literature exists on personnel and human resource management, job redesign and new production techniques. Importantly however, much of this literature is either in the form of overseas-inspired, prescriptive texts, or investigations of the most recent developments in ‘leading edge’ firms. The historical development of Australian management’s labour policies and practices remains an unexplored area. The basic argument of this book is that an historical understanding of Australian employer practice is essential if one is to make sense of contemporary developments in the management of industrial relations. This book provides a valuable source for anyone interested in understanding contemporary changes in Australian industrial relations and employer practice.

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