Emerging from Turbulence: Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today

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9781442248540: Emerging from Turbulence: Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today

The book looks at workers in three stages of their careers early career, midcareer, and retirement, sheds light on generational differences in the workplace, and addresses issues such as job training and work moving overseas. Long-time employees reminisce fondly about the family and engineering culture of Heritage Boeing and many are sad and angry about the new, financially driven ethos brought in by the McDonnell Douglas executives after the merger. Newer, younger employees, with no direct memory of Heritage Boeing and more individualistic attitudes, accommodate themselves more easily to the new Boeing.

Employees past and present talk about the exciting challenges of launching new, breakthrough airplanes such as the 777, the thrill they feel when the airplanes they produced take to the skies, and the wrong-headed decisions that plagued the disastrous early development of the 787. The narratives also reveal how workers balance work and home life, navigate changing gender relations, and strive to find meaning in this transformed workplace culture.

Emerging from Turbulence takes readers inside these profound workplace changes and shows both the personal and the national impact of today’s realities.

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About the Author:

Leon Grunberg is professor emeritus of sociology, University of Puget Sound.

Sarah Moore is chair and professor of psychology, University of Puget Sound. Together they are the authors of Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers.

Review:

Grunberg and Moore—professors of comparative sociology and psychology, respectively—[present an] . . . insightful . . . book based on their two decades of research into Boeing's corporate culture. They emphasize changes that have occurred since 1997, when Boeing merged with another aerospace giant, McDonnell Douglas, and shifted from focusing on being a 'great engineering firm' to minimizing risk, pleasing shareholders, and achieving profits. The 'Boeing family' was no more; employees were told by the new president to 'quit behaving like a family and become more like a team. If you don't perform, you don't stay on the team.' The authors set out to chronicle this sweeping shift in one company's social contract using personal narratives from past and current employees, categorizing them by the timing and duration of their employ. Sub-categories include 'No Longer Family,' 'I Work to Live,' and 'Not What I Expected.' The workers'-eye-view is valuable. (Publishers Weekly)

Boeing executives eager to inspire an engaged workforce might want to set aside their management books to study closely this account of what their employees think and feel. (The Seattle Times)

Boeing's changes, sparked by a merger with rival McDonnell Douglas, included the relocation of work to cheaper places, the outsourcing of key components and aggressive cost cuts. These details, and conclusions drawn from them, form the basis of Emerging from Turbulence. . . .[Grunberg's] study . . . goes far beyond Boeing. It provides a view over two decades of the unwinding of the postwar social contract – where workers felt they could rely on decent pay and benefits in exchange for hard work. (Financial Times)

Emerging from Turbulence offers compelling documentation of the unfolding effects of contemporary workplace transformations. In the tradition of Studs Terkel’s Working, the stories captured here resonate well beyond the iconic Boeing Company. This timely contribution will prompt serious reflection about what to expect of the workplace of the future. (Linda Smircich, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts)

An elegant, carefully crafted book, Emerging from Turbulence portrays the depth and scope of self-worth that people draw from the social relations and respect that they find at work. However, by comparing workers with different lengths of service, Grunberg and Moore document notably different changes in orientations toward work and the self when a ‘family’ company eliminates its community fabric and becomes a honed instrument of capitalism contributing to the increasingly stratified distribution of wealth in America. The book offers a comprehensive sense of how employees facing such change turn inward in seeking senses of personal value. (Paul M. Roman, Regents' Professor of Sociology, Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia)

Emerging from Turbulence provides a voice for employees of Boeing following its merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. This book represents an example of what many employees across the country have gone through with such transitions to more lean production and how that transformation is experienced from the eyes and words of the employees. Grunberg and Moore are brave in depicting the psychological downfalls of transitioning from an employee-oriented company to a profit-focused company, but, more than anything, the book chronicles the impact of mergers and outsourcing on declines in employee commitment and loyalty, and represents how many US workplaces have moved towards more instrumental relationships with their workers. (Leslie B. Hammer, Portland State University)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The book looks at workers in three stages of their careers-early career, midcareer, and retirement-sheds light on generational differences in the workplace, and addresses issues such as job training and work moving overseas. Long-time employees reminisce fondly about the family and engineering culture of Heritage Boeing and many are sad and angry about the new, financially driven ethos brought in by the McDonnell Douglas executives after the merger. Newer, younger employees, with no direct memory of Heritage Boeing and more individualistic attitudes, accommodate themselves more easily to the new Boeing. Employees past and present talk about the exciting challenges of launching new, breakthrough airplanes such as the 777, the thrill they feel when the airplanes they produced take to the skies, and the wrong-headed decisions that plagued the disastrous early development of the 787. The narratives also reveal how workers balance work and home life, navigate changing gender relations, and strive to find meaning in this transformed workplace culture. Emerging from Turbulence takes readers inside these profound workplace changes and shows both the personal and the national impact of today s realities. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781442248540

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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Book Condition: New. Emerging from Turbulence tells the stories of Boeing workers whose lives underwent dramatic shifts as a result of recent changes in the American economy. Workers' own words show the shifting landscape of the American workplace as pension funds evaporate, corporations buy each other out, and companies like Boeing stop seeing themselves as a family. Num Pages: 206 pages. BIC Classification: JHBL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 237 x 159 x 20. Weight in Grams: 463. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781442248540

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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield. Book Condition: New. Emerging from Turbulence tells the stories of Boeing workers whose lives underwent dramatic shifts as a result of recent changes in the American economy. Workers' own words show the shifting landscape of the American workplace as pension funds evaporate, corporations buy each other out, and companies like Boeing stop seeing themselves as a family. Num Pages: 206 pages. BIC Classification: JHBL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 237 x 159 x 20. Weight in Grams: 463. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781442248540

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