Beyond Human Scale: The Large Corporation at Risk

Beyond Human Scale: The Large Corporation at Risk

Beyond Human Scale: The Large Corporation at Risk

Beyond Human Scale: The Large Corporation at Risk

Excerpt

The reader may be interested in the answers to the following three questions: How did an older professor of economics happen to collaborate with a younger banker in writing this book? What was the nature of the collaboration? And how can their analysis and conclusions be assessed?

Their collaboration predates the present effort and goes back to the late 1970s when George Vojta was Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at Citicorp and, as a part of the bank's reassessment of national and international economic and urban trends, sought the assistance of Eli Ginzberg and the members of the staff of the Conservation of Human Resources, Columbia University, which he directs. That collaboration focused on the growth of the service economy, and led to two publications: an article by Ginzberg and Vojta in Scientific American (March 1981) on The Service Sector of the U.S. Economy, and a book by Thomas Stanback, Jr., and his colleagues on Services: The New Economy.

One by-product of the collaboration was to call our attention to the growth of the large corporation in many service industries, and the corresponding greater reliance of these firms on collegeeducated personnel. We became aware of important tensions between corporate scale and the preferences and performance of managerial personnel and decided that this theme was worth more attention than it had previously attracted.

Moreover, in reflecting on his half century of experience with large organizations, which involved extended consulting with major federal government agencies and with leading U.S. multinationals, Ginzberg had long been impressed with the non-fit between corporate structures and the work of their middle- and higher-level managers. Vojta, in turn, had intimate knowledge of the human resources system of one of the nation's premiere . . .

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