Abstract. „Many industrial relations (IR) scholars experience some angst at their (mis)placement in business schools. While our Abstract Many industrial relations (IR) scholars experience some angst at their (mis)placement in business schools. While our expertise broadens the curriculum, the topics central to IR and union?management matters often are met with student resistance, particularly in North America. At our wits? end, we decided to employ a deception simulation. We devised an award winning exercise that broke business students? psychological contract with their professor and gave them an opportunity to organize collectively to redress this injustice. Students observed first-hand the triggers of union organizing as well as their responses to inequity. Anonymous student feedback showed an overwhelmingly positive reception to the exercise. Ethical standards developed to scrutinize deception are used to review our own exercise according to our profession?s standards. Deception is rarely used in teaching and is often associated with malevolent, callous or selfish ends. We challenge this viewpoint. Its power is in generating relevant controversies and evoking emotions that help memory consolidation.“ (Taras/Steel 2007: 179)
Taras, Daphne; Steel, Piers (2007): We Provoked Business Students to Unionize. Using Deception to Prove an IR Point. In: British Journal of Industrial Relations 45 (1), S. 179–198. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2007.00607.x.
Interesting, but somewhat cynically sounding piece on „Corporate apologies: Beware the pitfalls of saying sorry“ by Jeffrey Pfeffer. (Source: http://jeffreypfeffer.com/2015/10/corporate-apologies-beware-the-pitfalls-of-saying-sorry/). I see 2 hypotheses, which would be interesting to test empirically: a) Power -> +probability of apologizing OR b) Apologizing –> -power. Or is there a feedback loop: power (t1) –> apologizing (t2) –> power (t3)? But we should also ask: In whose interest would this kind of research be done? (I don’t have a simple answer.)
„Robert Samuel, founder of Same Ole Line Dudes, makes up to $1,000 a week to stand in line. He waits in line for Broadway shows, sample sales, tech releases and even brunch waitlists. Samuel recently spent 48 hours outside the Apple store in the Meatpacking District waiting for the iPhone 6s. He was the first in line, slept in a fold-up cot for two nights, had pizza delivered to his spot and snagged $1000 for the gig. Samuel’s business joins dozens of “Ubers” like Lugg: Uber for Movers, Doughbies On-Demand: Uber for chocolate chip cookies, Minibar: Uber for alcohol and Breather: Uber for peace and quiet — all of which essentially allow customers to buy their way to the front.“ (Source: The Uber-ization of everything: These guys make $1,000 a week standing in line – Salon.com)
The comments in the media are interesting. I haven’t read all of them, but two kinds of comments seem to be frequent: 1. Hey, these guys make a lot of money. (That’s good / too much). 2. Very clever business idea.
Critical comments might be hidden somewhere in my google search results, but seem not to be very frequent. I think of comments like this: Do we want other people standing in line for us? How does this „uber-ization“ change our society by changing the moral basis? Michael Sandel is asking questions like these in his book „What Money Can’t Buy:The Moral Limits of Market“ (a summary you can find here: http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/_documents/a-to-z/s/sandel00.pdf).
„Workers’ right to be represented on the board (of directors, or supervisory board) of their company is so widespread in Europe that it is deemed a core element of the European social model. Yet, very little is known about how those participation rights operate in practice. This Policy Brief outlines some of the key findings of the first-ever questionnaire-based survey of worker representatives who serve on company boards in 16 European countries and in European Companies (SEs). It demonstrates that necessary conditions must be met for board-level worker representatives to be able to exert real power over corporate strategic decisions. A German version of the Policy Brief is available for free download on the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung website.“
„We have seen that employer decisions about work and the workplace are associated with excess deaths and healthcare costs in the U.S.. To put our results in perspective, our model’s estimate of workplace-associated mortality is comparable to the fourth (cerebrovascular diseases) and ﬁfth (accidents) largest cause of death in the U.S. in 2009 …, and exceeds the number of deaths from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or inﬂuenza. Our model also estimates that the workplace-associated healthcare cost is comparable to the estimated cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011), which was $174 billion“ (Goh/Pfeffer/Zenios 2015: 25).
The meta-analysis estimates the relative risks of poor health outcomes associated with exposure to ten workplace stressors:
lack of health insurance,
exposure to shift work,
long working hours,
low job control,
high job demands,
low social support at work, and
low organizational justice.
„We ﬁnd that more than 120,000 deaths per year and approximately 5-8% of annual healthcare costs are associated with and may be attributable to how U.S. companies manage their work force. Our results suggest that more attention should be paid to management practices as important contributors to health outcomes and costs in the U.S.“ (Goh/Pfeffer/Zenios 2015: 1).
The following picture shows the impact of several workplace stressors, expressed by odds ratios, compared to the impact of second hand smoke exposere (expressed by odds ratios) (Source).
That means, for example, the risk (precisely: the „chance“) of a doctor-reported illness is 2.2 times higher for workers without health insurance compared to workers with health insurance. Workers with low job control face a higher risk of mortality (nearly 1.5 times higher).
Corporations externalize most of these costs. One policy implication is that they should internalize these costs.