10 October 2010

Here Comes the Boss – industrial democracy at the Glacier Metal Factory

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Alan Sugar and his dreadful would-be apprentices aside, is it likely nowadays that the British media would support a serious inquiry into the all-devouring creed we have come to know as ‘management’?

 John Goudie and I did our best in 1997.  Supported by the BBC’s Education department, we made a series of four radio documentaries tracing the rise and transformation of management in post-war Britain.  The programmes were transmitted on BBC Radio 4 under the title ‘Here Comes the Boss’, and the second was concerned with Wilfred Brown’s once internationally famous experiments with industrial democracy as Chairman and Managing Director of the Glacier Metal Company. I remember being particularly impressed by the Canadian psychologist Elliot Jaques, a former student of Melanie Klein’s, who was among the founders of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations  in London and the pioneer, not least at Glacier,  of a new approach to organisational development.  He had long since moved to the USA by the time we tracked him down, but he spoke out with impressive trenchancy against the hustling ‘consultants’ who  were now ‘making a killing’ dispensing facile solutions to problems they were not even inclined to analyse with any rigour. I had forgotten about this, until somebody sent us the following transcript of the second programme:  here-comes-the-boss2-docx.pdf

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 10th, 2010 at 3:30 pm and is filed under Articles General, Found Objects, Miscellaneous rigs of the time. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.