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The IndustrialistsHow the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism$
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Jennifer A. Delton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167862

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167862.001.0001

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Managing Labor

Managing Labor

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Managing Labor
Source:
The Industrialists
Author(s):

Jennifer A. Delton

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167862.003.0005

This chapter introduces industrial relations, which emphasizes reason over “emotion” in dealing with labor. Confronted with the failure of previous approaches, and facing a postwar strike wave and immigration restrictions, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) leaders adopted this more moderate, professional-industrial-relations approach to labor management in the 1920s. Still committed to a union-free workplace, NAM reconceived the open shop as good industrial relations. This paved the way for the employment of “nontraditional” workers, such as women, the disabled, and, later, people of color. While unions remained focused on skilled workers, this more modern approach to management was necessarily inclusive of all employees. Indeed, one of its hallmark features was attention to the social demographics of workforces in order to understand how employees might work better together.

Keywords:   industrial relations, labor management, nontraditional workers, skilled workers, modern management, social demographics, National Association of Manufacturers

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