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irreversible one-shot decisions. Our probability distribution would be useful if we were permitted a large number of chances to make a large number of decisions. The relative frequency basis of probability, given this situation, would no doubt protect us in the long run. The trouble is that, in the long run, we're dead. The mathematical behavioral sciences have become the great prestige bearers of our current society. They shape the intellectual climate in very much the same manner that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution guided the fashionable intellectual climate of the 19th century. Just as the theory of evolution was both applied and misapplied in its time, so mathematics is sometimes misused to create Procrustean models that distort thinking.
The combination of mathematics and behavioral studies in the business education area has attracted some enthusiastic academic attention. Under the circumstances, the text should sell well-while the vogue lasts.
WILLIAM GOMBERG Visiting Professor of Industrial Relations
formulates the trivial. For example, the first page of the text states: "Work organizations exist because an organizing system is necessary to meet the conditions of modern work."
The author builds his theme around the formulation that "New ways of working together and new systems of social relationships have been, and are still being, invented.” This opens the way for a host of new "social scientists,” each staking out a professional jurisdiction in the world of work with the same intensive attention to defining the boundaries of new professional areas that the carpenters and metal workers might give to a jurisdictional conflict over who should install a new metal window. It is highly problematical, in this reviewer's opinion, whether this continuous emphasis on much of the new behavioral science approach reveals insights to those engaged in the work process.
There is enthusiasm expressed, in the chapter on automation, over the fact that "The period of the intuitive executive ... seems
to be closing." Herbert Simon of Carnegie Tech, in a recent speech before the Operation Research Society of America, predicted that ultimately the computer will offer all solutions to problems and make intuitive human judgment obsolete.
The facts indicate that automatic data-processing equipment seldom offers more than a number of contradictory alternatives, each accompanied by a probability distribution. Moreover, the answer is based on intuitive assumptions that were disguised at the time the information was fed to the computer. It remains to be determined whether an intuitive judgment at the information feeding stage is necessarily superior to an intuitive judgment at the conclusion stage. To be sure, this is not to minimize the usefulness of the computer for relatively minor though mathematically complex problems like: What is the most economical way to distribute warehouses and trucking equipment, given a fixed level of production?
But it is this very level of production, dependent upon short-term market forecasts in an instable world, that escapes the computer and the behavioral student. The computer is a useful tool, of course, but I have a hunch that intuition is here to stay for quite a while.
The computer is even more limited when we consider that our most critical decisions are
Relations and Modern Management. Edited by E. M. Hugh-Jones. Amsterdam, North-Holland Publishing Co., 1958. X, 256
Human Relations and Modern Management contains a series of articles dealing with human relations problems on the shop floor, when labor is organized, and at the highest levels of management itself. Viewed as a whole, the chapters are mainly of high quality, informative but not too well integrated. However, the book more than compensates for any lack in integration by presenting a sober, systematic, thoughtful discussion of human and industrial relations problems.
Owing to space limitations, only a few comments can be made about each chapter. Meij presents a stimulating discussion of traditional management concepts while, at the same time, weaving in new ideas and fresh suggestions. At times, he becomes rather definitive with generalizations that are not necessarily supported by research. On the other hand, the chapter is full of hypotheses capable of research. Scott's chapter on the factory as a social system is good in terms of
what it presents, but what it presents is not enough and, at times, is out of date. The works of such men as Bakke, Whyte, Blau, Moore, Simon, Jaques, and Likert are a few examples not even mentioned. In spite of these limitations, the manager, trade union leader, or the beginning student will find the chapter helpful.
The chapter by Kahn on Human Relations on the Shop Floor is rich with empirical data, carefully integrated and systematically presented, but unfortunately primarily limited to the group at the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan. The discussion of why men work, seen as a need-goal-path hypothesis is excellent. Young's chapter on Organized Labor and Management (in the United States) is a descriptive discussion of the history and present state of American union-management relations, but it offers little that is new in the way of documentation, insights, or concepts. Ross' discussion of the same subject for England, however, is not only more complete, but alive with cogent discussions of some of the major issues. The next chapter, written by Brech, deals with human management problems of boards of directors. It is provocative, unusually frank (for a consultant), and incisive. Revan's chapter on the relationship of size of the organization and management on the one hand and human relations on the other, is most thorough. It presents an unusually detailed historical discussion, followed by a systematic and thorough analysis showing that size is a relevant variable in human relations of the firm. The final chapter by Bakke on the Function of Management is a fine example of the valuable insights that result when a scholarly, thoughtful thinker brings to bear a systematic theory on basic problems of management. His analysis of management's assumption regarding human relations is most discerning. His discussion of the human resources function should be a must for all executives.
The editor, E. M. Hugh-Jones, has selected scholars of note to contribute to the book. The result is an excellent contribution that emphasizes analysis rather than description; basic issues rather than surface arguments; and thought over “gimmicks."
-CHRIS ARGYRIS Department of Industrial Administration
Japan's Economic Recovery. By G. C. Allen.
London, Royal Institute of International
Oxford University Press, New York. Industrial Relations in Postwar Japan. By Solo
mon B. Levine. Urbana, ml., University of Illinois Press, 1958. 200 pp., bibliography.
$4.25. These two books complement each other and the reader would find it both profitable and enjoyable to read each in conjunction with the other. The first is concerned with quantitative description and analysis of the Japanese economy; the second explains the labor relations aspects of the economy in terms of the culture, traditions, and social-psychological framework of Japanese society.
Allen's volume begins with a brief history of economic developments in the 1930's, against which post-World-War II developments can be seen. Separate chapters are devoted to the various sectors—monetary and banking systems, agriculture, manufacturing, textile industries, engineering industries, the Zaibatsu (wealthy families whose holdings were broken up during the occupation period), industrial relations and unionism, and foreign trade. In tracing through the postwar developments, the close ties between Japan and the United States become evident. During the occupation period, we formulated economic policy, and as our policy changed, so did the Japanese economy. The Korean conflict and the attendant large-scale offshore purchases which the United States made in Japan, acted as a powerful stimulus to the Japanese economy. The policies and practices of the United States toward Japan, in turn, reflected our own foreign policy and our need for a strong ally in the Far Pacific. Thus, the Japanese economy made a remarkable recovery from the almost complete devastation to which it had been reduced by World War II.
The reader interested in Japan would do well to read the United Nations publication, Economic Survey of Asia and the Far East, 1957, chapter 2, Growth and Structural Change in a Private Enterprise Economy (Japan). Although the main picture drawn here is substantially the same as Allen's, the Economic Survey carries much of the analysis to a more recent date. Furthermore, and what is of the most importance, the Survey emphasizes more succinctly the nature of the
basic problem--the fundamental imbalance between population and resources. In short, how can the volume of unemployment and underemployment be reduced when under existing conditions all the evidence suggests that even very great economic growth in the future will be accompanied by large increases in the size of the working force, thus maintaining previous levels of unemployment and underemployment?
The student who wishes to pursue further the question of population growth in Japan will do well to read Irene Taeuber's Population of Japan (Princeton University Press, 1958). Both Allen's and Levine's books will be better understood against this background information.
Industrial relations and labor unions in Japan, as Levine points out, are largely concerned with the employees of large-scale, modern-type economic enterprises, plus some government organizations where the large majority of workers are unionized. Perhaps 15 percent of the employed population of Japan were members of labor unions in 1956. There is virtually no unionism in agriculture, which engages almost half the workers and which is operated largely by self-employed and unpaid family workers. In private nonagricultural sectors in which small enterprises aboundtrade, finance, insurance, real estate, service industries, and in factories employing under 30 workers-hardly one-tenth of the workers are unionized.
Levine describes in considerable detail the history of labor unions in Japan and their operation, past and present. What is most significant to this reviewer is his description of how Japanese unionism fits into the overall Japanese social structure and, in particular, how it grew out of the historical relationship between the employer and the employee, expressed as the father-child relationship, oyabun-kobun.
Unions in Japan are organized largely around the individual establishment-enterprise unionism. Within this framework, unions have attempted to provide an opportunity for the industrial workers to secure their status in Japanese society, rather than to attempt to build a wholly new set of relationships.” Because of the great excess of labor supply over demand, this has meant, in effect, building protective devices around that portion of the working force which has obtained permanent employment status within the indi
vidual enterprise, and protecting it against the hordes of others who wish to achieve permanent jobs.
Much of what we refer to as fringe benefits and for which United States labor unions may bargain, is either provided by law or, as a matter of social custom, falls within the oyabun-kobun relationships. Wage rates also are customarily determined by a multitude of factors such as age, number of dependents, length of service, and sex, so that almost all workers have their own individual wage rate. Hence, there is relatively little room for collective bargaining in connection with benefits and wage rates.
Nevertheless, Japanese labor unionism has taken steps in the general direction of the more dynamic unionism of Western Europe and the United States. The cold hands of the past still weigh on Japanese unionism, but in addition, the events of the present and the future will help shape it. In this connection, Levine emphasizes that the most important factor of all perhaps will be the economic situation. In a prosperous Japan, trade unionism will become stronger; in a depressed and stagnant economy, the values of individual subservience again may become strengthened.
-A. J. JAFFE Bureau of Applied Social Research
History of the United States Civil Service. By Paul
P. Van Riper. Evanston, II., Row, Peterson and Co., 1958. 588 pp.
588 pp. $7.50. Here is a much needed history of the United States Civil Service which brings together a great deal of material of interest both to the lay reader and to the personnel specialist. Paul Van Riper has described the development of American public service from 1789 to the present. He has attempted to interpret this historical development in terms of political, economic, and social events and influences which shaped it. Fittingly enough, this volume was completed on the 75th anniversary of the Pendleton Act, the cornerstone of today's Federal Civil Service.
Van Riper views public service of the Federalist years as a reflection of the conservative voting public in whose interest it served. Selection of personnel was based on "competence, character, and loyalty to the constitution.” The latter re
quirement was, of course, highly political. He continues by discussing the changing character of the American society in the early 1800's which brought, in 1829, the spoils system. Present-day critics, he feels, often forget that the spoils system was introduced as a reform: it provided a political solution to the problems of growing democracy in the West and an administrative solution to the problems of recruitment for a growing civil establishment.
However, as with most reforms, in time the spoils system became a bulwark of the established order. As this order came under attack after the Civil War, so did the system. Congress attempted, not too successfully, to gain control by regulating dismissals from the service through the Tenure of Office Act; i. e., to close the back door of public service. More successful was the later attempt, through the Pendleton Act, to close the front door by controlling entry into the civil service.
By the turn of the century, it was clear that this attempt to legislate morality through the Pendleton Act was not enough, and attention was turned toward the improvement of the Nation's political and administrative machinery. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the public began to feel the influence of this drive for administrative and organizational reform. It is in this period that civil service reform started its transition into public personnel administration.
Woodrow Wilson entered office as an avowed friend of the merit system but, according to the author, he paradoxically checked the growth of that system. For, to secure legislative approval of his program, he used the President's timehonored weapon-patronage. Twenty years later, civil service reform again became secondary to other, more pressing social problems.
In the 1920's, there was a gradual expansion of the competitive section of the public service until, in 1932, 80 percent of Federal service positions were under the merit system. According to Van Riper, the twenties also saw considerable progress toward a centrally organized public personnel system.
In 1933, this system received a setback when there was a resurgence of the spoils system because of President Roosevelt's use of patronage to secure favorable Congressional consideration of his program. Only 5 of the 60-odd agencies which
were set up by the end of 1934 were placed under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. Van Riper discusses some of the reasons for this, such as the need for emergency action. He also points out that the early New Deal patronage differed from the traditional partisan type in that a new group shared in the favors. For the first time, the college-bred middle class—the intellectuals from universities and young lawyers were attracted to the Federal service in significant numbers.
The author feels, however, that this was still patronage, regardless of the reasons for it or who was rewarded, and was thus harmful to the merit system. In 1936, attention was again turned to civil service improvement.
The author continues his excellent history to early 1958, reviewing events too recent to warrant repetition here. Within this broad framework of the development of the American public service, he treats the detail of the Federal personnel system. The interested reader will find a wealth of information on the growth of the Civil Service Commission, departmental personnel management, pay, employee relations, and many other byways of this subject.
What does Van Riper see as the most pressing problems of the Federal service in 1958? One is the recruitment of competent political executives. He regards patronage as unable to supply the needed talent and, therefore, obsolete for this purpose. A second problem is the legal and moral issues surrounding the rights and duties of public employees. Third, there is a problem which he feels is implicit in the Pendleton Act. This act, designed as a reform to regulate entry into public service, has also developed as a control over exit from this service. As a result, the power of dismissal has been so curtailed, both by administrative rule and court decision, that in effect, there has been created a property right in office. The author concludes that the Federal Civil Service under the Pendleton Act, like the spoils system it replaced, has developed into a conservative institution. He calls for a new theory of American public administration, supplanting the one embodied in the act, which looks to the future rather than to the past.
-FRANK A. YEAGER Office of Personnel Administration
U. S. Department of Labor