Company Man: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life

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9780006380689: Company Man: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life

Company Man is to business what Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of Great Powers was to politics. Anthony Sampson, the celebrated ‘anatomist of Britain’, traces the changing styles, habits and challenges of corporate life within the mighty ‘fortresses of capital’ across the world.

Company Man tells for the first time the story of the dominant species of the 20th century. The business corporation, from Ford and Shell to IBM and Toyota, has become both the engine of economic power and the most important social unit in the industrial world. However, new technologies and ruthless global competition have not only undermined former middle-class assumptions of job security but are calling into question the very existence of the office itself.

Since World War II, companies have been forced to rethink their relationship with their employees. With his inside view, sceptical eye for management jargon, and his vivid portraits, interviews and anecdotes, Anthony Sampson proves himself an unrivalled guide to the corporate jungle.

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From the Back Cover:

New technologies and ruthless global competition have not only undermined former white-collar assumptions of job security, but are calling into question the very existence of the office itself. Now the talk is of 'de-layering' and 'downsizing the headcount', as the new requirements of flexibility and mobility replace old structures and loyalties. How has company man reacted to change in the past, and what are the prospects for corporate life in the future? With his inside view, long perspective and sceptical eye for management jargon, Anthony Sampson proves himself an unrivalled guide to the corporate jungle.

"The most luminous history of the business enterprise that we will have this year and, perhaps, for a long time to come."
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH, 'New York Times Book Review'

"Anthony Sampson's elegant and provocative study of the social history of corporate life, from the East India Company to Microsoft…is presented with all the authority and wit you would expect from a veteran commentator like the author of the hugely influential Anatomy of Britain."
LAURENCE BARON, 'Spectator'

"This is a fascinating book…[Anthony Sampson] takes off to the corporate chieftains of today in three continents, he walks their corridors and factories, eavesdrops on their conferences and sits at their dinner tables…The anecdotes and imagery from all the voyaging in fiction, factory and boardroom lard his analysis and turn it into a richly satisfying plum pudding of a book…Sampson's easy and elegant prose makes this book a delight to read and savour."
CHARLES HANDY, 'RSA Journal'

"A finely crafted obituary of one of this century's unsung heroes: company man."
THE ECONOMIST

"A sparkling analysis of the breed."
ANN ROBINSON, 'Sunday Times'

"Comprehensive and entertaining"
GEOFFREY OWEN, 'Sunday Telegraph'

About the Author:

ANTHONY SAMPSON is the son of a research chemist in ICI, and was born in the company town of Billingham- on-Tees. After Oxford University, he spent 4 years in South Africa editing the black magazine Drum. He then joined the Observer for 7 years before, in 1962, writing the bestselling Anatomy of Britain and becoming a full time author. He is now writing the authorised biography of Nelson Mandela for HarperCollins.

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