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Monday, November 22, 2010

Boeing: A Cautionary Tale for Corporate America, Suggests New Book

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM

click to enlarge Boeing wasn't exactly flyin' high in the late 90s and early aughts. - IMAGE VIA
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  • Boeing wasn't exactly flyin' high in the late 90s and early aughts.
A new book on Boeing -- St. Louis' second largest employer -- documents its tumultuous period between 1996 and 2006, when it merged with MacDonnell Douglas, dealt with strikes and saw high-level managers ensnared in ethics scandals. And nobody was happy.

Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers, was recently reviewed in several major newspapers. The Seattle Times' review yesterday summarized the book as one that:

charts in detail how that corporate turbulence devastated the morale and poisoned the attitudes of employees. It documents a sense of betrayal reaching from the factory floor to the management offices.
Specifically, the authors described how many employees felt that:
the notion of Boeing as a family, where employees' contributions were respected as a source of competitive advantage, was a thing of the past, replaced by Boeing as a team where people and positions were expendable or interchangeable with other workers around the world.
The New York Times called the book a "cautionary tale" for other big firms in the U.S.A., in that Boeing had huge advantages over the competition, yet still experienced major problems.

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