Review of Temp

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  • Analytical
  • Concrete Examples
  • Well Structured


Job security remains one of the most pressing problems in American life. Louis Hyman, former McKinsey consultant and now professor of labor at Cornell University, identifies the 1970 recession as the end of the postwar boom and the beginning of workforce commodification. Lucid and critical, Hyman will impress readers with his inside understanding of the world of consulting and temporary work, though he may underplay the opportunities of the gig universe, particularly for young people trying to gain skills and experience. His study delves into weak corporate investment in the workforce – not to mention in R&D or innovation. Hyman finds that firms that neglect these priorities will lose out to worker-owned and -operated services in the digital universe. Readers with an interest in the history of labor in America, the digital future, the gig economy and the evolution of corporate culture – and in finding a permanent job – will learn much from Professor Hyman. 

About the Author

Former Fulbright scholar and McKinsey consultant Louis Hyman is an associate professor at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and also wrote Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink and Borrow: The American Way of Debt. 


The New Deal for a New Economy

After the stock market crash of 1929, professor Hyman explains, the old industrial economy disintegrated. Fresh regulations and laws, with new job descriptions, emerged from the wreckage. Management consultants, unionists, accountants and migrant labor helped create the 20th-century corporation that built postwar America. 

In the 1920s, industrial giants like US Steel and General Motors devised the blueprint for the modern corporation: vertically integrating supply chains for seamless production and hiring accountants to manage the financial complexity of multiple divisions. The Great Depression challenged the supply-and-demand economy and reduced trust in the market. In the 1930s, McKinsey consultants first began advising companies about financial planning, labor, machinery, corporate law and management science. Quickly, Hyman reports, consultants became indispensable to corporate America, a position they held for decades to come.  

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