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Designing the capital‐labour accord: Railway labour, the state and the Beyer Plan for union‐management Co‐operation

Gregory Field (T.A. Edison Papers, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 June 1995

Abstract

Examines the origins and ideology of the Beyer Plan, a co‐operative productivity venture designed in 1918 for railway labour by Taylor Society member, Otto Beyer, but not implemented until after the 1922 strike. Argues that the traditional depictions of the plan as a sign of labour′s ebbing strength in the 1920s neglect the extent to which the plan marks the emergence of a constellation of interests that influenced industrial relations in the following decades. The plan promoted a reformulation of the wage relation, involving a break with piece‐work and a focus on aggregate productivity levels. Reveals the significant role played by a labourist cadre within the Taylor Society (including Beyer and Morris L. Cooke) in the development of the politics of productivity that characterized labour relations in America′s core industries by the 1940s.

Keywords

Citation

Field, G. (1995), "Designing the capital‐labour accord: Railway labour, the state and the Beyer Plan for union‐management Co‐operation", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 26-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552529510088303

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited