The selection of executive staff has long been a concern of successful businesses. In the early 1950s, William H. Whyte, Jr., wrote in Fortune magazine of how corporations carefully screened spouses as well as executive candidates in efforts to safeguard the corporations' futures. He then went on to portray the struggles of those aspiring to such positions in his classic novel The Organization Man (1956). By the 1980s, executive selection had become so important that search firms had proliferated and corporate CEOs like General Electric's Jack Welch were receiving national recognition for their executive succession strategies.
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