An Augean Stable-The Case of Management Featherbeds

by Arthur Svenson



Labor-sponsored featherbedding has long been a matter of public concern, but similar practices on the part of management have heretofore escaped critical notice. The article focuses on an exploration of high-level featherbedding, its causes and effects, together with some suggested ways for eliminating it. Featherbedding, the payment of wages for work not performed, is a practice, which denies the assumption that man can improve the conditions of his life. Though featherbedding has serious meaning for national economic and social growth, the practice is one, which eventually corrupts and destroys the individual. Management featherbedding is a unique corporate practice. Presumably it stands outside of and beyond the realm of clinical executive decision since its presence speaks a history of tacit managerial acceptance. In management's drive to improve over-all corporate effectiveness, featherbedding among its own members is decidedly an odd experience. The practice does not fit into a situation where pressures to perform are unceasing; it contradicts the practice of management.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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