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Employing the critical lens of gender analysis, Nikki Mandell offers an innovative perspective on the development of corporate welfare. She argues that its advocates sought to build a new relationship between labor and management by recasting the modern corporation as a Victorian family. Employers assumed the authoritative position of fathers, assigned their employees the subordinate role of children, and hired male and female welfare managers to act as "corporate mothers" charged with creating a harmonious household. But internal conflict and external pressures weakened the corporate welfare system, and it eventually gave way to a system of personnel management and employee representation. With the abandonment of the familial model, the form of corporate welfare changed
but, as Mandell demonstrates, its content left an enduring legacy for modern industrial relations.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Industrial welfare History