u.s. Technological,Economic,and SocialDevelopme for the21stCentury
while shoplifterstook about35 percentof all stolengoods,employee took 45 percent.(The restwasconsidere "accountingerror.") (citedin U.S.Newsand WorLdReport,Feb. 21,1977, p. 47).
An exampleof the effectsof rising thefts, vandalism,and absenteeis has beenprovidedby the Fordautoplant at Mahwah,NewJersey.Fordexecutives describesomesourcesof the plant's reputationfor poor quality, which they claim was a main reasonit was closed:
In 1978 and 1979, the troubles reached a climax. Late in 1978 it was discovered that a half- dozen employees were looting the plant. Members of the theft ring, which included security personnel, had been driving a truck into the plant at night, loading it with parts such as radios and electric motors for power windows, and driving out. (Carley, 1980).
Vandalism was continuing. Some workers would "get upset over something and they would take a drift pin (a heavy metal pin) and drive it right through the trunk or hood," said a car repairman at the plant. (Ibid.).
Absenteeism soared. According to a director of the quality-assurance program at Ford, "20 percent of employees were out some days. That meantworkers had to be switched around on a day-to-day basis to fill gaps." (Ibid.)
Some workers turned to drugs. "You could walk through certain parts of the body shop during the night shift (when many younger men work) and get high just from breathing" the marijuana smoke, said one VA W official (Ibid.). The number of companies that had formal programs to help employees with drug or alcohol dependenceincreased from only a few at the beginning of the decadeto about two thousand by 1979. (U.S. News and World Report, August 27, 1979,p.
Other studies have concentrated on the attitudes and activities not of worker, but of American managers. Two Harvard Business School professors claim that a good part of the responsibility for economic problems falls on the manager's shoulders. Robert H. Hayes and William J. Abernathy write of the "new mana- gerial gospel. ..that has played a major role in undermining the vigor of Amer- ican industry." (Hayes and Abernathy, 1980, p. 68) They continue, "Responsi- bility for this competitive listlessness belongs not just to a set of external
conditions but also managers." (Ibid., "new principles"
to the attitudes, preoccupations, and practices of American p. 70) Problems stem from what Hayes and Abernathy call that "encourage a preference for (1) analytic detachment
cost reduction rather than long-term development technological competitive- ness.' , (Ibid.) They say that by preferring short-term returns, "servicing existing
markets" instead of creating new ones, and following a "management by the numbers" strategy, managershave, in effect, sacrificed "long-term technologi-
cal superiority as a competitive their strategic responsibilities."