Polly Reed Myers
University of Nebraska Press
Though best known for aerospace and aircraft technology; Boeing has invested significant time and money in the construction and promotion of its corporate culture. Boeing’s leaders; in keeping with the standard of traditional American social norms; began to promote a workplace culture of a white; heterosexual family model in the 1930s in an attempt to provide a sense of stability for their labor force during a series of enormous political; social; and economic disruptions. For both workers and managers; the construction of a masculine culture solved problems that technological innovation and profit could not. For managers; it offered a way to govern employees and check the power of unions. For men; it offered a sense of stability that higher wages and the uncertainties of the airline market could not. For scholar Polly Reed Myers; Boeing’s corporate culture offers a case study for understanding how labor and the workplace have evolved over the course of the twentieth century and into the present day amid the rise of neoliberal capitalism; globalization; and women’s rights. Capitalist Family Values places the stories of Boeing’s women at the center of the company’s history; illuminating the policy shifts and economic changes; global events and modern controversies that have defined policy and workplace culture at Boeing. Using archival documents that include company newspapers; interviews; and historic court cases; Capitalist Family Values (PDF) illustrates the changing concepts of corporate culture and the rhetoric of a “workplace family” in connection with economic; political; and social changes; providing insight into the operations of one of America’s most powerful and influential firms.