Abstract: Lip Service: How Anti-Discrimination Policies Helped Management

Jennifer Delton


This paper considers how anti-discrimination policies in American workplaces affected labor-management relations, 1945-1964. Most historians regard corporate anti-discrimination policies in the post-World War II decades as "lip-service" and ineffective in terms of integrating workplaces. While it may be true that corporate anti-discrimination efforts had little initial impact on racial progress, it is worth examining how these policies may have reshaped workplace relations. This paper uses International Harvester as a case study to examine how anti-discrimination policies may have benefited employers and management reformers at the expense of workers and unions.