Book Talk: "Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
12:30 - 2:00 pm
UCLA Anderson School of Management | Cornell Hall D307

Presented by Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research

                        Rosemary Batt, ILR School, Cornell University


About the Book:

Private equity firms have long been at the center of public debates on the impact of the financial sector on Main Street companies.  Are these firms financial innovators that save failing businesses or financial predators that bankrupt otherwise healthy companies and destroy jobs?  The first comprehensive examination of this topic, Private Equity at Work provides a detailed yet accessible guide to this controversial business model.  Noted labor experts Eileen Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt carefully evaluate the evidence--including original case studies and interviews, legal documents, bankruptcy proceedings, media coverage, and existing academic scholarship--to demonstrate that while private equity firms have had some positive effects on the operations and growth of small and mid-sized companies, the interventions of private equity more often than not lead to significant negative consequences for many businesses and workers.

About the Speakers:


Eileen Appelbaum

Eileen Appelbaum is Senior Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Visiting Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Leicester, UK. She has 20 years of experience carrying out empirical research on the effects of public policies and company practices on outcomes for companies and workers. She studies work processes and work-life practices of organizations and their implications for organizational effectiveness and for the quality of jobs. Recent publications examine employers' experiences with paid family leave in California and with paid sick days in Connecticut. Her book, Unfinished Business, Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy, coauthored with Ruth Milkman, was published in November 2013. A new report with Ruth Milkman, “Good for Business: Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law,” appeared in March 2014. Her current research examines the effects of private equity ownership and governance on companies and workers and her latest book, Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street, coauthored with Rosemary Batt, was published in March 2014.

Rosemary Batt

Rosemary Batt is the Alice Hanson Cook Professor of Women and Work at the ILR School, Cornell University. She is a Professor in Human Resource Studies and International and Comparative Labor. She received her BA from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on comparative international studies of management and employment relations, with particular attention to the impact of financialization on management and employment and the globalization and restructuring of service industries and its impact on low wage workers. She previously coordinated the Global Call Center Research Project ( She has written extensively on human resource practices and their effect on firm performance, the quality of jobs, and wage and employment outcomes.


This event is presented by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) and cosponsored by the Anderson School of Management, Management and Organizations (M&O) Area