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Beyond the Bottom Line: The Search for Dignity at Work Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; First Edition edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312222823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312222826
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,174,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Despite the recent economic boom and record-high employment, there has also been a strong undercurrent of worker discontent. Rayman's thoughtful argument suggests why. The "bottom line" for Rayman, director of Harvard University's Radcliffe Public Policy Institute, an organization devoted to researching work restructuring and the relationships between work and family and community, cannot be found on a balance sheet. Instead, it is the achievement of dignity and self-respect at work--a way to earn a decent livelihood, a chance to balance work and family, and an opportunity to contribute to the larger society. She argues that two factors undermine the quest for dignity: the American "overemphasis on [personal] autonomy" and the global economy, which, she says, creates a never-ending cycle of overwork and pressured consumption. Rayman chronicles personal stories and historical trends to document her case, and she profiles the banking and biotechnology industries to chart emblematic changes in the workplace. Rayman's goal is to sound a "wake-up call to explore the costs of doing business as usual--for ourselves, for our families, for our society." David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"...a carefully reasoned yet impassioned plea to move beyond the constraint of bottom-line thinking..."-Tikkun
“Paula Rayman has issued a passionate plea to restore the full meaning of 'good work,' in all of its psychological, spiritual, and economic aspects. While she is ever-mindful of the plight of working families struggling to make ends meet, her appealing stories demonstrate that there is much more to a job than the paycheck.” —Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, author of Evolve!: Succeeding in the Digital Cultural of Tomorrow
“Paula Rayman wisely counsels that we rise above the bottom line and fight for our families and our lives. This is a thoughful book and it's exactly right for the time.” —Robert B. Reich, University Professor of Social and Economic Policy, Brandeis University, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor
“In this wide-ranging analysis, Paula Rayman...situates these questions in relation to a simple truth: work should provide people with dignity.... Rayman has written an important contributation to the ongoing debate about workplace and labor market reform.” —Juliet Schor, Senior Lecturer on Women's Studies, Harvard University and author of The Overworked American
“American corporate culture is creating a nation of families who are overworked, stressed out, and in desperate need of time together. Paula Rayman gets to the heart of this dilemma in this valuable book, and delivers a challenge for change.” —John Sweeny, President, AFL-CIO
“Enlightened CEO's understand the enormous importance to the bottom of creating a context for work and the work place that accommondates the human needs of every employee. Paula Rayman provides valuable insights for those seeking to better understand those needs, and their significance.” —Randall L. Tobias, Chairman Emeritus, Eli Lilly

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Ostrow on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I wish this book was required reading for every attorney I coach - and the managing partners of every law firm. Paula Rayman presents an compelling argument for law firms to examine
the consequences of their bottom line approach to doing business.
The billable hours culture, which places greatest value on overwork and heroic individualism, hurts families, diminishes the care of children and elders, reduces the possibilities for the success of women attorneys, limits the dignity of lawyers, makes lawyers abandon their civic responsibilities - and ultimately erodes the fabric of our society.
Rayman provides a sophisticated social, economic and moral analysis of the problem and offers both conceptual solutions and specific examples of their success. Rayman offers wise
counsel to the counselors.
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