Customer Review

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wishful thinking and lacking evidence, January 11, 2009
This review is from: Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose (Hardcover)
This book outlines a possible shift in the way people are thinking about their roles and purpose within the companies they work. Basically people are seeking more 'meaning' from their work and as a result companies are changing their basic assumptions and approaches in the field of people management.

The authors assert that changes in demographics, consumer knowledge and an ageing population (which is working longer) is moderating the effects of Hard Capitalism, which favoured shareholders, and introducing a more egalitarian form of Capitalism which favours all stake holders.

The theory is highly seductive and desirable, but the book did not provide any strong evidence to support these claims. They provide plenty of stories and examples to illustrate the theory in action, but it should not be presented as supporting evidence without considering those organisations that also have these 'Enlightened' traits but were nevertheless unsuccessful.

In addition it is not clear which form of employee policy comes first, could it be that only when a company is successful can it treat its employees better with higher wages and enlightened thinking? or will higher wages and an enlightened policy make a company successful?

This book provides a theory which you wish were true, but wishing does not make it so.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 11, 2011 4:05:50 AM PST
invisiblgirl says:
"They provide plenty of stories and examples to illustrate the theory in action, but it should not be presented as supporting evidence without considering those organisations that also have these 'Enlightened' traits but were nevertheless unsuccessful."

Very true - I used to work for a company that had amazing employee perks and benefits but ultimately went broke. The reason? Expenses. I now work for a company that has successively eliminated many employee benefits over the past ten years in order to strengthen its bottom line. I'm not complaining. In short, I have a job and I have health insurance, which brings me to the inclusion of Whole Foods in this book. That turned me off right there, as the health insurance provided by the company carries a ridiculously high deductible and the pay is not comparable to unionized grocery stores.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2011 7:09:38 PM PST
M. Navalta says:
The reason all companies go broke is because they didn't serve value to enough people than it take in payment. The biggest perk of insurance is not for you and your family be put in a financial hardship for the catastrophic events that happen to us unexpectedly. There are many companies that pay 100% of preventive healthcare but have a higher deductibles for non-preventive healthcare.

Posted on Dec 9, 2013 8:10:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2013 8:13:25 PM PST
I agree with the need for hard data and for the critique of Whole Foods which is hugely profitable and not providing good health insurance to employees. In fact, their CEO campaigned against the new health law.
Treating employees well is not necessarily a drain on competitiveness. Studies show that downsizing usually creates losses for companies in the long term and keeping employees in place allows companies to benefit from the knowledge, skills and relationships they have built up over time. Ideally, we would have a single payer health plan that covers everybody, is not a drain on employers and cuts down on the huge wastage of marketing, claim processing, lobbying and price gouging that keeps US healthcare way more expensive and less effective than any other country.
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