The Mutual Gains Enterprise


2 in stock


The Mutual Gains Enterprise is an urgent and compelling call for workplace reform, showing how American business can indeed attain world-class, sustainable competitive advantage – in addition to securing more rewarding employment for workers. Authors Thomas A. Kochan and Paul Osterman, both leading experts in human resource management, advocate a deeply rooted – and controversial – transformation of current human resource practices. They explain that the existing economic and legal landscape poses barriers to change that are impeding sustainable business success. To improve productivity and competitiveness, managers, workers, and policy makers alike must effect immediate and radical change.
Kochan and Osterman begin with a review of companies that have heeded the call for workplace reform and successfully implemented new work systems. Case studies of GM’s Saturn plant and Motorola, among others, as well as lessons from state, local, and foreign governments confirm the existence of alternative models. In addition, the authors present the best available national data on the diffusion of work practices in America. As Kochan and Osterman reveal, the application of new management ideas has not been widespread, and they explain why: corporate and public policies that diminish the importance of human resource considerations, a governance system that discourages long-term investment in human resources, a decline in the role of unions, and an inadequate employee skill base and training system.
Having identified and discussed the obstacles, the authors present a “mutual gains policy framework” that focuses on how management, labor, and government need to engage in change together to achieve long-term viability. They go on to bring rhetoric into reality, identifying in specific ways how their plan – culled from the best practices of specific firms, state governments, and foreign business – can be implemented.


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