The New Relationship: Human Capital in the American Corporation

Brookings Institution Press
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Human capital and organizational capital are increasingly important as a source of value in many firms. But even as this is happening, organizational forms and employment relationships appear to be changing in ways that reduce loyalty and commitment and encourage mobility on the part of employees. Are these changes consistent in ways that contradict traditional theory and wisdom, or is the corporate sector getting a temporary boost in earnings by restructuring and cutting payrolls; but failing to make necessary new investments in human capital?

The essays in this book provide intriguing new evidence on these questions. The contributors quantify the degree to which job stability is declining, and the costs of job loss to long-term workers; provide historical perspective on today's workplace changes; explore the reasons why work is being reorganized and decisionmaking tasks are being pushed downward; examine the rationale for and effect of equity-based compensation systems, both in old industries and in the newest high-tech sectors; and assess the "state of the art" of measuring and accounting for investments in human capital.

This book is the result of a joint Brookings-MIT conference. In addition to the editors, authors include Eileen Appelbaum, Laurie Bassi, Avner Ben-Ner, Peter Berg, Joseph Blasi, Timothy Bresnahan, Eric Brynjolfsson, Allen Burns, Peter Cappelli, Greg Dow, Lorin Hitt, Douglas Kruse, Baruch Lev, Julia Liebeskind, Jonathon Low, Daniel McMurrer, Louis Putterman, Charles Schultze, and Anthony Siesfeld.

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About the author

Margaret M. Blair is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of Ownership and Control: Rethinking Corporate Governance for the Twenty-first Century (Brookings, 1995). Thomas A. Kochan is professor of management and codirector of the Institute for Work and Employment at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author of The Changing Nature of Work: Implications for Occupational Analysis (National Academy Press, 1999), he is currently serving as president of the Induastral Relations Research Association.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jul 31, 2002
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Pages
395
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ISBN
9780815723622
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Business Development
Business & Economics / Knowledge Capital
Business & Economics / Labor
Business & Economics / Management Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Decline can be avoided.

Decline can be detected.

Decline can be reversed.

Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?

In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success

Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation

Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom.

Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover.

Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.

Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.

Most scholarship on corporate governance in the last two decades has focused on the relationships between shareholders and managers or directors. Neglected in this vast literature is the role of employees in corporate governance. Yet "human capital," embodied in the employees, is rapidly becoming the most important source of value for corporations, and outside the United States, employees often have a significant formal role in corporate governance. This volume turns the spotlight on the neglected role of employees by analyzing many of the formal and informal ways that employees are actually involved in the governance of corporations, in U.S. firms and in large corporations in Germany and Japan. Examining laws and contexts, the essays focus on the framework for understanding employees' role in the firm and the implications for corporate governance. They explore how and why the special legal institutions in German and Japanese firms by which employees are formally involved in corporate governance came into being, and the impact these institutions have on firms and on their ability to compete. They also consider theoretical and empirical questions about employee share ownership. The result of a conference at Columbia University, the volume includes essays by Theodor Baums, Margaret M. Blair, David Charny, Greg Dow, Bernd Frick, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Nobuhiro Hiwatari, Katharina Pistor, Louis Putterman, Edward B. Rock, Mark J. Roe, and Michael L. Wachter. Margaret M. Blair is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of Ownership and Control: Rethinking Corporate Governance for the Twenty-first Century (Brookings, 1995). Mark J. Roe, professor of business regulation and director of the Sloan Project on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School, is the author of Strong Managers, Weak Owners: The Political Roots of American Corporate Finance (Princeton, 1996).
Between the high-level concepts of business intelligence and the nitty-gritty instructions for using vendors’ tools lies the essential, yet poorly-understood layer of architecture, design and process. Without this knowledge, Big Data is belittled – projects flounder, are late and go over budget. Business Intelligence Guidebook: From Data Integration to Analytics shines a bright light on an often neglected topic, arming you with the knowledge you need to design rock-solid business intelligence and data integration processes. Practicing consultant and adjunct BI professor Rick Sherman takes the guesswork out of creating systems that are cost-effective, reusable and essential for transforming raw data into valuable information for business decision-makers.

After reading this book, you will be able to design the overall architecture for functioning business intelligence systems with the supporting data warehousing and data-integration applications. You will have the information you need to get a project launched, developed, managed and delivered on time and on budget – turning the deluge of data into actionable information that fuels business knowledge. Finally, you’ll give your career a boost by demonstrating an essential knowledge that puts corporate BI projects on a fast-track to success.

Provides practical guidelines for building successful BI, DW and data integration solutions. Explains underlying BI, DW and data integration design, architecture and processes in clear, accessible language.Includes the complete project development lifecycle that can be applied at large enterprises as well as at small to medium-sized businesses Describes best practices and pragmatic approaches so readers can put them into action. Companion website includes templates and examples, further discussion of key topics, instructor materials, and references to trusted industry sources.
How to give working families the tools and opportunities to prosper in the new economy: a call to action for families, business, labor, and government.

Many American families have not prospered in the new "knowledge economy." The layoffs, restructurings, and wage and benefit cuts that have followed the short-lived boom of the 1990s threaten our deeply held values of justice, fairness, family, and work. These values--and not those superficial ones political pollsters ask about--are the foundation of the American dream of good jobs, fair pay, and opportunities for all. In this call to action for families, business, labor, and government, Thomas Kochan outlines ways in which we can empower working families to earn a good living by doing satisfying work while still having time for family and community life.

We cannot make the transition to a knowledge economy, writes Kochan, with a workforce that is stressed, frustrated, and insecure. Businesses need to rebuild relationships with their employees based on trust. And working families need to take control of their own destinies. First, we can take action that goes beyond the workplace buzzwords flexible and family friendly to design systems that support productive work and healthy family life. We can invest in better basic education and life-long learning, and we can work toward strategies for creating and sustaining good jobs with portable benefits. We need organizations that value investors of human capital--their employees--as highly as they do investors of financial capital, and we need a renewed labor movement to give workers a stronger voice. Kochan lays out an agenda for working families in the twenty-first century that calls for business, labor, government, and workers to come together to make the changes that will allow us all to benefit from the new economy. The solution to our problems, he points out, is too important to be left to "the market."

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