Amazon.com Review For businesses to succeed in the 21st century, people can't be treated like cogs in a wheel, ready to be sacrificed for profits, say authors Roger Lewin and Birute Regine in The Soul at Work. Instead, people must 'become the new bottom line,' they say, drawing this conclusion with the help of complexity science and their own study of companies that profit by putting people first. 'In today's business environment of rapid change, a collective effort, a recognized need for others, becomes the means of survival and success,' say Lewin, a science writer, and Regine, a psychologist. Businesses that follow the principles of complexity science are distinguished by fewer levels of hierarchy and more open communication, and they value people 'as a way to promote adaptability and business success.' To show the principles of this new science at work, the authors profile organizations as diverse as the VeriFone division of Hewlett-Packard, DuPont, Monsanto, Babel's Paint and Decorating Stores in Massachusetts, Greenwich Village restaurants in New York, and Muhlenberg Medical Center in New Jersey. And they identify three practices common to these organizations: a style of leadership that guides without being controlling, the creation of dynamic teams, and the development of strong relationships among workers, customers, and community. The Soul at Work is an excellent resource for businesses and individuals interested in succeeding by getting the best out of people. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more From Library Journal In a nutshell, 'complexity science' refers to how things interact with each other in the natural world. Lewin and Regine, respected academics and authors, attempt to build on this model, pointing out its applications in the business world. The world is often chaotic, though properly challenged people can often surmount and even thrive amidst the chaos. But what does this have to do with business? The authors argue convincingly that the old mechanistic, command-and-control workplace model has outlived its purpose. Industry is 'in the throes of revolutionary changes,' and companies must see themselves as 'complex adaptive systems' more akin to 'environmental ecosystems.' Employees are not cogs but people, and authentic employer-enployee relationships must be cultivated. Does this sound like the latest flavor-of-the-month management trend? Perhaps. But the authors are onto something here. Surveying a number of companies in both the United States and England, they show how large and small businesses that have embraced the principles of 'complexity science' have turned themselves around, often dramatically, with improved profits and, more significantly, a more humane workplace for management and employees alike. Recommended for larger business collections.ARichard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, DC Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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