Competitive Advantage Through People: Unleashing the Power of the Work Force

Jeffrey Pfeffer, Author
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Author Harvard Business School Press $24.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-87584-413-8
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-07-103577-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-87584-717-7
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In this notable work, Pfeffer ( Managing with Power ) pierces the ``sacred veil'' of strategic planning theory. Rejecting Michael Porter's acclaimed positions on the overriding significance of competitors, market substitutes, buyers and suppliers, Pfeffer insists that managers cannot rely solely ``on technology, patents, or strategic position.'' Why not? Because ``Product life cycles are shortening and new-product introductions are coming much more rapidly.'' Pfeffer stipulates instead that ``people and how we manage them are becoming more important.'' Expanding on this thesis, he discusses creating detailed procedures for employee training, development and participation in the corporation's life. Augmenting these are considerations of America's labor relations system, total quality management (TQM) procedures and an array of economic principles (specifically, ``transaction cost economics'' and ``presumed efficiency of hierarchy''). Pfeffer, a Stanford Business School professor, has crafted a cogent, impressive business study. (Mar.)
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