Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People

Charles A. O'Reilly, III, Author, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Joint Author Harvard Business School Press $32.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-87584-898-3
In today's heated job market, companies must look within to develop and nurture talented employees, say O'Reilly and Pfeffer, both professors at Stanford Business School. They offer a detailed look at several companies--among them, Cisco, Men's Warehouse and PSS World Medical--that are profitable in competitive industries and that have successfully retained and promoted their staffs. Following a brief company history, the authors present a straightforward discussion of each company's culture and policies, in some cases including quotations from its executives. Occasionally, the secrets of a company's success are obvious: Southwest Airlines has carefully chosen a niche market; it puts high value on customer service and its employees feel as if their daily work will contribute to the future of the company. Certainly, CEO Herb Kelleher is part of the winning formula, but Southwest's business is run differently than other airlines. Its employees can work at different jobs and financial data about the company's performance as well as its competitors is shared regularly with staffers. Similarly, PSS Medical values its employees and works very hard at both recruiting and training people who will fit in at the company. With its emphasis on detailed anecdotes, this unusually engaging management book proves that concentrating on ""soft issues"" like employee values can give a company the competitive edge. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/24/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
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