Spark: How Old-Fashioned Values Drive a Twenty-First Century Corporation

Frank Koller, Author
Frank Koller, Author . PublicAffairs $25.95 (249p) ISBN 978-1-586-48795-9
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
Open Ebook - 267 pages - 978-1-58648-868-0
Paperback - 249 pages - 978-1-61039-053-8
Open Ebook - 249 pages - 978-1-282-74785-2
Paperback - 414 pages - 978-1-4587-2128-0
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Veteran journalist Koller goes inside Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland arc-welding equipment manufacturer dating back to 1895, a company that promises that no permanent employee who meets the firm's performance standards will ever be laid off due to lack of work. This promise is so sacrosanct, it's included in the employee handbook and in the organization's annual report. The company has also paid out profit-sharing bonuses without fail since 1934, bonuses which almost always exceed 60% of an employee's basic earnings. Koller offers a fascinating glimpse into this remarkable yet, in many ways, ordinary organization, which survives, even thrives, in a sunset industry where overseas outsourcing is the norm. Readers follow the company through the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller, recessions in the 1950s, and the present crisis, and witness how it weathers challenges. Instructive and heartening, this book offers a proven model for companies that not only want healthy bottom lines but also satisfied, dedicated employees. (Feb.)

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