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

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


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This text explores why, despite long-standing evidence indicating that a committed work-force is essential for success, firms continue to attach little importance to their workers. The answer, argues the author, resides in a complex web of factors based on perception, history, legislation and practice that continues to dominate management thought and action. He investigates each of these factors to get to the root of the problem. The work begins by examining why certain long-discredited perceptions of human behaviour persist in organizations. It then recounts the history of legislation and labour relations and their legacy of distrust and confrontation. Finally, it explores various aspects of the manager/employee relationship and highlights how it has been undermined. However, some organizations have been able to overcome these problems. Indeed, the five common stocks with the highest returns between 1972 and 1992 - Southwest Airlines, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, Circuit City and Plenum Publishing - were in industries that shared virtually none of the characteristics traditionally associated with strategic success. What each of these firms did share was the ability to produce sustainable competitive advantage through its use of managing people. The work documents how they, and others, resisted traditional management pitfalls, and offers frameworks for implementing these changes in any industry.

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Pfeffer gives excellent arguments!

Competive advantage through people is a great management book for the turn of the century. With a load of great ideas and innovative techniques, Pfeffer gets his message across. Although, one thing that I had notice when reading the book, is that Pfeffer repeats himself quite a lot. I feel that for a book aimed at the business world, management does not have time to read information twice. But, overall, it was a very interesting and enlighting book.

Are there diamonds in here somewhere?

Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, American businesses have struggled to gain an international advantage through financial policies, improved efficiencies, and aggressive marketing to develop new and more prosperous markets. Despite these efforts, many American corporations are no longer the dominant force in the global economy they were in the late fifties and early sixties. In his book Competitive Advantage Through People: Unleashing the Power of the Work Force (Harvard Business School Press, 252 pages), author Jeffrey Pfeffer offers one possible explanation for America's decreased dominance in the global economy and suggests how to maximize our most valuable asset in order to reverse this trend. Mr. Pfeffer makes several cogent arguments backed up by real world examples to convince the reader of the importance of treating workers as partners in order to achieve success. By using several real world examples to prove his points, Pfeffer clearly details the benefits of implementi

Business' must change the way it views its workforce

Jeffery Pffefer's Competitive Advantage through People is a timely statement which examines the elements that make business organizations successful, as well as theories why most firms continue to measure their work forces as "costs" rather than "investments." Pfeffer provides excellent empiracal examples of firms who have attached value to their workers through the commitment of their managers. He does contradict his own theory of leadership irrelevance in which he states that the responsibility for fixing the firm's problems lie with management. In addition, his discussion of organized labor as contributing to work place efficiency serves as a subjective endorsement in support of unions. Pfeffer makes good arguments against Frederick Taylor's principles of scientific management and declares that the Tayloristic ideology would have today's workers functioning as mindless robots waiting on their next instructions to come from management. He also discusses sixteen practices that successful managers and firms use in achieving competitive advantages through their workforces. Pfeffer's passion for firms to change their behaviors is strong and readers view his work as communicating the necessary message: bad business theories communicated by poor managers using the wrong language leads to further dissatisfaction and inefficiency within the U.S. workforce.

Edition Details

Publisher:Harvard Business School Pr
Lowest Price:$3.59
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