The mutual gains enterprise : forging a winning partnership among labor, management, and government /
Thomas A. Kochan, Paul Osterman.
Boston : Harvard Business School Press, c1994.
x, 260 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0875843948 (acid-free paper) :
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added author
Boston : Harvard Business School Press, c1994.
0875843948 (acid-free paper) :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 227-241) and indexes.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-10-01:
Kochan and Osterman, professors at MIT and human resource specialists, use many and varied case studies to illustrate the advantages of labor-management cooperation to accomplish specific goals. They stress the importance of unions, management, and the government working together and discuss key points in educating and training employees to achieve such cooperation-training that is routinely given in Japan and Europe and in foreign-owned plants in the United States. Only Edward Cohen-Rosenthal's Mutual Gains: A Guide to Union-Management Co-Operation (Greenwood, 1986) offers comparable insights on this subject. A thorough addition to this topic, Kochan and Osterman's work could become a classic in the field.-Joan A. Traugott, MSLS, West Babylon, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Library Journal, October 1994
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Unpaid Annotation
The Mutual Gains Enterprise argues that to achieve the crucial twin goals of world-class quality and productivity and good, secure jobs for American workers, the United States must fundamentally transform its current human resource practices. This is an urgent issue because, despite signs of progress, the overall pace of workplace reform remains disturbingly slow and erratic, far behind the optimistic predictions of the 1980s. Kochan and Osterman identify a series of barriers, within firms and the larger economy, that have blocked the diffusion of workplace innovation. These barriers include: the low position of human resource considerations within the internal power structure of firms; a weak theoretical and practical understanding of organizational change; a governance system that discourages long-term investment in human resources; weak and declining unions; and an inadequate skill base and training system for the work force. The authors then propose a mutual gains policy framework that would go beyond New Deal labor politics that regulate conflicts to offer policies that support and encourage benefits for workers, firms, and the national economy.
Unpaid Annotation
The Mutual Gains Enterprise is an urgent and compelling call for workplace reform, showing how American business can indeed attain world-class, sustainable competitive advantage - in addition to securing more rewarding employment for workers. Authors Thomas A. Kochan and Paul Osterman, both leading experts in human resource management, advocate a deeply rooted - and controversial - transformation of current human resource practices. They explain that the existing economic and legal landscape poses barriers to change that are impeding sustainable business success. To improve productivity and competitiveness, managers, workers, and policy makers alike must effect immediate and radical change. Kochan and Osterman begin with a review of companies that have heeded the call for workplace reform and successfully implemented new work systems. Case studies of GM's Saturn plant and Motorola, among others, as well as lessons from state, local, and foreign governments confirm the existence of alternative models. In addition, the authors present the best available national data on the diffusion of work practices in America. As Kochan and Osterman reveal, the application of new management ideas has not been widespread, and they explain why: corporate and public policies that diminish the importance of human resource considerations, a governance system that discourages long-term investment in human resources, a decline in the role of unions, and an inadequate employee skill base and training system. Having identified and discussed the obstacles, the authors present a "mutual gains policy framework" that focuses on how management, labor, and government need to engage in change together to achievelong-term viability. They go on to bring rhetoric into reality, identifying in specific ways how their plan - culled from the best practices of specific firms, state governments, and foreign business - can be implemented.

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