Industryweek 2277 12372newamericanworkplaceco

The Workplace Revisited

July 24, 2006
The authors tackle "must-address" topics including outsourcing, off-shoring, immigration and compensation.

The New American Workplace" (2006, Palgrave Macmillan) has a lot to live up to given the ringing endorsement the book receives on its cover from management guru Warren Bennis. "It would be impossible to understand the 21st-century workplace without this book," he writes. "Certainly the management book of the year; probably the decade."

Only time will tell whether this tome reaches the status of a "must-read" management book. However, authors James O'Toole and Edward E. Lawler III definitely tackle "must-address" topics in their examination of the American workplace, including outsourcing, offshoring, immigration, compensation, public policy and work/life issues.

Lawler, founder and director of the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations, and O'Toole, a research professor at the Center, examined a wealth of research in their efforts to document the changes the American workplace has undergone in the past 30 years -- and analyze what those changes mean to workers today.

They conclude their book with several possible scenarios for the future of the American workplace. There is the "ever-present risk that the United States will be left behind in the new global competition." However, "a virtuous circle of actions can prevent that from happening: entrepreneurial initiatives, sound corporate management practices, supportive government investments in education and research, and the collective efforts of the American workforce."

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