1st Edition

The Good Work Guide
How to Make Organizations Fairer and More Effective

ISBN 9781844075577
Published February 19, 2010 by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

As the world reels from the credit crunch and fall into recession of late 2008, the search is on for a better way to do business. In an increasingly knowledge driven economy, the importance of people's discretionary effort to business performance is key to success - or failure - but many businesses and managers do not understand the alchemy required to gain the extra few per cent from their human resources. This new guide lays out how and why companies should be doing more to improve conditions for their staff. It opens with a discussion of the latest thinking and research into the link between high performance outcomes and improvement in the quality of working life, and looks at how organizations should approach creating 'good work' in general. The book then goes on to focus on action organizations can take in the key areas of: - autonomy and empowerment (including time sovereignty, work at home, training, job design, health, family); - fairness and conflict resolution (including pay, ethics, diversity, values, the impact of climate change); - voice (covering the role of technology and workplace, careers and leadership). It concludes with the 10 point plan for good work. Filled with examples from actual companies and organizations on the ground, and backed up by cutting edge research, this is the essential management handbook that no business can afford to ignore.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1: A New Capitalism? 2: Knowledge, Good Work and the New Economy 3: The Good Work Organisation 4: The Ownership Question 5: Fusion 6: The Good Work Leader 7: The 10 Steps to Good Work

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Nick Isles is Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of Corporate Agenda business advice service. He is a former Director and current Associate of The Work Foundation and is a well known contributor and commentator to the national media on business and economic issues.


'The financial crisis of 2007-09 has exposed the weakness of neo-liberal economics. The free market propositions that underpinned it led us all to the brink of a second Great Depression. In its wake, we'll have to change the ways we do business and manage our working lives. The Good Work Guide is an excellent and timely resource for navigating that future -- demonstrating how work can be both fair and efficient.' Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor 'Nick Isles presents a compelling case for good work. Good work is central to economic success and the good life - and deserves brilliant advocacy. Nick Isles provides just that with The Good Work Guide. Let's hope business leaders pay adequate attention.' John Knell, co-author of business bestseller The 80 Minute MBA and co-founder of Intelligence Agency 'Good work is....a counter-cultural notion - which makes this book so important, especially for a post credit crunch era in which societies are looking for ways of combining the dynamic power of capitalism with economic, human and environmental sustainability. The operation of simple cost based business models which treat workers as a disposable commodity remain widespread, even in the richest of developed economies. With so much to be done to promote and foster good work Isles's book is thus a practical call to arms - showing the road that needs to be travelled and illuminating the path.' John Philpott, Public Policy Director and Chief Economist, at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 'An interesting book that explains and enlightens' Public Service Magazine 'A useful guide for companies that believe that happy workers are better workers'. Andy Coyne, Midlands Business Insider, April 2010. 'A thought provoking read and one that may help organizations looking for a way to balance the seemingly conflicting demands of today's business environment'. Sara Nolan, Strategic HR Review. 'The book explains and develops its view point well; it is a useful HR/management handbook that seeks to influence and develop the businesses that follow its guidelines.' Phoenix Magazine '...provides a fine resource pinpointing how and why companies should be doing more to improve conditions for their staff.' Midwest Book Review