Tags: jobs | corporate | education | business

MIT Professor Kochan: Corporate America Can Provide Great Jobs

By    |   Monday, 28 April 2014 02:05 PM

Companies can provide great jobs and significant returns to shareholders. It doesn't have to be either-or, argues Thomas Kochan, author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor.

Too many managers possess a corporate greed mentality and focus solely on maximizing shareholder returns, regardless of the consequences, Kochan wrote in a Fortune article.

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Companies, such as Costco and Southwest Airlines, go against the grain. They exercise a “high road” strategy, offering quality returns to investors and providing quality jobs with good pay, proving that it's possible to prioritize shareholders and employees.

Yet, Wall Street analysts have long criticized the high-road companies for “wasting” shareholders' profits on employees, Kochan says.

The more popular trend of corporate greed has led to an economy rocked by a plague of low-paying, low-quality jobs.

“Lower-wage industries accounted for 22 percent of job losses during the recession, but 44 percent of employment growth over the past four years,” according to a report from the National Employment Law Project.

We’re now nearly back to pre-recession employment, but we are decidedly not back to pre-recession employment quality, says Puneet Kollipara in the Washington Post's Wonkblog.

The overall state of employment is so shabby that advisors are urging Democrats not to call the post-recession job gains “an economic recovery,” Kollipara adds.

Companies that treat employees as “mere factors of production” believe they are protecting profits. But increasingly thought leaders are concluding that the high-road employment practices are more beneficial for companies' bottom line, says Kochan.

Despite the benefits of providing quality jobs, the power of Wall Street and its corporate adherance is a real force to be reckoned with. To change the employment landscape will require mass, concerted action, suggests Kochan.

Business schools need to shift high-road principles from the fringes to the center of their curricula, he writes. Government leaders need to embed high-road principles in their procurement and contracting practices.

Employment websites should cover which employers practice high-road strategies and which do not, and tech-savvy young workers might think about developing “great company/great job” apps to share similar information.

Change will require a chorus of voices and reinforcing efforts from leaders in education, business, government, and labor, he writes.

Editor’s Note:
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Companies can provide great jobs and significant returns to shareholders. It doesn't have to be either-or, argues Thomas Kochan, author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor.
jobs, corporate, education, business
381
2014-05-28
Monday, 28 April 2014 02:05 PM
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