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Synopsis

This book examines first the very significant differences between managing for dignity and for stockholder value, then a number of successful businesses that are managed profitably and sustainably to protect and enhance the dignity of employees, customers, and other stakeholders, albeit in different ways and styles. The managers of those firms invariably ignore short-term accounting figures; they know that their businesses are much more than numbers and behave accordingly.

The evidence in favor of managing for dignity is largely anecdotal and empirical - which, some philosophers opine, is the source of all knowledge. I've added a smattering of statistical evidence by comparing such broad metrics as employees and customer retention in 2003 and 2013 for the businesses profiled part two.

So you who are looking for the detailed, quantifiable data of operating statements and balance sheets to validate the premise won't find it. Nevertheless, the experiences of the several contributors support what we like to call "conventional wisdom" and which the lawyers call "truth on its face". Perhaps I can call on our nation's founders for further support: "We hold these truths to be self-evident...."

If perchance I am ever reincarnated and need a job, I want it to be with one of the managers profiled in this book or their disciples, and I want to live by his or her principles. You'll know why after you've listened further.

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