RE-INVENTING THE CORPORATION: Transforming Your Job and Your Company for the New Information Society by John & Patricia Aburdene Naisbitt

RE-INVENTING THE CORPORATION: Transforming Your Job and Your Company for the New Information Society

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Pure pop trend-babble in it's most calculated and superficial form. Naisbitt (Megatrends) and Aburdene specialize in stating the obvious and pretending that they have unearthed a shattering new ""trend"" that will forever change the way the reader lives and works. One example of this (among many) is the truly silly and apparently straight-faced assertion that ""For the first time, there is a widespread expectation that work should be fulfilling--and that work should be fun."" The authors go on and on, constructing a Pollyanna future workplace where the corporation is good, kind, and caring because, among other reasons, the forthcoming ""seller's market in human capital will force companies to accommodate to vastly different values."" But fewer than 30 pages of a 250-page book that purports to analyze the future work environment is devoted to the issue of money, specifically in what form (equity? cash? bonus performance? salary?) and how much the employee should receive. One study quoted by the authors lists the ""top ten qualities people want in a job today,"" and money, or any form of compensation, was not among them! The authors do mention concepts like employee stock options, and ""intrepeneurship,"" where companies allow employees to spin off their own operation within the corporation (and profit from them), but their treatment of these truly novel ideas is glancing at best. To make matters worse, Re-inventing the Corporation is written in condescending, textbooky prose that is continually broken up by annoying bold-face lines that restate the same facts or grandiose opinions. The entire tone, in fact, is cut-and-paste, and the authors make no secret of their liberal borrowing from Naisbitt's own ""Trend Report,"" studies, other books on the same subject, and newspaper clippings. Re-inventing the Corporation, although by no means the visionary bible it claims to be, serves a useful purpose. The concepts of a more flexible, fulfilling workplace; expanded health care; new approaches to education; and a recognition of working women's worth, no matter how often rehashed, are still vibrant, worthy and evolving. Although the case here for the wholesome transformation of our society into the ""Information Age"" may be overstated, their greatest contribution may be to help popularize humanistic and progressive ideas that will, in fact, make the future of work more palatable.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1985
Publisher: Warner