The We-Force in Management: How to Build and Sustain Cooperation

Overview

One of American business's most pervasive and least recognized problems is a lack of internal cooperation. Managers talk a great deal about teamwork, but can't get employees to work well together. Departments strive to be more efficient and customer-focused, but often waste time overcoming bureaucratic obstacles erected within their own organization. CEOs exhort their companies to outperform the competition, yet employees spend more energy competing with the person down the hall. Corporate strategy expert ...
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Overview

One of American business's most pervasive and least recognized problems is a lack of internal cooperation. Managers talk a great deal about teamwork, but can't get employees to work well together. Departments strive to be more efficient and customer-focused, but often waste time overcoming bureaucratic obstacles erected within their own organization. CEOs exhort their companies to outperform the competition, yet employees spend more energy competing with the person down the hall. Corporate strategy expert Lawrence G. Hrebiniak asserts that the inability of most Americans to cooperate with each other in the workplace curtails innovation, reduces product quality, slows responses to customers, wastes resources, and jeopardizes alliances. Drawing on his extensive research and consulting experience, Hrebiniak identifies the individual, organizational, and cultural impediments to cooperation. One of the chief barriers is the same force that is responsible for many American business successes. The individual drive for achievement, which Hrebiniak calls the "I-Force," is as American as the Horatio Alger, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison legends. But in this new era that demands information sharing, quick responses, and team efforts, he says, the traditional "I-Force" must be leveraged into a more collaborative "We-Force." Hrebiniak demonstrates how to foster a more cooperative attitude among individual employees and how to recognize and remedy the institutional barriers to cooperation that are inherent in most pay plans, communication systems, organizational structures, and corporate goals. The We-Force in Management offers CEOs, executives, and managers important and practical advice that will help eliminate internal one-upmanship, facilitate communication among departments, foster cooperation among divisions around the globe, or strengthen a joint partnership.
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Editorial Reviews

Barbara Jacobs
It sounds so simple and so obvious as to be off-putting: that American corporations, or more specifically their workers, must learn to cooperate to succeed in a not-so-new global economy. Yet, as consultant and Wharton professor Hrebiniak points out, the historical emphasis on individual efforts in the U.S., the distrust and fear now permeating companies, and organizational structures and cultures militate against the success of teamwork. What is to be done? Understand the barriers to cooperation, plan through visionary leadership, promote interdependence and communication, and reward teamwork. Unfortunately, no case histories--except a few disguised as quotes here and there--serve to buttress the author's thesis. In addition, he tends toward the philosophical, and this eminently practical problem demands examples. A good start, though, for prompting changes in managerial thinking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029153451
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/15/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 154
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Whither Cooperation? 1
2 Barriers to Cooperation 9
3 The We-Force 27
4 The We-Force: Start with Good Planning 35
5 Interdependence: Who Must Work with Whom? Why? How? 55
6 How to Improve Communication 69
7 Above All, Reward the Right Things 85
8 Improving Coordination and Cooperation in Geographically Dispersed Organizations 105
9 Making Joint Ventures Work 127
10 Conclusion 139
Notes 147
Index 149
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