In 1986, Edward Lawler alerted American business to the power of the high-involvement organization - one that fosters quick adaptation and change through fewer levels of hierarchy and satisfying work relationships. The logic is simple and the results indisputable: people give more to their work when they have more to say in how the company is run. Now Lawler, called "one of today's most prominent scholars" in management literature by Choice magazine, shows us that high-involvement management is not just a good idea - it's an economic necessity.

Rather than try to copy other nations' management styles, Lawler says, organizations should develop approaches rooted in their own cultures. He explains, "We need an alternative to the total quality management approach that builds on many of its key elements but goes beyond it to provide a competitive advantage for organizations in societies that are characterized by diversity, democracy, entrepreneurial behavior and respect for the individual."

The Ultimate Advantage is an informed and detailed overview of how an organization must be designed to encourage innovation, increase cost-effectiveness, and deliver enhanced quality, customer service, and speed. Lawler demonstrates how to set up work teams, improvement groups, skill-based pay systems, and other practices that can create an environment where employees grow and the organization prospers. And throughout, Lawler emphasizes the need for interrelated, organization-wide implementation so that quality comes from within, rather than being added on or "inspected in" at a later stage.


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Edward E. Lawler III
The Ultimate Advantage
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992





Watch a video of Ed Lawler discussing his career.
click here.

For Ed Lawler's complete curriculum vita
click here.

For Ed Lawler's background information click here.

For the Built to Change press release click here.