Why the Assholes are Winning: Money Trumps All

Why the Assholes are Winning...

In August, 2015, the New York Times published a much-discussed and somewhat controversial article documenting the harsh working conditions facing white-collar employees at Amazon.com (Kantor and Streitfeld, 2015), a description that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and some other ‘Amazonians’ claimed was not accurate. However, there have been numerous other articles and blogs noting Amazon’s high-pressure, competitive culture (e.g., Chow, 2015). And the poor working environment in Amazon’s enormous warehouses, where people suffered workplace stress from productivity pressures and physical conditions that included inadequate ventilation, had already been well-documented (e.g., Cadwalladr, 2013). Importantly, the Times article also correctly noted that Amazon was one of the most admired companies and Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO, was typically high on lists of most admired CEOs. … [Read More]

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One Response to Why the Assholes are Winning: Money Trumps All

  1. Caleb Bernacchio January 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    This article raises a number of issues, especially regarding the practice of organizational research.

    An central theme that is only slightly below the surface concerns the nature of organizational studies as a discipline. Pfeffer rightly criticizes the myopic focus on market success and suggests that other dependent variables are also relevant, variables more directly related to other aspects of human wellbeing. What he does not ask is where the notion of human wellbeing derives from.

    Both organizational practice and organizational research presuppose as proffer notions of human wellbeing. Organizational researchers should recognize that the fact / value dichotomy and the sharp distinction between normative and positive research is an artifact of an obsolete philosophy of science. The nature of human wellbeing should become an explicit theme of organizational research. Scholars must not only employ notions of wellbeing as dependent variables, as Pfeffer suggests, but they must also explore, explain and defend various conceptions of human wellbeing as it relates to organizational practice.

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