When Jerry Winthrop joined “Balfour Paper” as a manager in corporate HR, he made a highly unusual request. He asked to work in operations for a while, so that he would understand the strong, team-based, nonunion company culture—and also learn something about the technical side of the business. He had been told about the corporate values established early on by the company founders: teamwork, treating people well, personal responsibility, honesty and integrity, a can-do attitude, and a strong work ethic. But were those really lived on a daily basis?
It was a brave undertaking for a psychology major with an MBA in organizational behavior. He had minimal mechanical aptitude and no relevant engineering ...

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