In 1892, National Cash Register had a large shipment of defective cash registers returned from Great Britain. When the company’s CEO, John Patterson, investigated the source of the defects, he was shocked to discover that the registers had been sabotaged by his own employees. He realized that their morale was extremely low, because of how poorly they were treated. He immediately set about turning the situation around. Among other things, he started up a suggestion box system, the first in the United States. Because of his prominence in the business world at the time and the forcefulness with which he advocated the benefits of employee ideas, the suggestion box became a popular management tool in the ...

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