Additions to the Notes on Redefinition of Profits, Costs, etc.
We might ask the accountant: in which company would you prefer to invest your savings—one which had a high amount of human assets in the organization or one which had a low amount of human assets in the organization, quite irrespective of the profit picture for the last twelve months. In which company would you invest, one that had consumer good will or one that had used up its consumer good will? One which had good morale among the workers or one which had bad?
The problem for the accountants is to work out some way of putting on the balance sheet the human assets of the organization: that is, the amount of synergy, the degree of education of all the workers in the organization, the amount of time and money and effort that has been invested in getting good informal groups to work together well like a good basketball team, the development of loyalties, the cutting down of hostilities and jealousies, the reduction of the tendencies to restrict production, the lowering of the tendency to stay away when mildly sick, etc. This is quite apart from the values of these human assets to the town or city, state, or country, or to the human species.
I think this point is drawn very well in Likert’s book, in the experiment described on page 64 in which it was possible to increase productivity for a time by authoritarian and hierarchically ...