Chapter 1. A Strategic Approach to Organizational Behavior

exploring behavior in action: Strategic Use of Human Capital: A Key Element of Organizational Success

In their book, The New American Workplace, James O'Toole and Edward Lawler described the existence of high-involvement, high-performance companies that spanned many industries. Examples of such companies are Nucor, W.L. Gore & Associates, Proctor & Gamble, and the Men's Wearhouse, among others. For example, Proctor & Gamble adopted high-involvement work practices at some of its manufacturing facilities, including empowerment of work teams to allocate the tasks among their members, establish their own work schedules, recruit new members to their team and even to select the methods used to accomplish their tasks. In addition, P&G invests in building human capital, and much of the training is done by P&G managers instead of human resource management or training specialists. In fact, P&G views work life as a career-long learning and development process. P&G has a different "college" for educating its workforce in the knowledge and skills needed for their current and future jobs. The company also carefully screens all candidates in the hiring process. The company received approximately 400,000 applications in 2009 for entry-level management positions and hired fewer than 2,000 (less than one-half of one percent).

The Men's Wearhouse is another company benefiting from high-involvement work practices. George Zimmer, founder and chief ...

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