Chapter 11. Thrifty Executives Keep Goodwill Accounts Full

In the 1950s, American supermarkets created loyalty plans involving the award of green stamps with each purchase. You pasted the stamps into special books, redeeming them later for prizes. Even after the stamp system was replaced, people would joke about “gaining and using up green stamps” in interpersonal relationships. You gained stamps by supporting people or giving them what they needed and used them up when you behaved badly toward them or asked for special favors.

Such transactions go on all the time in the workplace. Savings methods have evolved, however, and today we’re more likely to refer to goodwill bank accounts when describing relationships. Accounts with colleagues are healthy ...

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