Sustainable competitive advantage has proved elusive for companies in the 1990s. While making enormous investments in technology, research, and state-of-the-art marketing, many of today's managers continue to ignore the single most important factor in achieving and maintaining competitive success: people. Yet all evidence indicates that the source of competitive advantage is shifting from technology, patents, or strategic position to how a company manages its employees. In this excerpt from his newly published book, Competitive Advantage through People, Jeffrey Pfeffer describes how successful companies have overcome the barriers to change and offers a solid framework—with specific actions—for implementing these changes in any industry.
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