Working Alone: What Ever Happened To The Idea Of Organizations As Communities

Working Alone: What Ever Happened To The Idea Of Organizations As Communities

2005Working Paper No. 1906

Even as employees are increasingly disengaged and distrustful of their employers, organizations have moved to become less like communities and adopt more arms-length and distant relationships with their people. Organizations that are more communal have arrangements for helping employees in need, offer more generous employee benefits and assistance, eschew anti-nepotism policies, have more company sponsored social events, are better at resolving work-family issues, and foster long-term employment relations. Although there are clearly disadvantages from building a more inclusive relationship with the workforce, some case evidence and theory suggests that there are profound advantages from organizations becoming more communal. This raises the interesting question of how to explain the trend in observed practices.