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Publisher's Summary

An eye-opening, groundbreaking tour of the purpose of work in our lives, showing how work operates in our culture and how you can find your own path to happiness in the workplace.
Why do we work? The question seems so simple. But Professor Barry Schwartz proves that the answer is surprising, complex, and urgent.
We've long been taught that the reason we work is primarily for a paycheck. In fact we've shaped much of the infrastructure of our society to accommodate this belief. Then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite healthy compensation? And why do so many people find immense fulfillment and satisfaction through "menial" jobs? Schwartz explores why so many believe that the goal of working should be to earn money, how we arrived to believe that paying workers more leads to better work, and why this has made our society confused and unhappy and has established a dangerously misguided system.
Through fascinating studies and compelling anecdotes, this book dispels this myth. Schwartz takes us through hospitals and hair salons, auto plants and boardrooms, showing workers in all walks of life, showcasing the trends and patterns that lead to happiness in the workplace. Ultimately Schwartz proves that the root of what drives us to do good work can rarely be incentivized and that the cause of bad work is often an attempt to do just that. How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding and empowering us all to find great work.
©2015 Barry Schwartz. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Connie on 12-16-16

Good book for those interested in learning social sciences

I probably was not the target audience. I studied psychology and am an organizational psychology professional. The book was nice but I did not hear anything new that I was unfamiliar with. It is presented in a good way for those unfamiliar with the topic, as I suppose most ted talks and the like one. Interesting work and good presentation of it though

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mark Hampson on 10-24-15

All corporate execs should get this message

This concise presentation of the human nature of what incentivized people to perform their best in the workplace, or any task for that matter, encourages managers and business leaders to look beyond financial incentives to improve their business performance. Great connections are made between the actions of real employees, working for real companies, and the theories presented.
Particularly at large industrial companies, we need to consider that the company does more than just make profits for its investors. Ultimate efficiency, where employee engagement is reduced to doing exactly and precisely the instructed task leads to disengaged employees who have no vested interest in improvement of their condition which in turn leads to reduced innovation and higher worker turnover. Mr. Schwartz's suggestions to develop committed employees would benefit all businesses.

I rated the performance 3 stars because the audio levels varied considerably and made it distracting to have to adjust the volume frequently to accommodate.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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