The Case for Good Jobs: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone's Work

  • 8h 22m 5s
  • Zeynep Ton
  • Gildan Media
  • 2008

From MIT professor and pre-eminent voice on Good Jobs comes a leadership guide for choosing excellence and providing good jobs that offer a living wage, dignity, and opportunities for growth.

From healthcare facilities to call centers, fulfillment centers to factories, and restaurants to retail stores, companies are struggling to find or keep workers, because the jobs they offer are low-paying, stressful, and provide little chance for growth and success.

Workers want good jobs, and many leaders want to provide them. But they don't think they can offer higher pay and more motivating work without hurting the bottom line. Most business leaders want to win with customers, but their companies are hobbled by a host of service and operational problems largely driven by high employee turnover—turnover that's partly driven by low pay.

It is indeed a vicious cycle, and Zeynep Ton is here to show you the way out: why good jobs combined with strong operations lead to higher productivity and increased competitiveness for the business. And why, more than ever, in a world with tight labor markets, failing to provide good jobs will catch up with you and threaten your business. As the leading scholar on good jobs and president of the Good Jobs Institute, Ton has helped executives at many companies implement a good jobs system. With expertise drawn from spending time on the front lines with workers and their managers, she knows what's keeping most companies mired in mediocrity and how implementing a good jobs system makes them more competitive, more resilient, and more likely to attract and retain loyal customers and dedicated employees.

Practical, prescriptive, and often provocative, The Case for Good Jobs is essential reading for company leaders who want to—who need to—choose excellence.

About the Author

Zeynep Ton is a Professor of the Practice in the Operations Management group at MIT Sloan School of Management. She is also president of the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute, where she works with companies to improve their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors alike. Before joining MIT Sloan, Ton spent seven years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. She is the author of The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits.

Connect with Zeynep Ton on Twitter @zeynepton and at

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: Everyone Wants Better
  • Chapter 1 - Escaping Mediocrity
  • Chapter 2 - Market Wages Aren’t Enough
  • Chapter 3 - Turnover Is Ruinous
  • Chapter 4 - Your Company Is Vulnerable
  • Chapter 5 - Fears, Doubts, and Lack of Imagination
  • Chapter 6 - Convictions and Values
  • Chapter 7 - Wellsprings of Courage
  • Chapter 8 - Make the Case
  • Chapter 9 - Start the Virtuous Cycle
  • Chapter 10 - Ride the Momentum
  • Epilogue