New book: Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era, by Laurie Bassi *83, Ed Frauehneim ’89, and Dan McMurrer ’90, with Larry Costello (Berrett-Koehler)

The authors: An economist, Bassi is CEO of McBassi & Company, a consulting firm that specializes in human capital analytics, and she chairs Bassi Investments. Frauenheim is senior editor at Workforce Management magazine and has written about topics including technology, work, business, and education. McMurrer is the chief analyst at McBassi & Company and chief research officer at Bassi Investments. Costello recently served as senior vice president for human resources at American Standard Companies.
The book: The bad guys might not finish first in business, argue the authors. Instead, for corporations to flourish in the future, they must show that they care about people and the planet. Consumers, the authors write, have become more “scrupulous about companies’ morals in recent years.” The authors developed the Good Company Index, ranking the Fortune 100 companies based on criteria associated with customer care, people management, and stewardship. They found that companies in the same industry with higher scores on the index outperformed their peers in the stock market. Of the companies rated, only Disney and FedEx earned As.
Opening lines: “We’re losing patience with bad companies.
Not just the four of us authors, but Americans generally. And people across the globe.
Fed up with Goldman Sachs’s greed and sickened by BP’s pollution. Tired of tainted food, tightfisted employers, and “corporate social responsibility” that is more marketing spin than true caring for our communities. …
Collectively we’re setting a higher standard for businesses. We’re beginning to make it more difficult for them to profit from pillage and plunder. A convergence of forces — economic, social, and political — is pushing businesses to be better to their employees, customers, and communities. In effect, people are demanding that companies in their lives be ‘good company.’”


Laurie Bassi *83, Ed Frauehneim ’89, and Dan McMurrer ’90 (Courtesy Berrett-Koehler)
Review: David Creelman of HRVoice.org wrote, “One technical point worth noting is how Bassi rated whether someone was a good employer. Normally, it is hard to get reliable data on whether or not an organization is a good place to work, but that is changing. Glassdoor.com invites employees to submit information about their company to the website, where it becomes publically available. This was the one place Bassi could get data on almost all of the Fortune 100 firms. No longer can companies hide behind the walls of their office tower.”