The stories about downsizing are frightening -- such as forty thousand employees being laid off by AT&T, or workers fired after thirty years at a single company. Do companies need to downsize to stay competitive? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the politics and the ethics of corporate layoffs.
Is downsizing the quickest way to regain your company's competitive edge? Not according to Alan Downs. The management consultant who used to orchestrate layoffs tells Jim Fleming that downsizing doesn't make companies more productive, or even leaner. Downs is the author of "Corporate Executions." Also, film-maker ("Roger and Me") and writer ("Downsize This!") Michael Moore tells Steve Paulson what he's gleaned about the etiquette of downsizing from various corporate documents.SEGMENT 2:
Theologian Michael Novak believes business is a noble profession. He tells Judith Strasser that most business leaders want to act ethically and that under certain circumstances downsizing may be a moral imperative. Novak's book is "Business As a Calling: Work and the Examined Life."SEGMENT 3:
David Sedaris is a playwright, NPR commentator and the author of "Barrel Fever," a collection of essays and stories. He also cleans houses. As he tells Steve Paulson, his employment history includes stints as an elf and a cable layer. Sedaris talks about the world of work and reads an excerpt from his book.
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