Affiliation in the Workplace

Value Creation in the New Organization

by Ron Elsdon


Elsdon draws on studies that quantify the link between individual development and organizational value creation.

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Cover image for Affiliation in the Workplace

October 2002


Pages 280
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Human Resources

This book draws on studies that quantify the link between individual development and organizational value creation. Strengthening this link is key to building a strong sense of affiliation and a more productive workforce. The author provides frameworks for characterizing the workforce, listening to the organization, using inclusion as a key differentiator, and applying mathematical modeling techniques to explore and quantify related areas.

We are entering an era when it makes sense to move away from mere retention strategies of control and toward more mutually beneficial strategies of affiliation. This trend can be traced to the recognition of the knowledge worker's influence and the value of human capital in today's economy. To succeed in this emerging work world, organizational leaders and human resource professionals must create new relationships with individuals built around the concept of affiliation. This will mean changed roles and behaviors that respect mutual interests, and will require a culture of inclusion expressed internally through workforce diversity, externally through workforce partnerships, at a community level through philanthropy, and globally through the pursuit of a greater good.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionFraming the Environment and IssuesThe Central DilemmaThe Emerging World of WorkThe Organization of the Future: Value CreationListening to the OrganizationCreating Models of the Future WorkforceCreating Models of the Future Workforce: Rationale and LinkagesThe Imprint of the Organization in the Past, Present, and Future: Modeling FrameworksCase Study: Creating Value and Enhancing Affiliation through Employee DevelopmentDeveloping a Path ForwardA Conversation with Leaders and HR about AffiliationBridging from the Organization of Today to the Organization of the FuturePartnerships for a Better FutureAwakening the MusicAppendix: Questionnaire to Gather Input Across OrganizationsNomenclatureReferencesIndex



Academics will find the book's rich examples and practical outlook helpful to gain a very micro-oriented perspective. The author's observations may also stimulate ideas for research.—Journal of Asian Economics

^IAffiliation In the Workplace^R provides some hope for the practitioner charged with moving an organization toward enhancement and away from disenhancement....Elsdon builds a series of equations that allows him to map the relationships between organizational value creation, individual fulfillment, leadership's ability to create a sense of individual fulfillment, and the length of time an employee intends to remain with the organization.—Journal of Diversity Praxis

A refreshing perspective for anyone interested in the application of career development in business and industry.

^IAffiliation in the Workplace^R offers concrete and inspiring suggestions for enhancing connections between the individual and the organization.—arvard Business School


Not only a timely book, it is an important work in developing a better understanding of the relationship of individuals with their organization. It provides a framework for identifying ways to establish healthy and more productive relationships for individuals and their companies. It is about fundamentals and will be as relevant ten years from now as it is today.—Steve Leven, Senior Vice President^LTexas Instruments

This book is filled with concrete ideas on how an organization can adapt to the changing workforce demographics and enhance the relationship between individuals and organizations. It is guaranteed to inspire, challenge, and help you create an environment to support individual development and strengthen your organization's ability to survive and thrive today, as well as in the future. It provides plenty of ideas and challenges as we focus on recruitment and retention matters that loom ahead. This is a must-read for leaders of any organization!—Dorothy M. Moser^LVice President, Human Resources & Training^Land Barbara J. Lewis^LAssistant Vice President, Training & Staff Development^LEaster Seals Inc.

This book may surprise many readers who, from the title, might expect one more contribution to the field of human resource development. Instead the book delivers a potent challenge to all of us who manage complex organizations that we must uncompromisingly build the value of our organizations on the only value system that matters, the development of our people. By combining stories of organizations that have dared to do it differently with strong quantitative analysis of how they measured their success, the author moves beyond merely issuing this challenge to equipping us for the battle. This book is a must read for all of us who continue to battle for the hearts and minds of our people while simultaneously justifying the bottom-line impact of our efforts.—Pearl Sims^LDirector, Leadership Development Center^LPeabody College of Vanderbilt University

This book offers a critical analysis tempered by a humanistic approach, of the most significant element in our workplace today. The heart and soul of the workplace are the people who come to work each day hoping for much more than a paycheck. The author captures the science and the art of affiliation with documentation, case studies, introspection and insight. Not only is this book filled with hope for the future of our organizations; it should be required reading for the leaders of tomorrow's organizations.—Sue Aiken, MA,NCC,NCCC^LChair, Career Development Graduate Program^LJohn F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California

This book is thoughtful and thorough. Written by an experienced organizational career consultant, the book addresses how industry leaders and human resource executives can create a work environment that strengthens and inspires individuals and as a result enhances growth and productivity of organizations.—Betsy Collard^LDirector, Office of Alumni Volunteer Relations^LStanford University Alumni Association

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