Professor co-authors book: ‘The Human Factor to Profitability’

By University Communications
December 14, 2015
UW-Stout Associate Professor Jeanette Kersten is co-author of the book “The Human Factor to Profitability — Building a People-Centered Culture for Long-Term Success.”

Photo: UW-Stout Associate Professor Jeanette Kersten

Two experts on helping companies operate at maximum efficiency through wise use of their employees have authored a new book: “The Human Factor to Profitability — Building a People-Centered Culture for Long-Term Success.”
The book is by Jeanette Kersten, associate professor in the College of Management at University of Wisconsin-Stout, and Kelly LaVenture, assistant professor at Bemidji (Minn.) State University.
Kersten is the UW-Stout People Process Culture endowed chair, an effort funded through gifts from Robert and Debbie Cervenka, owners of Phillips Plastics Corp. until 2010, to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness through research-based human resources principles.
Kersten said the book she was using for her organizational culture class (INGMT 416/616 People Process Culture) needed updating.
“We were using a book from 1994 for the People Process Culture course and were unable to find a suitable replacement text that matched the PPC concepts and met the curriculum requirements,” Kersten said. “That prompted the research proposal for writing this book.”
In the forward to the book, Debbie Cervenka described the practices used at Phillips Plastics to retain its people and enhance the company’s performance.
“When you run your organization, valuing all people (and) respecting all people, you find that those people take ownership and pride, and the end results become meaningful. Because we built the best products, our sales grew as a direct result of having people committed to the organization — people who wanted to excel and who didn’t just want a job.”
Kersten said the major points covered in the book are:

  • All people are important
  • A strong belief that people shape the best organizational cultures
  • Happy people working together perform at higher levels and, as a result, all people benefit

Kersten added: “These principles are the basis for the seven key elements of a people-centered culture: leveraging people-first core values; leadership that walks the talk; open communication; high levels of trust; aligned operations and work environments focused on human resources and talent development practices; change responsiveness; and organizational resiliency.
These principles are backed by extensive evidence-based research, Kersten said, as well as practical applications gleaned from dozens of interviews. The results of implementing these practices are higher retention, greater productivity and increased profitability.
The book is published by River Grove Books and is available from online booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
More information on the Cervenka People Process Culture at UW-Stout is available here >>.