Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us

8 CDs. Hachette Audio. Oct. 2018. 8:59 hrs. ISBN 9781549142574. $30. digital download. BUS
Lyons (Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble) reveals his view of how the worst of the mercenary tech culture has resulted in the multi-trillion-dollar swindle of American workers in virtually every industry. Lyons's perspective is that today's new work culture celebrates overwork and stress and is led by people who care only about making money and venture capitalists and amoral investors who are solely focused on flipping businesses to make a quick buck. His primary concern is the effect on American workers of this empathy-impaired focus. Lyons's four factors that create worker unhappiness include money (low wages and raided pension funds), job insecurity (rapid turnover and capricious terminations), constant change (demeaning and pointless workshops and classes), and dehumanization (open office plans, no privacy). In the author's view, today's new tech-championed tools and models have shattered the once viable social contract between workers and management. While Lyons's findings will likely appeal to workers, his primary target audience includes leaders who buy into the latest fads for innovation and team building. Thankfully, Lyons closes with optimism about responsible business leaders who are building worker-friendly, inclusive, and diverse companies; college business courses that emphasize social responsibility; and socially conscious investment by well-intentioned rich people. The author's clearly enunciated, steady paced reading nicely highlights this material.
VERDICT Essential for all libraries supporting business and management curricula. This work will appeal to fans of John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's The Witch Doctors, David Craig's Rip-off!, and Matthew Stewart's The Management Myth. ["A must-read for tech entrepreneurs and anyone interested in the shifting dynamics of workplace culture": LJ 10/15/18 review of the Hachette hc.]
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