Managing By Values

Talk, talk, talk. As a black mid-level executive at Levi Strauss & Co. in the early 1980s, that's all Louis Kirtman got from the white men above him in top management. Levi's had long enjoyed a reputation as a socially responsible employer. But that didn't mean much to Kirtman as he watched black executives he thought were highly qualified passed over for plum jobs, while his own career seemed stalled on a lonely plateau. Top management always mouthed diversity, Kirtman says, "but in the end, they chose people they were comfortable with" for key positions.

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