Lean May Not Be So Mean

Ultimately, restructuring adds jobs

Companies intent on creating value for their shareholders can be tough on their workers. But in the long run, the interests of owners and workers are closer than they might seem, says McKinsey & Co., the New York-based management consultancy. A new study of more than 1,000 companies in six countries by McKinsey argues that over time, a focus on shareholder value actually leads to more jobs. Says Thomas E. Copeland, a director of corporate financial services in New York who is co-author with Brussels-based McKinsey associate Jacques Bughin: "Stronger, leaner companies are able to compete in the world market more effectively, and that ultimately draws jobs back to those companies."

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