Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It” as Want to Read:
Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 30th 2018 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dying for a Paycheck, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dying for a Paycheck

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really good thoughts and research but a dry and dense read. Too many numbers data hidden in paragraphs. I think I would have liked it more if it was bulleted out and written like more of a business white paper instead of a thesis. But interesting none the less.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You will have to take this rating with a grain of salt. I am not really sure exactly how to rate this book but hopefully I can describe why.

The information in this book is so, so important and really blew my mind when I started learning of the research into healthy workplaces, job control, and workplace stress during my MSc courses last year. It made everything that ever frustrated me about work neatly fall into place. This book summarized pretty much everything I knew or suspected and a bit mor
Ian Hamilton
Dying for a Paycheck is largely dry and redundant. The first half to two-thirds of the book consists of Pfeffer regurgitating quantitative data on job-related fatalities, injuries, lost productivity, etc. He exhaustively cites the same data points over and over again and belabors the obvious. He also repeatedly only references a handful of companies throughout the book, those that are both injurious and those that are more forward thinking in terms of employee support. The one saving grace is th ...more
Theodore Kinni
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most depressing business book ever...and a must read. My review for strategy+business is here:
Christine Heron
I skimmed this book looking for some hard data to use in my argument for streamlining work hours. There’s an entire section devoted to “long and irregular” work hours harm health.” Quite honestly, the book supports almost every reason I have for streamlining hours of operations in a public library.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
depressing to read the reality.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but slightly depressing book about where businesses will go on their race to the bottom.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super interesting but soooo many facts and figures and anecdotes that it was hard to process in a casual read sort of way.
Interesting premise and well researched... But it's dull and dry reading... Like a textbook. Just not my thing.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-reads
Interesting and timely study.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished Dying for a Paycheck a few days ago but I haven't stopped thinking about it. It's one of those books that stays with you, and makes you see things in a different light. Yes, as other reviewers note, it's written academically, with a lot of figures and analysis within the text. But it's so striking how much external stress affects our health, and how much of that stress is inflicted on us for arbitrary reasons. So many things could be done differently, from the way that healthcare is l ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A whole book on toxic work environments and why stress in the workplace reduces productivity and causes health-related issues and not a single mention of how the macro-economic system, - i.e. capitalism - rewards employers who create these toxic work environments. His solution: "All that companies need to do... is to understand what I have presented in this book - details about the work environment that cause the most harm - and then work to change them..."

Yes, Mr. Pfeffer, companies just need t
Nick Dutton
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does a great job of discussing economic realities of our current job market. It discusses how the excessive stress of jobs leads to health problems, both physical and mental. How the poor pay that people receive contributes to stress in and out of the workplace. How tying health insurance to jobs hurts the economy by keeping people in jobs they don't care about, reducing productivity. How single payer insurance as well as the concept of finding a way for private industry to internalize ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was written by an academic for an academic audience. The author repeatedly stated that workplace makes individuals safe through management practices, lack of variety in health insurance plans, and other benefits that support workplace longevity, productivity, and efficiency. He hammers the point about stress from the workplace as the cause of poor health outcomes. His analysis covers the impact of social relationships (i.e., friends, family, neighbors, etc. ) on stressors from the work ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was working for MGM in the early 2000s, the management treated the employees so poorly. I saw how the toxic environment actually ran a fellow coworker to her death. She received so little sleep and was under so much stress that she got into a car accident that killed her on the way home.

This book highlights how certain workplaces are as harmful as secondhand smoke. There is a strong link between the amount of stress and a person's decline in physical and mental health.

Businesses must be
An important and valuable book about the huge human and economic cost of working conditions in the U.S., and what can be done to remedy it. The author draws a parallel between environmental pollution and what he calls “social pollution” . The former is subject to myriad controls and regulations, whereas the latter is often ignored, when companies put their employees under great stress and provide little or no health coverage they are creating a costly problem which society as a whole must pay fo ...more
Kevin Rhodes
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is so much to this book that it’s hard to know what to say about it. If your business is business, or if you do business with business, and if you’re a worker now or ever have been, of if you know or have known someone who is … and if you care … then there’s something here for you. The book is brilliantly conceived, rich with anecdotal examples and scholarly research , and concisely and clearly written from the perspective of someone who is both level-headed and passionately committed to b ...more
Matt Fitz
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was data dense, but purposely so. There is a large body of evidence presented that points to what most people probably know and experience: Our American way of business: human resources management, gig economies, alternative work arrangements, seasonal/part time work creates a lot of economic instability and from there a lot of economic insecurity. And the indirect consequences of economic insecurity is poor health management, poor health choices, and poor health itself.

Good read for p
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong book. Wasted a bit of time showing all of its work (in a very academic way). I got impatient with it -- I was like, "I get it, layoffs are very unhealthy. Layoffs kill people. Get on with the rest of your point!" on a few occasions. But overall, I think the thoroughness is necessary, because the book is suggesting that we rethink the culture and policies that surround how corporations relate to labor. Also, the examples given in the book were shallow and common; I wish there could have be ...more
Felipe CZ
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Many people can relate to this book. Stress from unemployment, overwork, and bad jobs in general, affect health negatively. From heart attacks to depression, millions of people are affected so much that it is the fifth highest cause of death in the US and millions die in China for the same reason. But it doesn't have to be that way. Giving employees control over their work, as well as more social support and better workplaces, it will allow people to prosper.
This is one that falls into my "did not finish" category. The premise is interesting, but I felt like there was a lot of needless repetition, statistics given over and over again that didn't really do much for me, and not very much actual "meat" to what I read. There were some great passages that I highlighted, but overall it just couldn't hold my interest. I'll go back to it again sometime later maybe. I might try the audio version if there is one available in the future.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly researched look into how modern business and management practices and cultures are literally killing people, and when they aren't killing them, doing a great amount of harm to human health, dignity, and prosperity. It's not all doom and gloom though - Pfeffer offers a number of solutions, including case studies of how these solutions are working in the real world, at successful organisations. Highly recommended.
Kelley Smith
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to audiobook. So, I cannot tell the quality of references, etc. I'm giving it five stars because there is so little information on this point of view, and I think the author shows some real courage to publish on this topic. It just can't be an easy subject for a business professor to approach. There are some redundancies... but such a need for the overall message to be heard by a wide audience.
Steve Granger
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important and timely book on the growing necessity for us to up our game in confronting the significant impact that work has on health and well-being. Jeffrey Pfeffer is a strong and persuasive writer that is adept at framing issues in such a way as to make them a target of investigation and intervention. Anyone interested in (un)healthy work should give this book a read as it is one of Pfeffer's best to date.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing style is "eh" and a bit dissertation-y (I keep it pro as you can see) but it's clear this is because he wants to make the information and points as citable as possible. I got out of the 9 to 5 game quite some time ago (well - over three years) and this kinda shit only reaffirms my multiple whys.
Patrick Sheehan
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great concepts and data throughout the book on the costs to employees and employers and the public of poor workplace practices and compensation and benefits.

In some places the writing was smooth and in others is could have been better edited.

A tremendous call to action for leaders, I was looking for the challenge and next steps that never seemed to materialize.
Leslie Graff
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a good premise but it got a little buried for me int he research data. I'm always one for research, but that wasn't the book I was expecting. Not so much about what individuals - employees or leaders within companies - can do but more a direction at business as a whole. Good reference source more than interesting personal read.
Emiliano Rojas Eng
A necessary read for employees, employers and most importantly for public policy makers. throughout the book my core beliefs about employment, labor economics and management were challenged. The type of book is expositive and hypothesis-proof driven, with many stories that keep a narrative. I recommend this book and hope it influences public debate.
Dana Evans
There are a lot of statistics in this book so it reads a lot like a research publication. However, the author's findings are staggering about the American workplace and how it is affecting our health. I've seen it first hand in corporate America, so this book was affirmation for me and it gave me permission to plan my life differently.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is full of data about the ways that today's workplaces (and some leaders) are negatively impacting employee health. This data grounds many of the intuitive and anecdotal themes we probably all know, especially if you do any work in the field of personal or leader development. I was hoping the book would have more to offer on the "what to do about it" part of the equation.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Your Kids Are Your Own Fault: A Guide for Raising Responsible, Productive Adults
  • Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity
  • The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy
  • Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results
  • Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas
  • The Ministry of Nostalgia
  • The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business
  • Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
  • Meetings Suck: Turning One of The Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable
  • Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive
  • The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviours that Transform Ordinary People into World Class Leaders
  • The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal
  • So Many Roads: The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead
  • Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance
  • Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out
  • Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician
  • Born to Run
  • You Don't Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success
See similar books…
Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University where he has taught since 1979. He is the author or co-author of thirteen books including The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First; Managing with Power; The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action; Hidden Value: How Great ...more
“Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger found that the proportion of people working in alternative work arrangements had increased some 50 percent in the ten years from 2005 to 2015. Moreover, “94 percent of the net employment growth in the US economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.”4” 0 likes
“Using both experiments and field data, a recent study found that economic insecurity was associated with increased consumption of painkillers and produced actual physical pain and reduced pain tolerance, with the absence of control providing one mechanism explaining these results.” 0 likes
More quotes…