Most manufacturing firms will tell you that employees are their greatest assets - either in their mission statements, their annual reports or on the "About Us" pages on their websites (or all of the above).
To many companies, this seems like a profound way to view their employees.
However, continuous-improvement expert Eric Bigelow disagrees, asserting that the terminology can be harmful to organizational cultures.
"People do not want to be dominated, commanded, controlled or owned, and viewing employees as such will not reap a strong culture," Bigelow says. "Often this will beat people down and discourage participation, contribution and input."
For more, read "Employees Are Colleagues, Not Assets"
in sister publication IndustryWeek.