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Tempered Radicals

How People Use Difference to Inspire Change at Work

Debra Meyerson

Harvard Business School Press 2001 240 s. ISBN 0875849059

A firm's vice president allies herself with the top brass while lobbying to advance gender equity in the executive suite. A talented manager forges a new path up the corporate ladder that makes room for his roles as husband and father. An African American manager quietly expands the diversity of his organization by working within the corporate recruiting structure, but creating alternative sources for qualified candidates that successfully tap minority populations. If these individuals seem like they're playing both sides of the corporate game--they are. Debra E. Meyerson calls them "tempered radicals": people who want to become valued and successful members of their organizations without selling out on who they are and what they believe in. Meyerson further argues that these "everyday leaders" act as crucial sources of new ideas, alternative perspectives, and organizational learning and change. Drawing from fifteen years of research and the compelling stories of tempered radicals in a variety of organizations, Meyerson illustrates a spectrum of innovative ways--from cautious to increasingly bold--that individuals use to "rock the boat" from inside the corporate ship--and steer a course for powerful, positive change.
Subjects Covered: Corporate culture, Diversity, Employees, Gays & lesbians, Human resources management, Leadership, Minority & ethnic groups, Organizational behavior, Organizational behavior & leadership, Organizational development.