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Theory R Management


Every capable and conscientious person in a management position is aspiring to the same basic goal: to succeed.  But many businesses continue to downsize, to restructure and reduce thier workforces.  Others seem compelled by thier cirumstance to settle for results far below their expectations.  Why?

In Theory R Managment Wayne Alderson and Nancy Alderson McDonnell offer an answer.  They discovered many years ago that people do not fit neatly onto pie charts.  Human beings resist being labeled.  They rebel at being categorized and do not respond enthusiastically to the roles assigned them by a management ideology that suggests they are little more than machines that can speak.

Theory R goes beyond traditional management roles and boundaries.  It is aimed directly at the individual, not the group.  At first, this concept can be unsettling to those who have attended numerious employee relations seminars and have been taught to classify subordinates by apparent ability or perceived attitude.

The authors recognize that people will consistently outperform management's greates expectations if they are allowed to feel as if their work, no matter how menial, is making a contribution toward the total success of the organization.  Employees who feel valued will, in turn, do valuable work.

The premise of valuing the person, not the job is the foundation of Theory R Management.  Its five principles (the "R" words) can be a blueprint for anyone striving for double-digit increases in profit and productivity, reduced absenteeism, and most important, customer satisfaction and long-term company growth.   These are not empty promises.  Wayne Alderson has proven the validity of Theory R Management.

A few years go, when Wayne Alderson became vice president of operations at Pittron Steel Foundry in Pittsburgh, the company was failing.   Managers and workers were in constant battle, operations were in chaos, and, of course, Pittron was losing money.  The situation was so bad that many thought Wayne was there to oversee the dismantling of the company.

Then unusual things began to happen.  Labor strife cooled, productivity increased, absenteeism nearly disappeared, and the company became profitable.  In just twenty-one months the ugly duckling had become the graceful swan.

Pittron was the business proving ground for Theory R Management.  Since then, hundreds of companies and thousands of Value of the Person seminar participants have embraced its tenets to forge people-oriented working relationships.  Theory R Management is no longer a theory becuse it works!

We are not two persons, one at  work and the other at home.  What happens to us in one place overlaps the other.  If you practice Theory R Management at work, you will find the benefits rubbing off in other areas of your life.  Theory R can help you at home, at church or anywhere you mingle with people.  Everyone wants to be valued!

Read the book, apply the principles, and begin your personal and professional crusade to value the person.  The results will be impressive.

Thomas J. Murrin, Dean
A.J. Plumbo School of BusinessAdministration
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


"I can give my unequivocal support of the Theory R approach.  It is working at Owens-Corning." - Dr. Sharell Mikesell, Vice President, Science and Technology; Owens-Corning
"Superbly communicates the interrelationship of effective leadership, building an environment that stresses the person, his/her dignity & respect and achieving world-class performance." - Charles W. Lacefield, Vice President, Dow Corning
"Wayne is serious about business and serious about people.  For many managers, these ideas are in conflict.  For Wayne, they ar fundamentally tied together." - Dr. Albert M. Erisman, Directory of Technology, Boeing Computer Services
"Delivers a message that every manager and worker would do well to heed." - Bill Flanagan, Business Editor, KDKA-TV, Pittburgh, Pennsylvania
"Must reading for those who are looking for a paradigm shift in effective management" - Dr. R. C. Sproul, Autor of Stronger than Steel
"Theory R has become a signture element of my management style." - Debra G. Lehman, Vice President, PNC Bank Corporation
"Well punctuated with examples which both validate the theory and lend readability to the test.  I'm a believer." - J.C. Huizenga, President, American Litho Inc.
"Value of the Person - Theory R leadership is a key to building relationships that work.  It has helped make good companies better." - Clair Murphy, Site Director, 3M Cottage Grove Center

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Last Modified: March 24, 2017