Capitalist or Mercenary?

Article excerpt

Thomas Sattelberger, Wissenskapitalisten oder Soeldner?

Gabler Verlag, 1999

Thomas Sattelberger is a well-known human resource manager who has worked for Daimler-Benz and Deutsche Lufthansa. More recently he became the head of products and services at Lufthansa.


This book is divided into three parts, each discussing a different role of Human Resources Management. The first is focused on HRM as a strategic partner: here Sattelberger argues what we need in network organisations is a 'new moral contract' which reflects a new understanding of loyalty and retention based on the concept of shared responsibility. The contract has to be differ entiated according to whether the employees are 'key knowledge holders' or whether they are 'portfolio-workers'. Secondly, HRM is cast as a catalyst of cultural change, with the arguments illustrated by the turnaround programme of Deutsche Lufthansa. Issues discussed include the benchmarking of HRM, corporate universities (such as the 'Lufthansa School of Business') and the 'war for talents'. In the third and final section HRM is seen as a performance coach.

Sattelberger's assumption is that the borders of the company as we know it are rapidly disappearing. Increasingly it is hard to say who is part of the system and who is not. Is a teleworker, who works for several companies, in or out of the system? …