An Executive Looks At–Perspective–31,000 Feet Up

by Jack Vance



The article presents a distilled dialogue, fictional to be sure, between two business executives, as to how their jobs are effecting their family lives. The conversation takes place while they are traveling in an airplane. Destructive tensions between job and family demands pervade entire business careers. It starts from business school to corporation presidency. Solutions to these problems have not been formulated, worse, the problems themselves are barely recognized. The truth is that until corporations become concerned about the damage done to families by the demands of their executive positions, little will change. And generating corporate concern is unaccountably difficult. The school of hard knocks boys will have to see the long-term investment benefit of a more society-oriented philosophy. It may be enough for the more sensitive, just to realize, that the problems they hear 31,000 feet up in the airplane, are not isolated cases. They are perhaps the one constant in an executive's career.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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