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Employees first, customers second and shareholders third? Towards a modern HR philosophy

M.S. Rao (MSR Leadership Consultants India, Hyderabad, India)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 14 August 2017




The purpose of this research paper is to place an emphasis on the philosophy of “employees first, customers second, and shareholders third”.


It outlines the advantages of this philosophy and illustrates with examples of global companies including Google, Virgin, Alibaba, Facebook, LinkedIn, FedEx Corporation, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, and Costco.


It concludes to treat your employees as assets and convert them into your brand ambassadors to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.

Practical implications

These strategies can be applied in any industry and in any size of organization.

Social implications

The social implications of this research suggests that leaders can achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness by adopting these strategies.


It substantiates that employees are the true value creators for any organization. It explores soft leadership and elaborates the changing mindsets of the employees globally. It enlightens to treat people as people and partners, not as workers.



Rao, M.S. (2017), "Employees first, customers second and shareholders third? Towards a modern HR philosophy", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 6-9.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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