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Several years ago, when doctoral candidate Ramon Benedetto came to Thomas J. Walter to conduct an ethnography study of culture on his Chicagoland business, Tasty Catering, Tom agreed to the immersion as long as it would result in a book. After numerous conversations about not only Tasty Catering but other “entangled” companies, the two knew they had something special. When Dr. Benedetto’s dissertation won Dissertation of the Year in 2009, the pair knew what they wanted to do. They teamed up with well-respected author, Dr. Kenneth Thompson, a professor of management at DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, with the goal of writing a book on organizational entanglement.

The book was to be about companies similar to Tasty Catering that have developed a culture beyond employee engagement. Thomas called it entanglement because each person, each system, each component of the organization was so deeply ensnared in the company’s mission, vision, values, and goals that success was the only option.

Entanglement at the employee level is dedication that goes deeper than coming in on a Saturday. It’s more than powering through a lunch hour. It’s opening the mind to company successes before, during, and after work. Entanglement is focusing discretionary thinking on how to help your department reach its quarterly goals instead of what you’re going to eat for dinner that night. It’s coming up with a solution to an issue at work and then actually doing something about it.

Entangled employees are proactive and completely dedicated to the success of their organization, and they are all over the country. We were fortunate enough to find eight companies full of them.

It’s My Company Too authors Dr. Kenneth Thompson, Dr. Ramon Benedetto, and Thomas J. Walter immersed themselves into eight organizations in search of what creates organizational entanglement. This book combines archival research, interviews, award applications, company statements, financial information, personal experiences, leadership strategies, and many more things only retrievable through a very intimate experience with each organization. These eight companies opened up their minds and souls to this study to share with you what it takes to become entangled.

We’ve combined our own empirical data and evidence-based research with the research of other great scientists, sociologists, business leaders, and professors, providing both academic- and application-geared incentives to readers of either interest. Using this data, we’ve woven company stories into each chapter, illustrating both the research principles and the practical outlets for each topic at hand.

Each chapter unveils one company’s strengths, simultaneously revealing one piece to the book’s puzzle. At the end, you’re left with the full puzzle, nine pieces that—when put together—make up a complete, entangled organization.

Read the first chapter here.