The announcements of massive industry layoffs, especially in the thriving tech sector, have arrived with an alarming frequency just as the world of work was ready to leave the pandemic behind. From the “great resignation” to “quiet quitting,” “hybrid working,” and “work from anywhere,” the theme of “employee experience comes first” has dominated the post-pandemic headlines.

It appears the “new employment contract” has been redrawn in favor of the employees. The question today is whether the next economic stress test will expose the weak links in the employee-centric management model. Can the notion of “stakeholder capitalism” withstand the slowing economy and the looming recession that is forcing companies and their leaders to make difficult decisions and bring back the austerity tactics? Everyone is carefully watching how far the pendulum of change will swing in the other direction.

No matter the prevailing HR convention and “best practice” rhetoric, business disruption can force divergent responses to change. Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter serves as a reminder that “the arc of management history” does not always bend in the direction of progress. As for Musk’s management playbook, his disregard for the 21st-century norms of good management and a healthy workplace is a function of a deeper cultural phenomenon – America’s fetishization of the technology CEOs. On that front, Musk is in the company of Theranos’ Elizabeth Homes and FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried. Given the tri-factor of cases, could we also be experiencing a crisis of leadership all at once?

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.