The ServiceMaster Story : Navigating Tension between People and Profit

by Albert M. Erisman

(See larger photo)

Retail: $24.95
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Binding: Jacketed hardcover
Pages: 246
Pub Date: January 2020
ISBN: 9781683072638
ISBN-13: 9781683072638
Item Number: 072638
Categories: Christian Living; Biblical Studies and Interpretation

Product Description

The ServiceMaster Story, written by faith and business expert Albert M. Erisman, examines how the first five leaders of ServiceMaster (a cleaning and restoration service company) managed to develop and give deeper purpose to their employees, while also growing into a financially successful organization.

From 1929 to 2001, ServiceMaster grew from a few people making their living in Chicago to a publicly traded company with revenues of $6 billion, in forty countries—with five different leaders. Each leader built on the work of the previous leader, focusing on helping workers to develop as people. Their number one goal was “to honor God in all we do.” ServiceMaster was considered by employees at all levels as a great place to work and was selected by Fortune magazine as the most admired service company in the world, both in the 1980s and 1990s.

How did ServiceMaster manage to develop and give deeper purpose to employees doing “menial jobs” like cleaning floors and toilets— and at the same time grow financially? This book explores the way the five early leaders collaborated, complemented each other, and adapted to changing economic and cultural environments, while creating value for workers, shareholders, and customers alike.

Key points and features:
• An inspirational story that studies the balance between honoring God, serving people, and growing financially, for those interested in the dynamics of work and faith in the workplace
• Includes photos and charts

Author Bio

Albert (Al) Erisman, PhD, was a research mathematician at The Boeing Company. In his last decade there he led an R&D group doing applied research in technology and mathematics before retiring in 2001. He taught business and technology at Seattle Pacific University from 2001—2017. He joined the Theology of Work Project ( in 2006 and is currently co-chair of the board. He cofounded Ethix magazine ( in 1998, exploring the intersection of business, technology, and ethics. He is the author of The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph (2015), coauthor of Direct Methods for Sparse Matrices (2017), and coeditor of The Purpose of Business.