So far this year, major U.S. banks have announced layoffs that will eliminate jobs for more than 16,000 people. But top managers who feel just a wee bit blue about cutting their work force by 10% or 20% have a new friend to turn to for solace.

Judith M. Bardwick, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California's San Diego campus, has written a book, "Danger in the Comfort Zone," that identifies the real culprit for lackluster profitability and sagging productivity: employees.

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