The Modern Firm: Organizational Design for Performance and Growth / Edition 1

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Overview


Business firms around the world are experimenting with new organizational designs, changing their formal architectures, their routines and processes, and their corporate cultures as they seek to improve their current performance and their growth prospects. In the process they are changing the scope of their business operations, redrawing their organization charts, redefining the allocation of decision-making authority and responsibility, revamping the mechanisms for motivating and rewarding people, reconsidering which activities to conduct in-house and which to out-source, redesigning their information systems, and seeking to alter the shared beliefs, values and norms that their people hold.
In this book, John Roberts argues that there are predictable, necessary relationships among these changes that will improve performance and growth. The organizations that are successful will establish patterns of fit among the elements of their organizational designs, their competitive strategies and the external environment in which they operate and will go about this in a holistic manner.

The Modern Firm develops powerful conceptual frameworks for analyzing the interrelations between organizational design features, competitive strategy and the business environment. Written in a non-technical language, the book is nevertheless based on rigorous modeling and draws on numerous examples from eighteenth century fur trading companies to such modern firms such as BP and Nokia. Finally the book explores why these developments are happening now, pointing to the increase in global competition and changes in technology.

Written by one of the world's leading economists and experts that will improve performance and growth. The organizations that are successful will establish patterns of fit among the elements of their organizational designs, their competitive strategies and the external environment in which they operate and will go about this in a holistic manner.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Best business book of the year...deserves to be a classic... Nobody, it can now be said, is fully fit to run a modern firm until they have read The Modern Firm."--The Economist

"I am aware of no book that does a better job of integrating rigorous economic reasoning with a rich understanding of how firms operate. Economists, sociologists, organization and strategy scholars, as well as practicing managers, can all learn from the insights on strategy and organization contained in this very fine book."--Joel Podolny, Dean of Yale School of Management

"It is interesting, which isn't something you can say about many business books."--The Times of London

"[This] is a book for people looking for a deeper understanding of the modern firm --and enjoying the experience. As one of the world's foremost experts on economics and management, Roberts writes in an engaging style that makes the new ideas readily accessible to a wider business audience."--Bengt Holmström, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, MIT

"At BP we have found John Roberts' ideas and concepts to be powerful, and we have used them in addressing the issues we face. The holistic approach he advocates to organizational design is very much in line with my own thinking. I am pleased that these ideas have been made available in a systematic fashion in this timely book."--Sir John Browne, Group Chief Executive, BP plc

"There are plenty of books on management and leadership that explain what leading firms do. This one explains why. The penetrating insights in The Modern Firm can profitably be applied to a wide variety of strategy and organization problems. Roberts, an economist of the first rank, offers us a practical, readable discussion, without mathematical notation. The Modern Firm should be required reading for corporate leaders and their advisers."--Jonathan Day, Partner, McKinsey & Company

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198293750
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/11/2007
  • Series: Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,215,213
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Roberts

John Roberts holds the John H. Scully Professorship in Economics, Strategic Management and International Business in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He has published over seventy scholarly articles in academic journals in a variety of areas in economic theory and game theory and their application to problems in industrial competition and management. He has also written numerous case studies of businesses and co-authored the seminal textbook on the economics and management of firms (Economics, Organization and Management, Prentice Hall 1992).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Strategy and organization 1
2 Key concepts for organization design 32
3 The nature and purpose of the firm 74
4 Motivation in the modern firm 118
5 Organizing for performance 180
6 Organizing for growth and innovation 243
7 Creating the modern firm : management and leadership challenges 281
References 289
Index 303
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