The Paradox of Control in Organizations

The Paradox of Control in Organizations

by Philip Streatfield, Streatfield Phi, P. Streatfield
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0415250315

ISBN-13: 9780415250313

Pub. Date: 10/28/2001

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Business leaders are expected to be 'in control' of the situation in which their businesses find themselves. But how can organizational leaders and managers control matters entirely out of their hands; such as the next action a competitor takes, or the next law a government may pass? In this book, Philip Streatfield reflects on his own experience as a manager to

Overview

Business leaders are expected to be 'in control' of the situation in which their businesses find themselves. But how can organizational leaders and managers control matters entirely out of their hands; such as the next action a competitor takes, or the next law a government may pass? In this book, Philip Streatfield reflects on his own experience as a manager to explore the question: who, or what is 'in control' in an organization?

Adopting the perspective of complex responsive processes developed in the first two volumes of this series, the author takes self-organization and emergence as central themes in thinking about life in organizations. He focuses on the tension between spontaneously forming patterns of conversation and intentional actions arguing that the order of organizations emerges through a combination of collective interaction and individual intentions. The argument is developed by considering the day-to-day experiences of life in a large pharmaceutical organization, SmithKline Beecham.

In today's organization, managers find that they have to live with the paradox of being 'in control' and 'not in control' simultaneously. It is this capacity to live with paradox, and to continue to participate creatively in spite of 'not being in control', that constitutes effective management.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415250313
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Series:
Complexity and Emergence in Organizations Series
Pages:
174
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, The central question for organizations: who is 'in control'? Real life management: making it up as we go along, Outline of the book 2. Controlling Quality? Getting the feel of it in practice: Contac 400, Turning for guidance to the literature on quality control, Local communicative interaction in the living present 3. The Emergence of New Products: The Story of SmithKline Beckman and Its Merger with Beecham, Passing judgement on the SKB management, New product development is supposed to be planned, In fact new products and strategic directions emerge: drawing analogies from the complexity sciences 4. Managing in a Post-merger Situation, What the literature has to say on mergers, Coping with the post-merger situation at SmithKline Beecham, Networking 5. Making Sense of the Paradox of Control in Merger Situations, Organizations as complex responsive processes of relating, Power relations, The conversational life of an organization 6. Measuring Performance is not Quite as Simple as is Seems, Why measure performance? The dashboard project, Was performance measurement really the task? Ideology and Power 7. Supply Chain Management is Messier than one Might Expect, The budget review meeting, Mess in tension with order: meaning emerges 8. Are Managers in Control? Mainstream understanding of control, Complex responsive process understanding of the paradox of control, Management as participating in the construction of meaning in the living present

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