When Things Go Wrong: Organizational Failures and Breakdowns / Edition 1

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Written by 24 authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds, the essays in When Things Go Wrong focus on four aspects of organizational failure: organizational, political, cognitive, and structural. This book presents failure as a relative concept in terms of the expectations and strategies of stakeholders putting a claim on the performance of the organization and the notion of success. It challenges future research in this field to combine economic and noneconomic performance measures to assess organizational tendencies toward success and failure, as well as to differentiate between failure as process and failure as an outcome. When Things Go Wrong will be of interest to professionals and students in organizational studies, sociology, political science, policy studies, industrial psychology, management, public administration, and leadership studies.
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Editorial Reviews

Twenty-four essays written by authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds focus on four aspects of organizational failure--organizational, political, cognitive, and structural. They present failure as a relative concept in terms of the expectations and strategies of stakeholders putting a claim on the performance of the organization and the notion of success, and they challenge future research to combine economic and noneconomic measures of assessment. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761910473
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Helmut K. Anheier (PhD, Yale) is Dean and Professor of
Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He holds a chair of Sociology at Heidelberg University and serves as Academic Director of the Center for Social Investment. From 2001 to 2009, he was Professor of Public Policy and Social Welfare at UCLA's School of
Public Affairs and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.
Professor Anheier founded and directed the Centre for Civil Society at LSE and the Center for Civil Society at UCLA. Before embarking on an academic career,
he served as social affairs officer to the United Nations. He is currently researching the nexus between globalisation, civil society, and culture and is interested in policy analysis and methodological questions.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introduction
1 Organizational Failures, Breakdowns, and Bankruptcies: An Introduction 3
Pt. II Organizations and Failure
2 Costly Information: Firm Transformation, Exit, or Persistent Failure 17
3 Decision Overreach as a Reason for Failure: How Organizations Can Overbalance 35
4 "Tales From the Grave": Organizations' Accounts of Their Own Demise 51
5 Organizational Coping, Failure, and Success: Academies of Sciences in Central and Eastern Europe 71
Pt. III The Political Economy of Failure and Bankruptcy
6 Successful Failure: An Alternative View of Organizational Coping 91
7 Veiled Politics: Bankruptcy as a Structured Organizational Field 105
8 The Politics of Blame Avoidance: Defensive Tactics in a Dutch Crime-Fighting Fiasco 123
9 Creating the Agents of Corporate Rescue: Professionalization of Insolvency 149
Pt. IV The Cognitive Construction of Failure
10 Prosaic Organizational Failure 179
11 Permanent Failure and the Failure of Organizational Performance 197
Pt. V Structural Failures
12 Success and Failure in Institutional Development: A Network Approach 215
13 Stalemate: A Structural Analysis of Organizational Failure 241
Pt. VI Conclusion
14 Studying Organizational Failures 273
References 291
Index 309
About the Editor 312
About the Contributors 313
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