Strategic Management and Organisational Dynamics / Edition 7 available in Paperback
The text is illustrated with mini-cases taken from named European companies including Suter Packaging Division
Societe Generale de Belgique
Logitech International SA
and Federal Metals Inc.
It is suitable for final-year degree students on BA Business Studies and other business studies programmes where strategic management is a core subject, and also for MBA students and other postgraduate/post-experience students covering strategic management as part of the course.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Ralph Stacey is Professor of Management at the Business School, University of Hertfordshire. He is a supervisor on the innovative Doctor of Management programme at the University of Hertfordshire and the author of a number of books and papers on complexity and organisation.
Chris Mowles is Professor of Complexity and Management at the Business School, University of Hertfordshire. He is director of, and supervisor on, the innovative Doctor of Management programme at the University of Hertfordshire and the author of two books and a number of papers on complexity and organisation.
Table of Contents
List of boxes xiv
List of tables xv
1 Strategic management in perspective: a step in the professionalisation
of management 2
2 Thinking about strategy and organisational change: the implicit
assumptions distinguishing one theory from another 28
Part 1 Systemic ways of thinking about strategy and organisational
3 The origins of systems thinking in the Age of Reason 48
4 Thinking in terms of strategic choice: cybernetic systems, cognitivist
and humanistic psychology 66
5 Thinking in terms of organisational learning and knowledge creation:
systems dynamics, cognitivist, humanistic and constructivist psychology 100
6 Thinking in terms of organisational psychodynamics: open systems
and psychoanalytic perspectives 128
7 Thinking about strategy process from a systemic perspective: using a
process to control a process 150
8 A review of systemic ways of thinking about strategy and organisational
dynamics: key challenges for alternative ways of thinking 176
9 Extending and challenging the dominant discourse on organisations:
thinking about participation and practice 202
Part 2 The challenge of complexity to ways of thinking
Part 3 Complex responsive processes as a way of thinking about
10 The complexity sciences: the sciences of uncertainty 238
11 Systemic applications of complexity sciences to organisations: restating
the dominant discourse 266
strategy and organisational dynamics
12 Responsive processes thinking: the interplay of intentions 302
13 The emergence of organisational strategy in local communicative
interaction: complex responsive processes of conversation 338
14 The link between the local communicative interaction of strategising
and the population-wide patterns of strategy 362
15 The emergence of organisational strategy in local communicative
interaction: complex responsive processes of ideology and power relating 388
16 Different modes of articulating patterns of interaction emerging across
organisations: strategy narratives and strategy models 416
17 Complex responsive processes of strategising: acting locally on the
basis of global goals, visions, expectations and intentions for the
‘whole’ organisation over the ‘long-term future’ 456
18 Complex responsive processes: implications for thinking about
organisational dynamics and strategy 486
Most books on organisational strategy seek to account for superior performance in organisations and they prescribe methods by which to secure competitive advantage as the basis of improved performance. The tendency is to reify the organisation and regard it as a system. There is also a tendency to reify an organisation's strategy, defining that strategy as the direction of the whole organisation's movement into the future. The concern is then with identifying the forces operating on that direction so that the forces may be manipulated by managers to secure their desired outcome for their organisation's future.
This book differs from those just mentioned. Instead of being concerned with superior performance, it focuses on a prior concern, which is the matter of how we are thinking about organisations and strategy. For example, why do we think that an organisation is a system and what are the consequences of doing so? What view of human psychology is implicit in prescribing measures that managers should take to select the direction of an organisation's movement into the future? This book differs from many others in seeking to locate current thinking about strategy in the history of Western thought and thereby identify taken-for-granted assumptions about human psychology and human interaction. It seeks to challenge thinking rather than describe the current state of thinking about strategy and organisational dynamics.
The challenge to current ways of thinking is presented in the contrasts that this book draws between systemic and process ways of thinking about strategy and organisational dynamics. While the systemic perspective is concerned with improvement and movement toa future destination, process thinking is concerned with complex responsive processes of human relating in which strategies emerge. From this perspective, strategy is defined as the emergence of organisational and individual identities so that the concern is with how organisations come to be what they are and how those identities will continue to evolve. From a process perspective, the question of performance improvement has to do with more authentic participation in processes of communicative interaction, power relating and the creation of knowledge and meaning.
The challenge to ways of thinking presented in this book also comes in the form of insights from the complexity sciences. The book will explore the differences for organisational thinking between a way of interpreting these insights in systemic terms and a way of interpreting them in process terms.
In this fourth edition I have made a number of changes. The number of chapters on the theory of strategic choice has been reduced because that theory is extensively covered in a number of other books. The intention here is not to provide a detailed coverage of the theory but to tease out the way of thinking it reflects. This edition makes a sharper distinction between systemic and process thinking than the third edition did, particularly by including new chapters on the philosophical origins of systems and process thinking and by adding new chapters on second-order and critical system thinking. New material has also been included on the theory of complex responsive processes, particularly to do with control, leadership and ethics.
The purpose of this book is to assist people to make sense of their own experience of life in organisations. For this reason the case studies included in the third edition have been removed because they tend to be carefully structured accounts of someone else's organisational experience, usually written with some point in mind, which the reader is supposed to see. This is not consistent with the purpose of assisting readers to make sense of their own experience. So, instead of case studies, there are seven management narratives, that is, personal accounts of the experience of life in organisations. Readers are invited to think about the sense they make of this experience. The main point, however, remains for readers to use the material in this book to make sense of their own experience.
I am grateful to users of previous editions who have made helpful comments and to my colleagues and other participants in the MA/Doctor of Management programme on organisational change at the University of Hertfordshire (in association with the Institute of Group Analysis).
Online support materials for students and lecturers including additional references and useful weblinks, and a commentary on the text for lecturers are available.