This book explores a central paradox in an organization. Business leaders are supposed to be in control of the situation in which their businesses find themselves, so if an unexpected event occurs they are supposed to be able to declare thatMoreThis book explores a central paradox in an organization. Business leaders are supposed to be in control of the situation in which their businesses find themselves, so if an unexpected event occurs they are supposed to be able to declare that things are under control.
The worst thing that any business leader or manager can do is to declare that they are not in control of a situation. But how can organizational leaders and managers be expected to control matters entirely out of their hands, such as the next action a competitor takes, or the next law a government may pass?
Who, or what is in control in an organization? The author attempts to shed light on these questions by exploring his own day-to-day management experiences of life in a large pharmaceutical organization, SmithKline Beecham. The book is about the dymamic, continually changing formation of patterns of relationships in organizations, through which managers get their work done. Philip Streatfield approaches actual management practice from a complexity perspective, understanding organizational like as primarily informal, self-organizing, and transformative in nature.- In adopting the perspective of complex responsive processes developed in the first two volumes of this series, the author takes self-organization and emergence as integral themes in his thinking about life in organizations.
Conversation is placed at the centre of the way humans develop their sense of reality and this book explores, using actual personal experiences, how managers construct their reality in conversation. The notion that the manager is in control does not resonate with experience.
In practice, managers find that they live with the paradox of being in control and not in control simultaneously. It is this capacity to live with paradox, the courage to continue to participate creatively in spite of not being in control, that constitutes effective management.