The Underlying Logic of the Office
Ray Fisman & Tim Sullivan
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We create organizations because we need to get a job done--something we couldn't do alone--and join them because we're inspired by their missions (and our paycheck). But once we're inside, these organizations rarely feel inspirational. Instead, we're often baffled by what we encounter: clueless managers, a lack of clear objectives, a seeming disregard for data, and the vast gulf between HR proclamations and our experience in the cubicle.
So where did it all go wrong?
In THE ORG, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the tradeoffs that every organization faces, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is actually inherent to the very nature of orgs. THE ORG diagnoses the root causes of that malfunction, beginning with the economic logic of why organizations exist in the first place, then working its way up through the org's structure from the lowly cubicle to the CEO's office.
Woven throughout with fascinating case studies-including McDonald's, al Qaeda, the Baltimore City Police Department, Procter and Gamble, the island nation of Samoa, and Google--THE ORG reveals why the give-and-take nature of organizations, while infuriating, nonetheless provides the best way to get the job done.
The purpose of meetings and why they will never go awayWhy even members of al Qaeda are required to submit Travel & Expense reportsWhat managers are good forHow the army and other orgs balance marching in lockstep with fostering innovationWhy it's the hospital administration-not the heart surgeon-who is more likely to save your lifeThat CEOs often spend over 80% of their time in meetings-and why that's exactly where they should be (and why they get paid so much)
Looking at life behind the red tape, THE ORG shows why the path from workshop to corporate behemoth is pockmarked with tradeoffs and competing incentives, but above all, demonstrates why organizations are central to human achievement.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Couldn't make it through three chapters
After getting through three chapters, I finally had to put this one down. Each paragraph seemed to start a new idea that was unrelated to the main idea of the chapter. There is no "flow" in this book. It bounces back and forth between ideas and gets confusing. In chapter two, the author keeps bouncing between incentives and hiring practices, and why cops are hard to incentivize due to the nature of the job.. the chapter is called "Designing the Job", yet all I got afterwards was It is tough to be a police officer in Baltimore.. I bought the book under the assumption I would learn some valuable insights into business organizations, but I was sorely disappointed. I hate being overly critical, but this is the first book in a long time I've ever put down. As a business manager, I give this book a thumbs down. I didn't get anything more from this book than I could have gotten from the Internet.