Managing Value-Based Organizations

Managing Value-Based Organizations

It’s Not What You Think

New Horizons in Management series

Bruce Hoag and Cary L. Cooper

Managing Value-Based Organizations argues that those who fail to understand management history are destined to repeat it. Research has shown that despite the prodigious output of management books, managers still have little idea why there is so much change in the world of work or what they can do about it. Most, it seems, are still waiting for the dust to settle, expecting instead that in the near future they will be able to go back to doing things the way they have always done them.

Chapter 2: Traditional Organizations

Bruce Hoag and Cary L. Cooper

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


The traditional organization was the culmination of 300 years of organizational evolution. In the simpler, agrarian society, landowners and laborers lived and worked together. The living was hard, and the hours were long, but both shared in the work as well as the rewards. The Industrial Revolutions in England and the United States changed all of that. No longer could technical prowess alone ensure business success. Professional managers were needed to administer the new, complex organizations, and financiers with deep pockets were required to raise the large sums of money needed to build premises, buy new equipment and employ personnel. In addition, these sweeping changes inaugurated a new class of organizational problems. The traditional organization succeeded the American Industrial Revolution. Although Britain had industrialized before the United States, the organizational form that followed had only a minor influence elsewhere, for example, in similar industries in New England. The traditional organization that followed the American Industrial Revolution, however, changed not only the way in which work was organized and managed in the United States, but it also became a template for the rest of the industrialized world. This chapter will describe how that new organization functioned and will provide an important step towards understanding the value-based organization. CHAOS TO ORDER It is the desire of all human beings to create order out of chaos, whether at home or at work.1 The relative serenity and stability of the agri-economy gave that sense of order. By comparison, the apparent disorder and unpredictability2...

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