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 5: The Myth of Rightsizing

Bruce Hoag and Cary L. Cooper

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour

Extract

Those who have read the first four chapters1 will not need to be convinced that traditional and value-based organizational forms are mutually exclusive. To have one is not to have the other. Fundamentally, their assumptions, characteristics and expectations are different. The traditional organization was born out of the Industrial Revolution where the context for the organization and management of work necessitated the simplification of jobs for its unskilled and illiterate workforce coupled with the need for greater coordination of work and strict control over everything and everyone. The value-based organization, on the other hand, was born out of the growing mass of a highly skilled and highly educated society concomitant to the dissolution of the psychological contract and a long-term shortage of people in general. Networks and rigid hierarchies do not go together; neither does innovation and strictly enforced chains of command. Nevertheless, there are still many organizations that believe that they can have it both ways and, unfortunately, there also are a significant number of scholars who agree with them.2 It is for this reason that Chapters 5, 6 and 7 have been devoted entirely to dispelling this transcendent myth. As we will see, there is much in the traditional organization that is incompatible with the value-based organization, and therefore, at the very least, the notion of a hybrid is impractical if not dangerously deceptive. It has been said that it is a form of insanity to do the same things day after day and expect...

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