It’s Not What You Think
Throughout this book, we have sought to answer two questions: how is work organized, and how is it managed? Chapters 1–4 demonstrated why work was organized and managed the way it was from the 16th century to the present day. Chapters 5–7 showed how organizations manipulated these traditional practices in the belief that such adjustments would give them the beneﬁts of radical change while maintaining the status quo. We hope that this myth has been dispelled utterly and completely. The ﬁnal section of this book is intended to answer the question, so what? What does an understanding of the historical basis for the organization and management of work mean for organizations today, and what does it mean for those who work in them? Chapter 8 considers the implications for organizations. Chapters 9 and 10 discuss the implications for managers and employees in general, and Chapter 11 is given to human resources managers speciﬁcally. A good metaphor for an organization is a bungee cord. At rest, the cord has a ﬁxed length. When stress is applied to the cord, it lengthens, but when the stress is withdrawn, the cord quickly returns to its original length. The cord personiﬁes a traditional hybrid. At rest, it comfortably maintains the status quo. When change initiatives are applied, the organization stretches beyond where it normally would be without the application of these forces, but, when the initiatives come to an end, the organization goes back to the way it was....
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