The Age of Heretics: Heroes, Outlaws, and the Forerunners of Corporate Change

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Currency Doubleday, 1996 - Business & Economics - 414 pages
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While protesters stormed through Haight-Ashbury and Greenwich Village, an equally radical group of "corporate heretics" was fighting for change within major corporations such as Shell Oil, General Foods, and Procter & Gamble. These heretics recognized that, to truly change society, they would have to attack the dominant institutions of their time. In this magisterial cultural history that offers new insight into the recreation of institutions, journalist Art Kleiner shows how the heretics' struggle for truth paved the way for the ideals of democracy in key Fortune 100 companies. Take the story of Lyman Ketchum, a plant manager for General Foods. Ketchum's experience with the encounter groups so popular in the sixties led him to devise a revolutionary structure for his new dog food plant. He ignored traditional assembly lines, staffed by bored and disgruntled workers, in favor of teams of technicians who had to understand and take responsibility for their work - a radical concept then, and radical even by today's standards. Although these heretics were underappreciated in their time - and often fired or demoted for their radical ideas - the ideals they fought for live on in the ever-changing American corporation. Only by understanding their struggle can today's corporate leaders succeed in changing business for the better.

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Okay, I read this book purely for research purposes, and my reading was heavily influenced by those purposes: I was on the look out for managerial nonsense-speak, rather than a deep story. But Kleiner ... Read full review

THE AGE OF HERETICS: Heroes, Outlaws, and the Forerunners of Corporate Change

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A slick, selective, and provocative history of postWW II management from a New Age missionary who makes no secret of his commitment to the arguable notion that corporations exist to change the world ... Read full review



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About the author (1996)

Peter Senge is the author of The Fifth Discipline, "one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years" "Harvard Business Review," Together with Arthur D. Little executive Bryan Smith and editorial director Art Kleiner, he is coauthor of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook and The Dance of Change.
Nelda Cambron-McCabe, professor at the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University (Ohio), is a nationally known expert on school reform and leadership; Timothy Lucas, a public school superintendent in New Jersey, is a recognized innovator of systems-thinking approaches for schools; and Janis Dutton is an education writer, consultant, and community activist.

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