Understanding organizational evolution: its impact on management and performance

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Quorum Books, 2002 - Business & Economics - 230 pages
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As the size and complexity of a company change in the course of its evolution it experiences predictable stages of growth. During these stages, a company discovers that what worked in the past no longer works. At such times, managers have to juggle the three variables of organizational evolution--the firm's purpose, its business and management processes, and its human resource issues--and keep them in balance as they reinvent new ways of structuring the firm. Typically, tension develops as one variable is stressed at the expense of the others. Managers need to know how to delegate decision making without abdicating overall control of the organization. The model developed here derives from the authors' understanding of how successful firms have managed these tensions. Fletcher and Taplin deal with teamwork, leadership, and the nature of dynamic change while successfully avoiding the cliches to which many experts in those areas are prone. They discuss teamwork in the context of wider performance and process issues. They address leadership not by talking about personality traits but by examining the tensions within authority structures as senior managers attempt to reconcile organizational logics (history and past practices that have sustained the firm) and their own definition of the challenges that face the firm. The authors argue that such contradictions follow a predictable pattern. Managers can either ignore the underlying instability or confront it in ways that will ease the transition and sustain the organization's dynamic growth.

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The Early Phases
The Corridor of Crisis

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About the author (2002)

DOUGLAS SCOTT FLETCHER is Principle and Senior Consultant at Performex in Newport Beach, California. He has done extensive consulting in the areas of performance management, cross-functional teams, and personal performance improvement.IAN M. TAPLIN is Professor of Sociology, Management, and International Studies at Wake Forest University. He has done extensive research on work reorganization and restructuring in the American and British garment industries.