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Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organisations (Organizations) [Paperback]

Charles Handy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Feb 1995
This is a sparkling and witty allegory of the four types of organisation. The club culture, ruled over by Zeus; the role culture, whose patron saint is Apollo; the task culture, owing allegiance to Athena; and the existential culture, whose people come under the orbit of Dionysus. It is required reading for everybody who wants to be survivor in a world of changing organisational culture. (1994-10-10)

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business; New ed of 3 Revised ed edition (2 Feb 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099548410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099548416
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Handy's jargon-free observations pack more power because of their clarity and prescriptive nature. (Fortune)

This is a serious book, while improving on the majority of managerial texts by being entertaining as well as instructive. (Management Today)

A man with a lifetime's experience... One of the more stimulating books on management. (Financial Times)

Book Description

'A man with a lifetime s experience... One of the more stimulating books on management.' Financial Times'

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Handy guide to the gods of management 2 Nov 2004
Charles Handy is an eminent management guru who has delivered insightful and humorous analysis of the management task for many years. Highly respected, his "Gods of Management" has delightful, tongue-in-cheek moments. Handy can intellectualise, can carve open an organisation with surgical precision, but he does not suffer fools gladly, does not tolerate pretension, and can enliven intellectual analysis with wit and a down-to-earth, down-to-work approach.
Handy here looks at the management culture of organisations. He sees the typical bureaucracy as having a 'role culture', where everyone knows what job they do and gets on with it. Dynamic organisations he sees as often run by a 'club culture', where quick, intuitive decisions are possible. Then, there's the craftsmanship culture where everything is organised around the task. And, finally, he identifies an artistic, anarchic culture where people are committed to being creative and have little time for allegiance to anyone or anything else.
Handy's is a stimulating analysis and a vital tool if you are to give yourself enough distance to sit back and try to evaluate precisely how your own organisation works. What sort of culture does its management sustain? Could it be improved upon? A highly useful and stimulating analysis which I commend to anyone trying to understand how organisations work.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find your god. 11 July 2007
I like Handy's writing style and have read most of his books, what I particularly like about this publication is that its not his usual commentary about the way the world of work is changing, rather it provides a framework for most managers, particularly new managers to understand the cultural dynamics of their organisation.

Each type of organisation is characterised by one of the Greek gods, its a useful analogy and he is quite playful with the portrayal of each god type.

Identifying the 'god' type operating within your organisation, then understanding its character allows any manager to position their work in way that would be understood and accepted by the hierarchy. It also helps a manager steer clear of incurring their wrath.

I recommend this book as a great primer for anyone learning about organisational dynamics for the first time.

It was simply a joy to read and very useful, Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to understand organizational dynamics 26 Sep 2013
By Jokin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this book is a valid model to understand how organizations change, written by Charles Handy, one of the best management writers. The gods are a good model to understand the different kind of people that can join an organization. And the reading of this book is a pleasure, because of the clear and enjoyable stile of writing.
Without doubts, a book that I recommend to anyone who wants to improve the understanding of organizational management.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic... 21 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent, easy read and well worth having in anyone's library......well read and flicked through....handy as usual writes in an easy style which is easy to follow and understand
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