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The Age of Paradox [Paperback]

Charles Handy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 10.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 1995
In this striking sequel to his best-selling book The Age of Unreason, Charles Handy shows how the changes he predicted are upon us. New developments in technology, radical changes in the global economy, and the relentless pursuit of productivity have altered forever our organizations, our careers, and our lifestyles. These changes are inevitable and irreversible, and they bring a host of new problems and paradoxes. This book identifies the unintended consequences of change and provides a set of guiding principles to cope with the paradoxes of modern life, leading to a more balanced existence for individuals, greater rewards for organizations, and a more just society for all.

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The Age of Paradox + Understanding Organizations [Fourth Edition] + Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organisations
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; New edition edition (1 Sep 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875846432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875846439
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Charles Handy is an author and broadcaster living in London. He is a Fellow at the London Business School where he was a professor for many years. His books have sold over one million copies around the world. He has been, in his time, an oil executive, a business economist, a professor, and Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read and still valid today! 3 Oct 2013
By Lamski
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came across Charles Handy, when I was reading an article about "The Unintended Consequences of Good Ideas" and I am hooked.

He talks about stuff that's happening now, way back in 1995. Such as new developments in technology, radical changes in the global economy, and the relentless pursuit of productivity have altered forever our organizations, our careers, and our lifestyles.

This boos is conversationally-written, it is an engaging and thought-provoking book.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Level Look at Some of Life's Most Important Issues 11 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
From the first page it is obvious that the author has an incredibly diverse background of experience and knowledge which enable him to take a high level view of the world. Most books dive right into a subject and never explain where they are going. Handy tries to fit all of our life experiences into a model by stating that life is a series of paradoxes. And therein lies the key--we cannot make a perfect working model of life because things are always paradoxical in nature. Take the paradox of justice--Handy's discussion of this phenomenon allows you to finally come to grips with why issues such as affirmative action can seem so compelling to both sides.
If you are interested on the ideas of capitalism and whether or not it is a best solution the book provides some real insights. Take for example Handy's simple explanation about Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations. Having personally done some reading on the subject, Handy was the first to inform me that Smith was actually a professor of moral philosophy. He thought that the market would work, but it would require social responsibility on the part of society. I think this simple point is rarely discussed when using Smith's invisible hand in defense of capitalism.
As an avid reader who gets disinterested after the first chapter of most books, this is the first one in a long time worthy of being finished. Handy has an amazing ability to incorporate our experiences in life: love, money, work, family, etc. into a model which serves to explain it all. While I'm sure Handy himself would agree that his model is incomplete, the thought excites me and I can't wait to see what "age" he publishes next.
This book may not be the newest book out there, but it is certainly one of the best.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Relevant in Today's Turbulent Times 22 Aug 2010
By Andre J. Lukez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the Age of Paradox was written more than 15 years ago, it is just as relevelant today as it was then - perhaps even more so. Charles Handy makes engaging arguments as to how individuals and businesses should conduct themselves. While the book has a philosophical bent, it is also a practical guide.

Charles Handy frames up many emerging trends that were less clear in the early 1990's but in many situations have come to fruition during the last decade. I had to chuckle when he described the turbulence of the times (1990's). Looking back, it all seemed pretty tame compared to today.

His discussion on The Sigmoid Curve and the need to create new Curves as you go through life is fascinating. Equally compelling are his discussions about the purpose of a business. The book points out that profit for the sake of profit is destructive in the long-run. But profit as a means to make things better, more abundant, and create long-term wealth is the best model. As you read his words, you can appreciate how a culture of short-term profit maximization during the last decade led to not only a destruction of shareholder wealth but crippled this nation's competitive advantage on the global stage.

This book is a classic masterpiece that will help you gain a better appreciation of who you are or can become both as a human being and as a person in business.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Age of Paradox 5 Jun 2009
By S. Posey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Charles Handy does an excellent job in setting forth his case that we live in an age of paradox. The need for organization is greater than ever yet the need for remaking our organizations is also greater than ever. He has many ideas and suggestions which may be helpful in refitting our organizations. The concepts that the new capital of organizations is their intellects and that there needs to be a new 'federalism', an era of 'twin citizenship' between the local and the center, are both interesting and challenging. It is a good read and a provocative one. One weakness is that Handy seems to posit the need for greater local control while speaking of social changes which only a new power center (the government) will truly be able to implement. He seems to be caught in a paradox of his own creation.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read for the MBA student! 4 May 2000
By Mark Gilbert - Published on Amazon.com
Handy does an excellent job of defining key business and personal paradoxes. The best section was on the intellectual paradox which future managers need to know how to anticipate and deal with.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Leaders 21 Mar 2008
By David L. Neidert - Published on Amazon.com
Handy, one of he world's foremost business philosophers, provides an important work that all leaders must read or at minimum acknowledge the concepts he espouses. As a leadership writer and instructor, Handy's work is a staple for my students. His chapters on the Sigmoid Curve and Doughnut are alone worth the price of the book.
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