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Charles Smith

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Quintets/Phantasy Trio (Endymion)
Quintets/Phantasy Trio (Endymion)
Price: £16.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably nice, 15 April 2012
I thought this would be rather low key stuff, but it's good and interesting music. And beautifully played as well.


Camcorder Cleaner - Wet & Dry
Camcorder Cleaner - Wet & Dry
Offered by magicdiscounts
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars No use for Sony, 15 April 2012
This item didn't work for my Sony Hi8 camcorder. Just brings up a moisture warning and refuses to run the tape.


Character and Personality Types (Core Concepts in Therapy)
Character and Personality Types (Core Concepts in Therapy)
by Nick Totton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bringing order to a confused topic, 29 Nov 2002
My interest is in the use of personality types in the workplace, so I may not be from the authors' preferred audience for this book, which is written by therapists, for therapists or therapy students. However, similar problems apply in the workplace, where a range of typologies are in popular use, each with its own rather blinkered proponents. This book is very worthwhile, bringing order to the topic in a readable and clear manner. The reasons why we should define people in terms of character types at all are examined, and the main approaches summarised.
However, despite these attactions it should be noted that the book is very short - only 119 pages of text. Some elements, particularly post-Reichian character positions and Jungian structures, appear to get a more thorough treatment than others which are covered very briefly, presumably on the basis of the authors' personal interests.
The final chapter makes some rather tentative attempts to find grounds for integrating different theories. I wasn't convinced, but also felt that more could perhaps have been said. If I use one model as a primary categorisation, what might the other models usefully tell me in addition? I'll have to work that out for myself.


The Bridge
The Bridge
by Iain Banks
Edition: Paperback

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly creative, 18 Nov 2002
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
I've read a large number of Iain Banks books, and rate this the most creative. Others may be more bizzarre, but the construction of the surreal institutional world of 'The Bridge' is exceptional and frightening. Is the real world heading this way? I'm afraid so.


Against Management: History, Politics, Rhetoric: Organization in the Age of Managerialism
Against Management: History, Politics, Rhetoric: Organization in the Age of Managerialism
by Martin Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well presented and argumentative, 18 Nov 2002
This is a well written and pleasantly argumentative book. The concept of 'management' is set up and then dissected from a number of perspectives.
I felt there were some anomalies. Our target floats around. Early in the book it appeared to be hierarchical bureaucratic control that we are against. (That's easy, isn't everyone?) Later it became something wider, but not precisely defined.
The book appears to be written both from and for the Business School 'Critical Management' fraternity, but then takes pleasure in exposing the inadequacies of that discipline.
The 'answers' that Martin Parker presents, in terms of increasing general cultural opposition to management and rising (though disorganised) anti-capitalist lobbies, don't convince me, but that isn't really the issue. It's the sport of the argument itself that is the point of the book, and I can recommend it as an engaging challenge to anyone interested in the business of management - insiders, critics, students, whoever.


Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 38-41
Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 38-41
Price: £12.22

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings a smile to your face, 18 Nov 2002
If you like your Mozart to exude profundity from every note, then don't buy this set, stick to the old Bohm recordings. These Norrington performances are full of energy, joy and light, and will bring a smile to your face.
And what a bargain!


Organisational Change
Organisational Change
by Barbara Senior
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good thorough tour of the subject, 3 Nov 2002
This review is from: Organisational Change (Paperback)
This is a good comprehensive readable exposition of the topic. However I can't help feeling that its most grateful readers are more likely to be passing exams than changing any organization. It concentrates on informing you on the state of the art - what there is to know about organizational change - rather than preparing you for action. Perspectives and theories are well presented and explained, but not always linked or compared, and the depth of critical evaluation is not as great as it could be.


Images of Organization
Images of Organization
by Gareth Morgan
Edition: Paperback

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive exposition of organizational theories, 2 Nov 2002
This review is from: Images of Organization (Paperback)
This is a fundamental reference book on models of organizations. While others try to sell their own pet theory, Morgan presents them all, exposing them to thorough scrutiny.
Any manager or student of management frequently gets confronted with situations that demand an ability to 'read' what is going on, and to generate responding answers and actions. Effective 'reading' needs models. Most of us rely on one or two favoured theories that habitually frame our thinking. However the choice of model is itself a limiting act - think in terms of mechanistic processes and you are limited to machine-based solutions.
Faced with a flavour-of-the-month theory - quality management, knowledge management, chaos theory, whatever - you can turn to this book and understand what type of theory it is - its assumptions, its benefits, its limitations.
Working in the other direction is slightly less comfortable. If you want the latest thinking on a particular perspective, you will find it summarised here, though not always accompanied by comprehensive signposts to follow-on reading.
Altogether quite awesome in its breadth.


Sensemaking in Organizations (Foundations for Organizational Science)
Sensemaking in Organizations (Foundations for Organizational Science)
by Karl E. Weick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £40.16

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand how reality is created, 31 July 2002
The concept of reality as something that is constructed by human beings as a social enterprise is still challenging to many people. This excellent book makes the case by taking us on a comprehensive journey round the processes by which the illusion of reality is achieved in organizations. The most incredible facet of the book, however, is the way in which Weick has made his argument so readable, entertaining and generally enjoyable.
The main readers of this book are probably in business schools, but the book should also be read from the practitioner's perspective. Not only does it develop your awareness of how reality is being created all around you, but it will also help you to improve your own reality-creation techniques.
Essential reading.


Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)
Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)
by Etienne Wenger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.19

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential exposition of the processes of learning, 31 July 2002
This book presents a clear and thorough exposition of learning, locating it firmly as a social process, and using the concept of the Community of Practice to describe the social structure within which learning takes place.
The basic style of the book - the precision and completeness of its arguments, the care with terminology, the extensive footnotes and bibliography - suggest its primary audience is intended to be academic. However, I recommend it as reading for anyone with an interest in understanding and promoting learning in organizations. I would argue that 90% of the effort expended on training and development in UK companies is ineffective precisely because it ignores the principles set out in this book.
I feel slightly uncomfortable with the intensity of some of the jargon. For example, a word such as 'reification', used to describe the central concept of how abstract ideas are made into something tangible, needs to be translated into something more user-friendly if it is to be used in general conversation.
Nonetheless, an essential read and reference.


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