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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understandable and readable without lacking Information!, 22 Jan 2011
This review is from: Understanding Organizations [Fourth Edition] (Paperback)
A comprehensive book on organizations, and how they work. The book has three parts.

Part one, 'The concepts', begins with the first chapter, about this book explaining the utility of organizational theory, the nature and history of organization theory, including a figure showing the relationship between people, power and practicalities. Early motivation theories, the psychological contract, money and summary and implications are useful in the second chapter, On the motivation to work. The third chapter is one of the most useful and introduces roles and interactions including The concepts of role theory and role definitions, role incompatibility, role conflict, role overload and role underload, all useful in understanding roles, as is the explanations on role stress and the implications of stress. Perceiving people and interacting with people deals with the interaction side of roles and overall, the chapter is summarised well.

Chapter 4, of 'On Leadership', including style theories, contingency theories and general conclusion on leadership and lead on well to the next chapter of 'On power and influence', methods of influence relates well to the use of power in organizations and lead on well to the implications of power and influence in organizations. 'On the working of groups' in chapter 6, deals with the purposes of groups including organizational purposes and individual purposes and continues to the determinants of group effectiveness along with a case study of the task, the environment and the intervening factors. Chapter 7, 'On the cultures of organizations' deals with one of the most informative of the book and discusses the different cultures includes, the power culture, task culture, person culture and continues on the influencing factors including size technology, goals and objectives, the environment and the people. Implications for organization design discusses the implication of differentiation, integration and that summarises the chapter well.

Part two of the book deals with 'The concepts in application', and continues to chapter 8, and 'On the people of organizations', and addresses development, including the management of human assets and the development of the individual. 'Design of the structure', including uniformity and diversity including distribution of power, match of culture and structure. The design of the job including job enlargement, participation, delegation and autonomous groups are explained well on chapter 9 of 'Organization and its Design'. The next two chapters, 'On politics and change' and 'On being a manager', were the ones I found Most informative, with competition, conflict, tactics of conflict, strategies for managing conflict and challenging change discussed and explained well from various perspectives in 'On politics and change'. 'On being a manager' looks at the manager's job, the manager as GP, the managerial dilemma and the manager as a person, all explained and discussed well on a topic that many books are written on. The last chapter of the second part of the book looks at the futures of organizations, and looks at topics, assumptions, clues to the future and possibility and problems. This is a rhetorical chapter which may help those who are interested on how organizations may change and what challenges they face.

The third part summarises all the chapters, and gives further references. Overall a good and informative book on the study of organisations.
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