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Organising and Managing Work: 2nd Paperback – 10 Jan 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 2 edition (10 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 027370480X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273704805
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 502,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Organising and Managing Work takes as its starting point the everyday practices of people at all levels in organisations as they manage their work. It encourages the reader to use and judge organisation and management theories by their relevance to ‘real life’ practices and dilemmas, ranging the day-to-day to major strategic change.


The book also offers insights into aspects of organisational life that are often marginalised, such as the politics and ethics of managerial action; the ambiguous, uncertain and contested nature of organisational processes; and the significance of angst, emotion, humour and mischief in the everyday life of organisations.


In unfolding its distinctive approach to the study of organisations and the management of work, the book adopts a critical social science perspective in order to challenge ways of thinking about management that are often taken for granted both by academics and practitioners.


As part of this overall approach, the book:


·         Examines organisational events and issues through case studies taken from first-hand research and direct involvement in work organisations


·         Explores observations and experiences from a wide range of organisational and national settings


·         Encourages the reader to reflect on their own experiences and interests in both academic debate and organisational practice


·         Provides a bridge from mainstream organisation studies to organisational strategy and human resource management


·         Includes annotated suggestions for further reading and detailed references



Organising and Managing Work is written for students on business and management studies programmes. It is particularly suited to modules on organisational behaviour and could also be used on modules on management, strategy or human resource management.


Tony Watson is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Nottingham University Business School.


Tony Watson’s thinking is state-of-the-art. He is a brilliant teacher, and this book will entice its readers into learning. The book is clear, interesting, highly original, well grounded in organisational life, and full of good stories. No one gives you more new thoughts per page.

David Sims, Cass Business School, City of London


Yet again Tony Watson has written a ‘must buy’ book. Beautifully written and highly integrated, the text is vividly brought to life with pointed ‘cases and conversations’ that clearly illustrate the old dictum that there is nothing so practical as good theory.

Karen Legge, Warwick Business School


This is quite simply the most exhilarating, instructive and witty aid to the study of management and organisations that I have come across for a long time. It will change irrevocably for the better teaching and learning in these areas. Buy it and enjoy it!

Yiannis Gabriel, Imperial College Management School


This is the only current textbook on work and organization which acknowledges the wide range of contemporary critical approaches within management studies. Whilst other texts attempt specific and distinct forms of 'critical' approach, this textbook remains justifiably generous and unpartisan in its style of critique.

Richard Hull, University of Newcastle

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Tony Watson moves well beyond the standard textbook fare, explaining his view of theory in a way that is both relevant and understandable to managers and management students alike. In contrast to the guru market books predicting unattainable certainty, Watson reveals the uncertainty and unpredictability of management, people and organisations that all experienced managers will recognise immediately. With its critical insights, Organising and Managing Work could only have been written by someone with real, hands on experience as a practising manager. Highly readable despite the comprehensive coverage, few will find Watson heavy going and the use of short stories to explain key concepts helps make sense of it all and retains the reader's interest throughout. If I had to choose one compulsory textbook for managers or students of management, this would be it.
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Described as a "must buy" by another academic, this follows the familiar pattern of academics recommending each others work. The unwritten rule appears to be to never to criticise anything written by others, within the academic community in book reviews.

The newcomer to this field or the experienced practitioner will not find this book of little value. All of the reviews are of this book are by academics, not leading consultants/managers, who have practical experierience in this field.

This book has a very dated 1970s feel to to it. To use a medical analogy some sort of angina - hardening of the mental arteries, seems to have occurred in this book. In which fresh ideas/alternative ways of addressing the subject of looking at what makes an organization effective are missing. I could expand at length on this, but time does not permit and this would result in very critical lenghty review, which people do not want to read.

I would recommend looking at the website of the organization design forum, in the US, this international world class - highly credible organization is not drawn upon by the author of this book. The list of reading material on organizations and how to improve effectiveness is of high quality well worth a look.

This is a run of the mill, mediorce student textbook. it is very hard going and bland in terms of content. The so called, case studies are not especially well chosen, presented or insightful. The book lacks realism, plenty of references are provided but I was left with a "so what" attitude. You might well ask why, I persisted in reading the whole book. Well you have to be optimistic that hidden gems will emerge, not the case here with this author.
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This book makes no suggestions that it is for anyone other than students, be them postgraduate or undergraduate. It is different from all of the other OB textbooks I have read and offers an alternative view. Generally accepted concepts are challenged, providing the reader with a wider understanding of the topic than what other textbooks provide. The case studies and examples, on the whole, are perfectly selected. The feel of the book is lighter, easier to read and humorous, and, strangely, because of this, is all the more informative. Reccommend it to all other management students.
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