Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership
Lee G. Bolman
In this fifth edition of the bestselling text in organizational theory and behavior, Bolman and Deal’s update includes coverage of pressing issues such as globalization, changing workforce, multi-cultural and virtual workforces and communication, and sustainability. A full instructor support package is available including an instructor’s guide, summary tip sheets for each chapter, hot links to videos & extra resources, mini-assessments for each of the frames, and podcast Q&As with Bolman & Deal.
organization must find a design that works for its circumstances. Consider the contrasting structures of two highly successful organizations: McDonald’s and Harvard University. M C D O N A L D ’ S A N D H A R VA R D : A STRUCTURAL ODD COUPLE McDonald’s, the company that made the Big Mac a household word, has been enormously successful. For forty years after its founding in the 1950s, the company was an unstoppable growth engine that came to 60 c03.indd 60 Reframing Organizations 6/30/08
see the agency problem as a pervasive feature of cooperative activity. The relationship between a team and individual members, or between a boss and a subordinate, is like that between principal and agent. If members of a team share rewards equally, for example, there is an incentive for “free riders” to let someone else do most of the work. Principals face a perennial problem of keeping agents in line and on task. Structure and Restructuring c04.indd 77 77 6/30/08 12:57:55 PM STRUCTURAL
of financial assets. In this view, human resources are subjective, soft, and suspect in comparison to hard financial numbers. GETTING IT RIGHT Despite such barriers, many organizations get it right. Their practices are not perfect, but they’re good enough. The organization benefits from a talented, motivated, loyal, and free-spirited workforce. Employees in turn are more productive, innovative, and willing to go out of their way to get the job done. They are less likely to make costly blunders
they are at work. But people bring patterns of behavior to the workplace that have roots in early life. These patterns do not change quickly or easily on the job. Thompson (1967) and others have argued that the socializing effects of family and society shape people to mesh with the workplace. Schools, for example, teach students to be punctual, complete assignments on time, and follow rules. But schools are not always fully successful, and future employees are shaped initially by family, a
assertiveness), agreeableness (getting along with others), conscientiousness (a tendency to be orderly, planful, and hard-working), neuroticism (difficulty in controlling negative feelings), and openness to experience (preference for creativity and new experience). For popular use, though, the Big 5 has its disadvantages. Compared with the Myers-Briggs, it conveys stronger value judgments; it is hard to argue that being disagreeable and neurotic are desirable leadership qualities. Moreover, some