The Competent Organization: A Psychological Analysis of the Strategic Management Process

The Competent Organization: A Psychological Analysis of the Strategic Management Process

The Competent Organization: A Psychological Analysis of the Strategic Management Process

The Competent Organization: A Psychological Analysis of the Strategic Management Process

Synopsis

Within the field of strategic management there is increasing awareness of the limitations of rational approaches to decision making. Managing in a climate of continuous change and uncertainty has turned attention to the role of managerial cognition. The Competent Organization explores the nature of cognition in organizations and focuses upon: the behaviour and characteristics of top management teams; organizational learning and memory; distributed cognition and information markets; the significance of knowledge management and tacit learning; key competencies such as emotional intelligence, information searching, decision making heuristics, creativity, intuition; and how organizations might be helped to become more cognitively effective. "This trail-blazing book presents a clearly written, extensive survey of research about many psychological aspects of strategic analyses. It provocatively argues for the existence and practical impact of a 'strategic competence' that integrates rationality, intuition, emotion, and rules of thumb. In a world where technological developments are demanding ever faster strategic reactions, and where globalization is making markets and organizations more and more complex, to understand the psychology of strategizing has become imperative. This book will attract and stimulate organizational psychologists, strategic-management scholars, and management consultants as well as corporate learning officers." - Professor Bill Starbuck, Past (USA) Academy of Management President and Professor at Stern Business School, New York.

"the first comprehensive treatment of a newly emerging field of study that uses established psychological and social principles to understand and begin to improve the processes of strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and organizational learning. Reading it was invigorating!" Professor Susan E. Jackson, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University. "A path-breaking work: comprehensive, visionary - and accessible." Professor Mark Easterby-Smith, Lancaster University Management School. "A refreshingly critical perspective on the origins of strategic competence. Hodgkinson and Sparrow's knowledge management lens breathes coherence into a fragmented body of work...a broad rich overview of the field of managerial and organizational cognition." Kathleen Sutcliffe, Associate Professor, Uiversity of Michigan Business School. "a significant step toward a trans-disciplinary understanding of strategic management in this acessible, well-written book which provides an attractive new vocabulary for understanding how organization competencies are grounded in cognitive processes." (From the foreword by Anne S. Huff, University if Colorado at Denver and Cranfield School of Management)

Excerpt

Gerard Hodgkinson and Paul Sparrow have made a significant step towards a trans-disciplinary understanding of strategic management in this accessible, well-written book which provides an attractive new vocabulary for understanding how organizational competencies are generated by cognitive processes. It is a much needed next step in making the tools and insights of cognitive psychology as available to strategic management as the contributions of economics and behavioural science.

I admire how the book is organized. From the first chapter, managerial competence is tied to the need for 'knowledge that is actionable' (Argyris 1999) in the disordered, turbulent, demanding context of our times. For example, an artful blend of academic and practical concerns can be found in the Chapter 2 discussion of organizational learning and tacit knowledge, which leads to Chapter 3s coverage of organizational memory. Typically, the discussion is subtle, as in their discussion of the advantages as well as disadvantages of forgetting. Attention moves from micro processes to team, organizational and macro concerns throughout the book, and work from a wide range of ontological and epistemic perspectives is covered.

But this book also points out shortcomings in work to date, and resists the impulse to claim that cognition provides easy answers . . .

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