The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy

The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy

The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy

The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy

Synopsis

There is a search in process for a new context and paradigm for the organization of the future-an organization that must be capable of producing high-quality, competitive products that satisfy customers without destroying the planet or degrading human life. "The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy" calls for a radical set of organizational development initiatives that will combat the destructive forces of globalization, put an end to authoritarian, paternalistic management, and move organizations toward a new "organizational democracy." Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith detail the practical opportunities, alternatives, and models for these new organizations and challenge leaders to transform their workplace environment into one shaped by a context of values, ethics, and integrity. They reveal how a combination of collaboration, self-management, and organizational democracy can break down long-standing boundaries and foster the far-reaching, sustainable changes critical to success in the twenty-first century.

Excerpt

A distinct and dramatic change is taking place in the philosophy underlying organizational behavior, calling forth a new concept of humanity. This new concept is based on an expanded knowledge of our complex and shifting needs, replacing an oversimplified, innocent, push-button idea of humanity. This philosophical shift calls for a new concept of organizational values based on humanisticdemocratic ideals, which replace the depersonalized, mechanistic value system of bureaucracy. With it comes a new concept of power, based on collaboration and reason, replacing a model based on coercion and threat.

The primary cause of this shift in philosophy stems from managers themselves. There is a vast audience of managers who are wistful for an alternative to mechanistic ideas of authority; they long for more authentic human relationships than most organizational practices today allow. Furthermore, I suspect that the desire for relationships in business has little to do with the profit motive. The real push for these changes stems from the need not only to humanize organizations but to use them as crucibles for personal growth and self-realization.

Another aspect of this shift has to do with humanity’s historical quest for self-awareness, for using reason to stretch our potential, spreading to large, complex social systems where there has been a dramatic upsurge in the spirit of inquiry. At new depths and over a wider range of affairs, organizations are opening their operations to self-inquiry and self-analysis, which require changes in how people, who make things, regard themselves. These organizations resemble universities and research institutions, filled with bright, self-absorbed, byline-oriented, interesting, highly individualistic knowledge workers, such as professors, journalists, scientists, and information technologists. It is the capacity of leaders to harvest that human capital that makes them succeed or fail. Bill Gates . . .

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