How to Run Any Organization

By Theodore Caplow | Go to book overview

5: Change

Suppose that a football reformer observed the obvious fact that the object of the game is to make touchdowns. This would lead immediately to the important discovery that if the two teams would only cooperate, hundreds of touchdowns could be made in a game, while only one or two of them are made when each opposes the other.

THURMAN ARNOLD


Change and innovation

No organization exists in a vacuum. Every organization must submit to the demands of its environment, and these demands vary as the environment changes. Even the most passive organization is compelled to modify itself from time to time in response to irresistible changes in its environment. A well-known study of a civic association was published under the title, "The Reluctant Organization and the Aggressive Environment," and the title tells the whole story. The organization in question sought to do as little as possible, but other civic associations pushed and pulled it into one new activity after another.

On the other hand, impulses toward change often appear in an organization without any outside stimulus. Organizations, like individuals, engage in campaigns of self-improvement. Many large organizations have planning departments to insure a constant

-176-

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How to Run Any Organization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Authority 9
  • 2: Communication 49
  • 3: Productivity 90
  • 4: Morale 128
  • 5: Change 176
  • Notes 209
  • Reading list on the art of management 215
  • Index 217
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