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An Existential-Systems Approach to Managing Organizations

An Existential-Systems Approach to Managing Organizations

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At a time of corporate downsizing and bone-crushing international competition, how can executives reconcile their individual personalities and human needs with the equally compelling needs of the hard-driving organization? It is an existential dilemma, say Joe and Louise Kelly, and one with critical implications, not only for executives but for their organizations as well. The Kellys, by no means blithe theorists, take a hard look at this hard-edged problem by positing a three-pronged model for analysis based upon structure, process, and values. They synthesize these elements under an overarching concept of existentialism, in which the emphasis is on a search for meaning. And with that, they provide a clear-headed look at the field of organizational behavior--its contributions to our understanding of how organizations work, but also its failures and, indeed, its frequent self-deceptions. A well-written, vigorous, far-ranging examination, not only for executives who need the kind of help the Kellys offer in their daily combat on the job, but also for their colleagues in the academic community who have their own organizational problems to deal with.