Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organisations

by Charles B. Handy | Business & Investing | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0330288628 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 2/27/2006
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, February 27, 2006
Not sure about the category, but knowing Charles Handy this will be a superior popular business management/life-style-help book...in which he compares different organisational models (cultures) with Greek Gods!

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, June 09, 2006
I've been reading this forever, but finished at last - review to follow...

Although this was as thought-provoking and well-written as all Handy’s books, I found this quite a chore to read; hence it took me many months, dipping in for a few pages at a time. With the number of case studies, and at times dry thoroughness, it felt like I was doing management studies at uni!

As a way of understanding how organisations, and individuals within organisations, function Handy comes up with models of behaviour & attitudes indicative of 4 Greek gods;

Zeus – the king of the ancient gods, a dynamic entrepreneur who runs his organisation from the centre of a close web of contact, patronage & power
Apollo – champion of the prevailing model of large Western organisations. Apollians in their ordered temple favour bureaucracy and role-based specialisation
Athena - goddess of craftsmen, she favours team & project tasks, expertise and networked task-based cultures
Dionysus – God of wine & song(!), who finds favour among the artists & professionals, the unmanageable existentialists

So far so good. Handy considers these models in different types of organisation, different industries & countries, and looks at how they mix and match, how advocates of each God are motivated etc. etc. The last section, written from the 1970’s perspective, considers the inevitable decline (or at least tough challenges) facing Apollo, specifically now that the need to address scarcity and to aspire to efficiency and full-employment have given way – largely – to drivers of personal motivation, flexibility, smallness and ‘portfolio’ careers…so there is a move away from a large controlling centre towards flatter organisations, federations & partnerships, changes to ownership (putting the organisation and means of production back in the hands of the workers – in a very non-Marxist way of course), multiple career structures and greater personal responsibility. The 80’s and 90’s have definitely seen some of this happening, but the old guard are strong, and the new world, if we are honest, is quite scary for us wage-slaves!

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.