Anthony Giddens' Structuration Theory is one of a set of grand social theories that are capable of describing the very foundation of social systems: these include teams, organizations, and society as a whole. One of the key characteristics of Giddens's theory is the understanding of structure as duality: On the one hand, structures of social systems such as norms, symbols, and physical objects etc. enable social practices. On the other hand, these very structures are reproduced by agents and thus are also result of social practices. This understanding opens up a variety of new perspectives for managing organizations. In this blog post we have a look at some of those perspectives, such as Strategy as Practice, and derive key take-aways for managers and working professionals.
Bold decisions that drastically change what is taken for granted have always been traits of leaders that attract and inspire people. The rise of social media and other means of online communication such as blogs, online communities and intranets allow leaders to spread bold ideas and big plans easier than ever before to their target audience and the wider public. On the one hand, this tremendous speed of communication is a powerful lever to mobilize people and initiate change on a level and magnitude never seen before. On the other hand, change is always accompanied with unintended consequences that backfire, if not handled properly.
The great works of drama offer a wealth of lessons for business leaders. Shakespeare’s King Lear, for example, displays the dangers of a narcissistic, erratic leadership style. Moliere’s The Misanthrope warns against excessive, untactful honesty. This blog post focuses on Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Building on a previous post on social systems theory, I will look at Chekhov’s play through the lens of Niklas Luhmann’s theory of society. I will look particularly at forms of social differentiation and the obstacles to cognitive processing of social system change and its implications for business leaders.
Politics exist in all organizations but it is interesting to consider whether organizational politics can be a blessing or a curse. This blog post draws on scientific evidence to illustrate how politics can be effective for an organization through a) drawing on the political skills of the talent within the firm and b) implementing strategies that curtail ineffective organizational politics.
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been on the radar since the 1950s and has altered the way many organizations conduct business:To which extent should organizations align their goals to be socially responsible?Is it worth making a commitment to the social good?Which management practices help drive CSR?Insights from evidence-based management (EBM or EBMgt) show that CSR has many positive effects and does not have to mean altering a strategy - rather, small steps can yield big outcomes and help firms create sustainable value in mindset and organizational culture.
The consulting industry is currently undergoing a radical change. Traditional strategy, restructuring, and implementation consulting agencies are more and more under pressure. The causes are manifold and can be anything from not meeting client requirements to new scientific findings and easier access to current knowledge via the internet. Alternative consulting approaches are focusing on the traditional consulting model’s weaknesses and become more and more important. We summarized four reasons for a reorientation of traditional consulting agencies.
Change management has been a very popular topic in management literature. The overwhelming share of books that provide practical guidance on how to manage change are usually based on the assumption of a linear, step based change process. However, looking into real live organizations reveals a totally different picture. Change processes are more like a ride in a rollercoaster than a linear sequence of well-structured process steps.