This book addresses the major problems of leadership in groups, organizations, and societies in the twenty-first century, when rapid change, complex dilemmas, and earth-shattering consequences affect the daily lives of people in the diverse contexts of social institutions, the corporate world, domestic politics, and international terrorism and conflict.
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The volume convenes a group of distinguished scholars, consultants, and leaders who address significant contemporary dilemmas that test the skills and knowledge of all concerned individuals. Benjamin Disraeli said, "I am their leader; therefore I must follow them. The organizing principle of the book is a 'group systems' understanding of leadership further elaborated through the relational and intersubjective concepts emerging in the fields of counseling, dynamic psychiatry, and psychotherapy.
This interdisciplinary approach both complements and contrasts with the traditional understanding of leadership based on the dynamics of individual and collective self-interest. Read more Read less. Review This volume stands on the cutting edge of applied group psychology, as it pertains to vital social issues. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.
Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. January 3, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. This is an extraordinary read, combining psychologically sophisticated thinking about complex political issues and problems regarding leadership. Klein, Rice and Schermer have done a magnificant job editing this tome and bringing together chapters on complex topics in leadership in a changing world, with chapters by Billow on modes of leadership; Green on leadership identity and representation , Chin on the dynamics of gender race and leadership, Volkan on psychoanalytic views of leaders with narcissistic personality organization a must read especially about all some of our worst bosses ; Bernard and Klein on the Bush Years and the presidency; Gumpert on managing leadership in a corporate setting; Tawell's heroic work with working with Palestinians and Israelis; Post's brilliant analysis of terrorist group dynamics and finally Benson's chapter on the Northern Ireland conflict.
Volkan's and Post's chapters were exceptional. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top.
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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Even organizations with high proportions of professionals require hierarchical decision authority to some extent, although they tend to be less centralized and are characterized by greater structural complexity Hall, ; Trice and Beyer, Incompatibilities between the level of professionalism and the organization's design are associated with lower levels of organizational effectiveness Huber et al.
Changes in technology, broadly defined, have three important implications for organizational design. First, in the form of automation, the use of technology has had visible effects on the structure of organizations. Automation enables an organization to grow in terms of its output and impact e. Automation is often linked to a deskilling of the workforce, although new technology can also be associated with increases in the ratio of skilled to unskilled workers, as computer programmers, missile guidance technicians, and machine setup personnel are called on to maintain or interact with equipment that replaced bank tellers, cannoneers, and assembly line operators.
Often the ''upskilling" of personnel reduces the number of persons coordinated by managers at the next hierarchical level, as the work tasks become more difficult to understand and to coordinate, even as the personnel themselves become more specialized and expert. Thus, although automation decreases the number of operating personnel, the number of vertical levels in the organization may not decrease accordingly, and this changes the shape of the organization. Second, the use of computer-assisted communication and decision-aiding technologies tends to lead to changes in organizational design and decision processes Quinn, Recent reviews Brynjolfsson and Yang, ; Fulk and DeSanctis, , theory-building efforts Huber, , and empirical works Brynjolfsson et al.
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There is still considerable question, however, as to whether they create positive. Huber argues that they do. Synthesizing findings from several literatures, he concludes that, through their effects on organizational processes and structures, the technologies have positive effects on the acquisition and development of organizational intelligence and on decision-making processes. An example is provided by the air offensive against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in , during which information technology was used in allocation decisions—for example, decisions for allocating missions and weapon systems to Iraqi targets and for revising such allocations in light of communications ranging from pilot observation to satellite data processed in the United States about the effects of previous missions.
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Given that 30, missions were flown in less than two weeks Schwarzkopf, , it is difficult to imagine that the computer-aided decision support and communication system did not outperform what would have been possible in the past with decision makers who were not aided by modern information technology. Nevertheless, several studies, such as those by Loveman and Morrison and Berndt , have found no effects or a negative effect on performance despite the fact that businesses around the world spend billions each year on information technology in the form of hardware, software, and support personnel.
Some explanation for the gap between expectations for the technology and its apparent performance may be found in the studies themselves, namely in measurement difficulties and sampling problems Brynjolfsson, But a good part of the explanation may be simple cultural lag. Introduction of new technologies requires immediate capital investment and training costs. The benefits may be years in coming. The organizational learning required to know how to use the technology or to redesign work and managerial structures to take advantage of the technology is substantial.
The third area in which technology has had a strong impact on organizational change is that of the so-called high-risk technologies. Despite impressive improvements in safety technology in recent years, the number of accidents associated with new technologies has risen dramatically, along with the potential for enormous loss of life and property, environmental devastation, and economic costs.
Examples are the Tenerife air disaster; the Three Mile Island and other nuclear accidents; the Bhopal, India, chemical accident; the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill; and the Challenger launch explosion. Each of these disasters is associated with an organization's use of technology to achieve difficult, challenging goals that would be impossible to achieve manually. Dependence on technology that brings with it potential risks is leading to the creation of a new type of organization—the high-reliability organization.
Leadership in a Changing World: Dynamic Perspectives on Groups and Their Leaders by Robert H. Klein
The idea is to design organization specifically to manage the serious. It is a complicated undertaking. A major characteristic of advanced and automated technologies is that their operators and managers are increasingly remote from the processes for which they are responsible. With older technologies, operators could see and touch what they controlled or produced.
Mechanisms like gears and pistons were visible, and their action and means of control were obvious.
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Mental images of the way things worked and how they could go wrong were easily learned and readily shared. People, alone and in teams, were an integral part of the control loop that made these technologies run. With the advent of remote sensing, computing, and automatic control, the role of the operator is shifting from that of direct sensor and controller to that of monitor and supervisor. Machine intelligence can either augment or displace human intelligence. All too often automation becomes the first line of defense.
The human is moved to the periphery of the control loop but then is expected to intervene when safety systems fail. Unfortunately, people are notoriously poor at monitoring and detecting low-probability events and are fallible in making decisions under stress. Inadequate engineering of the human-system interface sets people up to make errors in diagnosing and managing the systems that automatic systems have failed to control Sagan, Thus, we are faced with a paradox: while human intelligence and decision making are being supplanted by automation, humans and human organizations nevertheless represent a last line of defense in the detection of faults and the management of emergencies when automatic safeguards fail.
This is the challenge to be met by those who would posit or create the high-reliability organization.
The final factor driving organizational change discussed in this chapter is shifts in the structure of the U. Increased life expectancy, increased racial and ethnic diversity—both in the U. How those challenges will be met and with what consequences for the performance of organizations, the competitiveness of industries, and the quality of life in the United States remains to be seen.
As Diversity Grows, So Must We
To say that the effects on organizational design of demographic diversity in organizations are well documented or synthesized would be a gross overstatement; there are some bodies of evidence concerning the effects on organizational processes, however. One is the body of literature indicating that demographic diversity contributes to higher-quality decisions in decision-making groups, provided it is not so great that it leads to a breakdown. Another is the idea that high levels of diversity are associated with lower levels of cooperation and proactive social behavior, an idea that follows from findings that demographic diversity is negatively related to interpersonal communications and positive relationships Jackson et al.
At present the field has little basis for a theory of how these phenomena affect organizational performance in a given situation but see Cox et al. What seems more certain is that an organization with demographically diverse stakeholders is better able to satisfy stakeholder demands if its decision makers, and members who interact with its stakeholders, include personnel whose demographic composition resembles that of the stakeholders Cox and Blake, We turn now to an examination of organizational design and redesign, which are influenced in important ways by these environmental conditions.
An organization's design refers to its particular configuration of organizational characteristics.