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Who’s Left Standing?

First W. E. Deming, then Russell Ackoff, and now Chris Argyris. They’re all gone. Bummer.

ArgyrisWhen I first encountered the work of each of these three original thinkers, it blew me away. Their insights on organizational and management behaviors were like a breath of fresh air compared to the C-suite pandering, jargonized junk that business schools spew and pop business icons like Tom Peters promulgate (no offense Tom, I like some of your ideas).

Managers who are skilled communicators may also be good at covering up real problems – Chris Argyris

AFAIK, there’s nobody like this trio of intellectual giants left standing (maybe they’ve won?). There are, however, a handful of second string, accessible, truth-tellers out there. Henry Mintzberg, Sam Culbert, and Steve Denning come to mind. Who can you add to this list?

  1. November 23, 2013 at 8:44 am

    We know that the field of organisation psychology (I/O) looks to understand the behaviours of people through their interaction within a work environment and to find the combination of individual characteristics to best fit all dimensions within that environment. Person–environment (PE) fit is a central concept in this research because the ‘fit’ of an individual’s personality and values to the culture of the organisation underpins their best level of micro level fit and thus satisfaction giving rise to best productivity and organisational commitment. There are a plethora of books and management training courses about getting that ideal fit because good ‘fit’ gives rise to positive organisational outcomes such as increased productivity, creativity, and thus the bottom line measures of profitability and market share.
    What has not been looked at is what happens if a person feels like a misfit? What or interaction with who brings about this state? What is the ‘misfit’ likely to do?

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