From Library Journal
Throughout corporate America, organizational change has become one of the most embraced, yet perhaps the least understood, of all the hot-button issues. Editors Beer and Nohria (Harvard Business Sch.) present a keenly written summary of the findings from their August 1998 conference on change, which featured a diverse group of academics, consultants, and CEOs who have researched, enabled, or led successful corporate-change transformations. The book is organized around debates attended by the conference's "change masters," and the editors present what they perceive as the two main organizational change models in practice today: Theory E (creation of economic value) and Theory O (development of organizational capability). Chapters reveal opposing debates on the purpose of change, leading the change process, and the focus of change, among other topics. A synthesis by a conference moderator follows each debate and is in turn followed by a conference critique and an epilog by the authors indicating what you already could guess: they have not yet broken the "code of change" but have helped better understand organizational change and identify key strategic considerations. Highly recommended for university libraries supporting business curricula.DDale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the summer of 1998, Harvard Business School hosted a research conference to review developments, best practices, and research in the field of change management. Among the participants were 50 leading scholars from diverse academic disciplines and management practitioners that included CEOs and consultants. Those in attendance put forward conflicting models of change. Several case studies of major but very different change efforts were presented, and attendees could not even always agree whether these attempts at change had been successful. Here, the editors, both Harvard business professors, organize the papers presented at the conference using a point-counterpoint format that reflects the debates that took place. They first distill two underlying theories of change: Theory E (economic value-driven change) and Theory O (organizational capability-driven change). They follow with seven sections consisting of two papers by opposing debaters and a chapter by a moderator that attempts to synthesize ideas presented. Such contributing luminaries as Peter Senge, Warren Bennis, Chris Argyris, Sumantra Ghoshal, and Christopher Bartlett offer their views. David Rouse
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