From the Inside Flap
It's been twenty-five years since the publication of Marvin Weisbord's classic book Productive Workplaces. This third edition of the bestselling text revises that thoughtful, well-written, well-researched, somewhat provocative, one-of-a-kind inquiry into the integration of economics, technology and people. Weisbord shows how "experts solving problems" evolved toward "getting everybody improving whole systems," and why the latter strategy is the only one likely to satisfy you in a diverse world of non-stop change.
From his work in corporations and medical schools, Weisbord demonstrates how novel practices grounded in scientific management, participative management, and sociotechnical systemsall based on shared values of ration- al cooperationbecame obsolete over time. He traces today's practices back more than 100 years, using his experiences as manager and consultant to illuminate what works and what doesn't. Reviewing the influence on workplaces of Frederick Taylor, Kurt Lewin, Douglas McGregor, Eric Trist, and Fred Emery, the author encourages you to explore their evolving change theories in concert with your own values.
Against the mindless repetition of shopworn techniques, Weisbord juxtaposes effective methods for getting everybody improving the whole. He goes further, advocating work on selfe.g., awareness of your own assumptions about human natureas the bedrock for change strategies that trump "shorter, faster, cheaper." His themes, illustrative case studies, and useful models come across as relevant today as they were a quarter of a century ago.
This third edition includes many new featuresa robust Instructor's Manual, a revisioning of organization development myths, a critical appreciation of new large group methods, case study follow-ups across 15 to 30 years, and 40 personal essays by practitioners influenced by earlier editions. Their writings show how the themes and values they share with Weisbord influence current practices around the world.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Productive Workplaces
"Weisbord has been a major voice in the theory and practice of organization development (OD) since the early 1970's. This book is a wonderful history and reinterpretation of many of the events, schools of thought, and controversies that have punctuated the field from its beginnings. It should be required reading for every Organization Behavior and Development scholar. Among its many virtues, the book is beautifully written." Peter Vaill, senior scholar and emeritus professor of management, Antioch University Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Change; author, Learning as a Way of Being: Strategies for Survival in a World of Permanent White Water, and Spirited Leading and Learning
"During my 33-year career, I have been involved in publishing well over 1,000 books. Productive Workplaces is certainly among the top five most influential in terms of its impact on the organizations in which I worked, as well as on my personal leadership, and management concepts, and practices." Steven Piersanti, president and publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.; formerly president, Jossey-Bass Publishers
"As a professor in graduate studies in leadership and business psychology, I see my role as passing on to a new generation the values and lessons learned from a 25-year career in organizational effectiveness. Marvin Weisbord is a master whose wisdom I encourage my students to seek out." Connie S. Fuller, Ph.D., associate chair and assistant professor, Business Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; coauthor, Bridging the Boomer-Xer Gap: Creating Authentic Teams for High Performance at Work
"If somebody asks me to name just one good book on management, or organizational development, or social psychology, I give them the same answer: Productive Workplaces. It addresses the heady topic of meaning and dignity in work with writing that is as engaging as a well-written novel." Gil Steil, Gil Steil Associates, Boston, Massachusetts