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Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195123876
ISBN-10: 0195123875
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With corporations ever-larger, this book places modern systems and structures within the reach of any manager by offering a compelling design for 21st Century organizations. TRANSFORMING."--Business Reader Review

"A very straightforward book based on systems thinking, an approach that views the corporation as an organic whole swimming in its environment rahter than as a conglomerate of disparate departments and functions." "With clarity and style, Ackoff has drawn a very simple map for the implementation of systems thinking in the corporation."--Stacy Hague, CIO

About the Author


Russell L. Ackoff is currently Chairman of Interact, an institute dedicated to education, consulting, and research, and Professor Emeritus of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Considered one of the most innovative and insightful management thinkers of the 20th century, he is also the author of the acclaimed The Democratic Corporation: A Radical Prescription for Recreating Corporate America and Rediscovering Success, published by Oxford University Press in 1994.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195123875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195123876
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Since Peter Senge eloquently introduced business readers to the importance of systems thinking in The Fifth Discipline, companies have been grappling with how to apply that aspect of the learning organization. In Re-Creating the Corporation, Russell Ackoff has written the most complete description of how such an organization can be created.
A system is any grouping of parts that is influenced by its parts and requires their coordination to create the best result. A car is an example. You can take the best transmission from one type of car, the best engine from another, and the best brakes from a third, and they will not work together. This is a typical quality of systems: If you optimize any part of the system, you reduce the effectiveness of the whole. But most organizations are set up to seek optimization of the part rather than the system, creating disasters like the car example I just used.
Although he makes only limited reference to it, Professor Ackoff is clearly influenced by complexity science. He has created fractals (small versions of the whole that scale up and down) in his organization, and is trying to expose the widest number of people to the widest possible perspectives on the systems issues of an organization.
The book is designed as a series of essays to explain what systems are and how they operate; processes for planning, design, implementation and learning; organizational designs that apply the concepts of democracy, economy and flexibility; and an overview of the weaknesses of management fads and panaceas, and the benefits of working on organizational and transformational leadership instead. His goal is to create an organization that is as stable as possible in order to create an organization that is as flexible as possible. Let me explain.
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Format: Hardcover
"This book is a product of applying systems thinking to the management and organization of enterprises". Russel L. Ackoff writes, "therefore, an understanding of the nature of systems and systems thinking is essential for understanding what this book is about. Although most people can identify many different systems, few know precisely what a system is. Without such knowledge, one cannot understand them, and without such an understanding, one cannot be aware of their implications for their management and organization and for treatment of the most important problems that currently face them" (p.5).
Thus, he firstly argues that a system is a whole consisting of two or more parts that satisfies the following five conditions:
(1). The whole has one or more defining properties or functions.
(2). Each part in the set can affect the behavior or properties of the whole.
(3). There is a subset of parts that is sufficient in one or more environments for carrying out the defining function of the whole; each of these parts is necessary but insufficient for carrying out this defining function.
(4). The way that each essential part of a system affects its behavior or properties depends on (the behavior or properties of) at least one other essential part of the system.
(5). The effect of any subset of essential parts on the system as a whole depends on the behavior of at least one other such subset.
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Format: Hardcover
Recreating the Corporation is Ackoff's best work on utilizing the use of systems thinking to understand how to make not only pieces of companies better, but how optimizing the entire company can lead to dramatic improvements. Those who know Ackoff's work will appreciate his freshening of material contained elsewhere and the addition of new concepts to make the framework wholistic.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of all the books and authors that I have studied over the last 25 years, this is the most intelligent and practical exposition of systems thinking applied to an intractable problem--the American hierarchical organization.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much, particulary the introduction with its synopsis of systems theories and management applications. Recommended for managers in organization redesign roles in business and government
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