Book News: February 9th, 2010

By John Storey and Graeme Salaman.

A major reason for the failure to anticipate and warn is that observers of organizations usually tend to view organizations in terms similar to those employed by the people who run them: as rational, sensible and objective. Whereas, in fact, they are usually confused and confusing, paradoxical and contradictory entities. Paradox is at the heart of how organizations work (or don’t work) yet the phenomenon has been strangely unstudied.

The management of dilemma and paradox it is contended, is the essence of leadership today. Paradoxical forces provide a dynamism which, although often experienced as potentially threatening, discomforting and negative can also be exciting, promising and positive.

The assumption that organizations are rational entities is challenged every day in the work environment by a rich reality of asymmetries between conflicting forces, complexity, hidden intentions and paradoxes. Anyone wanting to understand the real forces that govern organizations should read this book.

Published by Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1-4051-6027-8. £24.99