For a long time most discussion of management and management problems in Western Europe and North America has been conducted in analytical or "rationalistic" terms. Researchers, teachers and management consultants have been particularly prone to see the question of choosing the right investment, the right product, the right market etc as the greatest if not the only problem facing corporate management. A great many models and management tools have been designed with this in mind. But management's problem is not only to decide what should be done, but also to see that it is done. In many cases the main difficulty is to get the organization to take co-ordinated and forceful action. The study of Japanese management in particular has shown just how important motivation and commitment are, not only on the shop floor but also at the management level. The book asks the question: how do organizations achieve co- ordinated action when it is most difficult to do so, that is when it is a question of major changes in relation to the kind of action the organization is used to. In light of a number of topical cases of organizational change, a theory is developed, which can help us both to understand and to influence the organization's propensity for action and change. Key concepts in the theory are organizational ideology, expectations, motivation and commitment. It becomes increasingly clear that forceful action conflicts with rationality in the classical sense; thus the conclusion and recommendations presented in this book differ very much from those traditionally proposed. An attempt is made to explain why organizations are irrational, and why they should be so. The cases are based on penetrating empirical studies in both the private and public sections, and in both manufacturing and service industries, they concern product development, the restructuring of a large corporation, reorganizations, and the introduction of new operations.
Organizations and Change; The Irrationality of Action and Action Rationality; Rationalities, Uncertainties and Actions; Action Rationalization - Injecting Action Rationality into Rationalistic Decision Processes; Ideologies and Change Action; Ideological Change; Change Actions in Political Organizations; Summary and Implications; References; Index.