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75 – A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process (Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963)


Braybrooke, David and Charles Lindblom
“A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process”
The Free Press, Macmillan, New York, 1963
(Ch.4-6 and Chapters 9-10)

Topic: The theory of “disjointed incrementalism” in policy decisions.

Summary and citations:

Chapters 4-5-6: Lindlom
• “disjointed incrementalism”
• “Decisions effecting small changes:… When is a small change? …“small” depends on the value attached to it…. Distinction between “small” and “large” change is the difference, as it is sometimes put, between structural changes and changes within a given structure…”small” change is a change in a relatively unimportant variable or relatively unimportant change in an important variable. … “Increment of change”…. To be a large or non-incremental change… a small or incremental change…. The difference is one of degree. . – p62-64
• Incremental changes: 1) social change that largely repeats; … the more repetitive the change ,…the more it is incremental; 2) non-repetitive change – p65
• Incremental politics: … an indefinite sequence of policy moves (p70)… moving away from known social ills rather than as moving toward a known and relatively stable goal (p70). … In short, the incremental character of this political pattern is central and fundamental, even if it does not wholly characterize it. (p73)… In incremental politics, political parties and leaders compete for votes by agreeing on fundamentals and offering only incrementally different policies in each policy area in which they wish to compete. (p73)… In addition, policy-making proceeds through a sequence of approximations (p73)…. In short, incremental policies follow one upon the other in the solution to a given problem. (p73)… Just how far the practice of incremental politics permeates the activity of or government can be illustrated even by decisions that, on superficial inspection, appear to be non-incremental *** (p75) i.e.: decision to convert from peacetime to wartime…. Waves of reorganization also characterize the history of other wartime agencies…. Gulick:”sequence of evolution” or “rhythm of growth and adaptation”. (p77)… The incremental character of political policy-making is often disguised,[…] by much talk of plans and planning. (p77)
• p.78: Types of decision-making
• Quadrant 1: high understanding and large change: Revolutionary and utopian decision-making. Analytical method: none.
• Quadrant 2: high understanding and incremental change: Some administrative and “technical” decision-making. Analytical method: Synoptic
• Quadrant 3: low understanding and incremental change: Incremental politics. Analytical method: disjointed incrementalism (among others).
• Quadrant 4: low understanding and large change: Wars, revolutions, crises, and grand opportunities. Analytical method: not formalized or well-understood.
• “As to what the adaptations are, they become familiar as soon as they are named. Our purpose in collecting them together under the label of disjointed incrementalism is only, as we have said before, to show that, taken together as a mutually reinforcing set of adaptations, they constitute a systematic and defensible strategy.” – p82
• The strategy outlined
1. Margin-dependent choice: “… they derive information about alternatives from historical experience, from contemporary experience in other societies or locations, and from imagination stimulated by experience” –p84 – “Incremental evaluation is clearly quite different from the construction of a rational-deductive system.” –p86. “The resolution of a conflict over two values is not expressed by a principle, as in the rational-deductive method, nor by a priorities list –nor is it implicitly embodied in a ranking of social states. IT can best be expressed by stating how much of one value is worth sacrificing, at the margin reached in a given situation, to achieve an increment of another.” P88
2. Restricted variety of policy alternatives considered: “…incremental alternatives… while…an analyst is often without adequate information, theory, or any other organized way if dealing systematically with non-incremental alternatives” – p89
3. Restricted number of consequences considered for any given policy: “… do neglect the unimportant consequences of policies, but among those they concede to be important, they often rule out of bounds the uninteresting (to them), the remote, the imponderable, the intangible, and the poorly understood, no matter how important.” P 90. “One striking feature of disjointed incrementalism: that what is omitted is often quite as important as what is considered” –p93
4. Adjustment of Objectives to policies: “although there is a fundamental sense in which ends govern means, there is an equally fundamental sense in which the proximate ends of public policy are governed by means” –p93 “…characteristics: a) some of the objectives became relevant only after the means was decided upon, and b) the group excluded certain objectives relevant to foreign aid policy only because they were irrelevant to the one means decided upon.” –p97. “The objectives are discarded, not the policy” –p97.
5. Reconstructive treatment of data
6. Serial analysis and evaluation: “…policy-making under the strategy proceeds through long chains of policy steps. This serial procedure is an important feature of the strategy in its own right” – p99. “They do not organize to solve a problem and then disband. Instead, they take it for granted that their problems will rarely be “solved” but only alleviated.” –p100
7. Remedial Orientation of Analysis and evaluation: “Since policy analysis is incremental, exploratory, serial, and marked by adjustment of ends to means, it is to be expected that stable long-term aspirations will not appear as dominant critical values in the eyes of the analyst.” -102. “… Encourage the analyst to identify situations or ills from which to move away rather than goals toward which to move” –p102. “…They are less concerned with pursuing a better world than with avoiding a worse” –p104
8. Social fragmentation of analysis and evaluation: “disjointed: …various aspects of public policy and even various aspects of any one problem or problem area are analyzed at various points, with no apparent co-ordination and without the articulation of parts that ideally characterizes subdivision of topic in synoptic problem solving” –p105. “…advantage of preserving a rich variety of impressions and insights that are liable to be “co-ordinated”…There are circumstances to which no one plan is especially suited.”- p106
• “It is easy to misconceive the strategy as having an indelibly conservative color” –p106. “Strategy specifies nothing about the speed with which change is to be carried on” –p109
• “It is also unquestionable that the strategy accomplishes an enormous simplification of the analytical task, compared to the rational-deductive ideal, the method of the welfare function, or the general synoptic approach” –p111
• “With respect to evaluation and analysis, it was shown to be incremental, restricted (both with respect to variety alternatives and to variety of consequences for each alternative), means-oriented (in a number of complex senses), reconstructive, serial, remedial, and fragmented.
• The synoptic ideal, does not adapt in any specific way to (p113):
• Intellectual capacities, information, and costs of analysis
• Adaptation through incremental and limited analysis: simplification through omission (reducing the demand for intellectual capacity and information); the role of theory (“analyst… can dispense with comprehensive theories..because he limits his analysis to changes in which the variables involved are fewer and less consequential…He does not require full information” –p118)
• Adaptation through means-orientation and fragmentation: “close reciprocity between means and ends…. Unnecessary” p119 – “Values…are seriously reconsidered with each new policy choice because values and policies are chosen simultaneously” p120
• Adaptation trough serial, remedial, and reconstructive features: “…strategy does not try to achieve an optimum or maximum… he does not try to “solve” his problem.. At the most, he attempts comprehension of a suitable remedial next step in a series.” p121 – “He disregards many other possible moves because they are too costly (in time, energy, or money) to examine.” –p123
• The problem of neglected consequences: “…harmful failures in analysis are “corrected” despite the relative narrowness of analysis by any one analyst by any one analyst at any one time” – p124
• Further adaptation through fragmentation: “Organizations, as everyone knows, are often dedicated to interests or values that the members wish to protect. What one center ignores, another does not. Values neglected at one point in the policy-making process are central to the analysis carried on at another point” – p128
• Inadequately formulated values:
o “Strategy makes the most of existing constraints on policy to reduce the areas on which social disagreement is possible” –p134. “because the strategy is remedial and serial, it takes advantage of the frequency with which we find ourselves agreeing on what we are against” –p134. “we agree in large part on a “next step”” –p134. “because the strategy is reconstructive, we add that it discourages intransigence in the defence of values” – p135
o “We are saying that where analysis and policy-making are serial, remedial, and fragmented, political processes can achieve consideration of a wider variety of values than can possibly be grasped and attended to by any one analyst or policy-maker. It is the accomplishment at the political level that makes agreement among analysts less necessary” p138

Chapters 9-10: Braybrooke

o “…on the one hand, the collapse of utilitarism; on the other, the rise of emotivism” p204
o “Utilitarism… insists more strongly …on forcing moral judgments to the test of facts” p206; “…explicate the criteria for intelligible moral judgments” p 206; “…several features of the strategy of disjointed incrementalism make it easy to associate the strategy with utilitarism” p206
o Emotive theory of ethics: “The thesis is that moral locutions are intelligibly used in accordance with the present conventions of ordinary language, if they are used only emotively or imperatively –that is, to do no more than express emotions and convey prescriptions” p210
o Enlightened peremptory objections: “The judgments in question are all peremptory ones” –p213; “…peremptory rules such as these: that one should keep promises, even when the consequences of doing so in a particular instance would be less happy than the consequences of breaking them;…Subscriptions to such rules almost suffices by itself to qualify a person as morally enlightened. A literal application of utilitarianism might nevertheless conflict with them. Some of them are at the root of long-standing objections to utilitarism.” –p213
o The felicific calculus, it will recalled, presumes that the utility of an actions (or policy) can be reduced to the “value of a lot of pleasure or pain” –p214
o “it is supposed that, according to utilitarism, the average or total happiness of the group is to be increased, regardless of how many or how few people are made happy, some perhaps at the expense of making others unhappy and regardless even the continued presence or absence of certain members.” –p216
o Overcoming peremptory objections in alliance with strategy: “Utilitarism can avoid these difficulties and a number of others by abandoning the felicific calculus and allying itself, at least for the present, with the strategy of disjointed incrementalism.” –p217; “the census notion already incorporates in practice some provisions for fair and equal treatment that the felicific calculus, as it is usually interpreted, lacks.” P217
o “…strategy helps to save utilitarism from many conflicts with peremptory rules by insisting on a remedial orientation” –p219
o “When it is allied with the strategy of disjointed incrementalism, utilitarism thus anticipates some peremptory moral judgments that have in the past been made objections to it.” –p219
o “Utilitarism, utilitarism with the strategy better than utilitarism with the calculus thus supplies the demand constituted by the principles of justice” – p222
o “The strategy of disjointed incrementalism is, in ways both morally convincing and philosophically illuminating.” –p223
o The questionable feasibility of the calculus:
o “Possible or not, however, an entirely convincing design for the felicific calculus has not yet emerged from these efforts” p 227.
o “subjective utility”: one person’s satisfaction with a certain policy as against another person’s dissatisfaction”p229
o “the strategy responds to this need in two ways: by redesigning policies so that, as far as possible, they satisfy multiple demands, and by supersession. Supersession in effect establishes an order of priority among different values.” P229
o The problem of consequences:
o “”utilitarism requires that persons evaluating policies consider the consequences of those policies as they affect happiness.” –p230; “there are two things that have to be done in answer to the objection about consequences. First, it must be shown that utilitarism can be associated with reasonably specific ways of selecting the consequences that are to be considered in evaluating actions and policies. Second, it must be shown that utilitarism deals as prudently as possible with the inevitable fact that some important consequences may be overlooked (partly because not all the consequences will have been formulated).” –p233
o “use of strategy does not imply that the analyst ignores information… only that he defines his task so as to leave out information that will have to be dealt with in the course of other tasks.” –p234.
o “The strategy of disjointed incrementalism maximizes the chance, and thus it mitigates fears about undetected consequences. As we have said, it encourages extensive and varied discussion yet provides means of giving the discussion focus” p.238
o “…They are safer because they leave so much more room, in the way of other factors that can be adjusted, for remedying unforeseen consequences.” P239
o Shift or reference groups: “The problem in question is one of identifying suitable reference groups, the consequences for which are to determine the rankings of policies”. p240; “… in the absence of challenges, the references groups should be the ones used in the past” –p242
o Social pluralism and use of information: “….the shift of reference groups would take place between one group and a larger group that wholly includes it, ultimately reaching a group as comprehensive as “society as a whole”” –p243

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:
• Incrementalism versus synoptic: reminds me of my engineering studies. It is the same difference between, algebra and numeric calculus. Algebra gives you an exact result, through the application of a resolution process and numeric calculus gives an approximate result, following iterative calculations. Numeric calculus can be applied in very complex mathematical problems, because it pretends to trend to the right solution in progressive steps. Algebra finds just the right result or the process is stuck (for example, due to mistakes in concepts, in the applications of rules or due to complex and time-consuming process).
• The comparison of incrementalism versus synoptic also reminds me of the extreme positions of “the paralysis by analysis” and the “extinction by instinct” (see article of Ann Langley about these two extreme strategic approaches). Incrementalism is more agile and allows a quick action (that can be corrected or readapted later). A synoptic approach requires much more previous knowledge before action is taken.
• Both books:
o They both agree on the fact that considerations of consequences are quite simple (p96 in Cyert & March) and that will be faced when the consequences appear (not when forecasted).
o Incrementalism in actions
o Problems fo neglected consequences: harmful failures are corrected after implemented
o Limited analysis disregarding possibilities
o Decisions are taken without adequate information

79 – A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (Cyert and March, 1963)


Cyert, Robert M. and James G. March
“A Behavioral Theory of the Firm”
Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1963. Second Edition1992

Topic: An explanation of the theory of the firm from a behavioral perspective.

Summary and citations:

1- Introduction
o “The modern firm has some control over the market; it has discretion within the market; it sees the market through an organization filter” p1

2- Antecedents of the behavioral theory of the firm
o Theory of the firm: “asserts that the objective of the firm is to maximize net revenue in the face of given process and a technologically determined production function” p5; “maximization of profit is accomplished by determining the optimal mix of products (products) and inputs (factors), that is, the equilibrium position.” –p5. “Two major difficulties…1) the motivational and cognitive assumptions of the theory appear unrealistic…2 )has few of the characteristics…of actual business” – p8
o Rothschild: “primary motive of the entrepreneur is long-run survival” p9; Baumol: “the firm seek to maximize sales subject to a profit constraint” –p9
o “information is not given to the firm but must be obtained” –p10
o Papandreou: “views the firm as a cooperative system. The executive tasks are accomplished by a “peak coordinator”. The firm’s has certain goals, and it is a peak coordinator’s job to achieve these by allocating resources rationally” –p11
o In defence of orthodoxy: Friedman: “the function of economic theory is to build propositions with which the world can be analyzed and not to reproduce the world” –p13
o “The organization can be viewed as an information-processing and decision-rendering system” – p21; “in order to develop an alternative theory, we need more satisfactory theories of organizational goals, organizational expectations, organizational choice, and organizational control” – p22

3- Organizational Goals
o The problem of collective goals: “1) People (ie individuals) have goals; collectivities of people do not; 2) to define a theory of organizational decision making, we seem to need something analogous –at the organizational level- to individual goals at the individual level.” –p30
o “Let us view the organization as a coalition…some of them organized into subcoalitions” –p31; “any theory of organizational goals must deal successfully with the obvious potential for internal goal conflict inherent in a coalition of diverse individuals and groups” –p31
o Classic devices for defining organization goals: 1) Goals of the entrepreneur; 2) goal of “public interest” or “social welfare” – p32
o The goal formation process: “1) the bargaining process by which the composition and general terms of the coalition are fixed; 2) the internal organizational process of control by which objectives are stabilized and elaborated; 3) the process of adjustment to experience by which coalition agreements are altered in response to environmental changes” –p33
o Organizational slack: “Because of these frictions in the mutual adjustments of payments and demands, there is ordinarily a disparity between the resources available to the organization and the payments required to maintain the coalition. This difference between total resources and total necessary payments is what we have called organizational slack. Slack consist in payments to members of the coalition in excess of what is required to maintain the organization.” –p42 “when environment becomes less favourable …represents a cushion… slack permits firms to survive in the face of adversity” p43. “Slack operates to stabilize the system in two ways:1) by absorbing excess resources, it retards upward adjustment of aspirations during relatively good times; 2) by providing a pool of emergency resources, it permits aspirations to be maintained (and achieved) during relatively bad times” –p44
o “Finally, we have argued that, because of the form of the goals and the way in which they are established, conflict is never fully resolved within an organization, Rather, the decentralization of decision making (and goal attention), the sequential attention to goals, and the adjustment in organizational slack permit the business firm to make decisions with inconsistent goals, under many (and perhaps most) conditions.

4- Organizational Expectations
o Theory of search. “Modern entrepreneurs do not scan all alternatives nor do they have all information about all alternatives. They invest in information only so long as the expected marginal return from the information gained exceeds the expected marginal cost.” –p53
o “We wish to test the proposition the individuals can and do modify their subjective estimates of reality to accommodate their expectations about the kind of payoffs associated with various possible errors” p 80. “cost analysts will tend to overestimate costs and that sales analysts will tend to underestimate sales” –p81
o “The decision making system in the experiment had 4 critical organizational characteristics: 1) subunit interdepence: …the major decision-making units base their actions on estimates formulated at other points in the organization and transmitted to them in the form of communications,. The estimates so received cannot verified directly by the decision-making unit ***; 2) subunits specialization; 3) Subunit discretion; 4) Subunit conflict” –p86
o “An organizational coalition does not require either consistency or completeness in information; “ –p93
o “we do not find anything like a constant level of search” p93
o Resource allocation:
• “decisions considered here arose primarily as responses to “crisis” situations” –p94
• “in every case, once an alternative was evoked, it was accepted if it satisfied the general cost and return constraints…This support in turn came through a rather complex mixture of personal, suborganizational, and general organizational goals.” P94
o Search activity:
• “search became more and more intensive as the decision approached implementation” –p95
• “”search” consists in large part of evoking from various parts of the organization considerations that are important to the individual subunits” –p95
• “search will be much more intensive where organizational slack is small than where it is large” –p95
• Mating theory of search “Not only are organizations looking for alternatives; alternatives are also looking for organizations” –p96
o “Computations of anticipated consequences used by the organizations seem to be quite simple…. awkwardness of developing a single dimension on which all relevant considerations could be measured” –p96
o “Expectations are by no means independent of such things as hopes, wishes, and the internal bargaining needs of subunits in the organization” –p97 “…both conscious and unconscious bias in expectations is introduced” ,-p97 “,…there is some conscious manipulation of expectations” –p97
o “Communication includes considerable biasing, but also considerable bias correction” p97 “…is not passive” p97 “most biases are recognized by other parts of the organization” –p98
5- Organizational Choice
o “1) organizational perceptions are influenced by some characteristics of the organization and its procedures. … 2) Organizations consider only a limited number of decision alternatives. … Finally, organizations vary with respect to the amount of resources they devote to organizational goals on the one hand and suborganizational and individual goals on the other.” P99
o The decision process (p100); 1) forecast competitors’ behaviour; 2) forecast demand; 3) estimate costs; 4) specify objectives; 5) evaluate plan; 6) re-examine costs; 7) re-examine demand; 8) re-examine objectives; 9) select alternative –p102
o The firm as an adaptive institution: “a business form is constrained by the uncertainty of its environment, the problems of maintaining a viable coalition, and the limitations on its capacity as a system for assembling, storing, and utilizing information. … the firm as an adaptively rational system rather than an omnisciently rational system” p117
o “In particular, so long as the environment of the firm is unstable (and predictably unstable), the heart of the theory must be the process of short-run adaptive reactions. The long-run properties o the processes under stable conditions are relevant primarily as indicators of logical properties (and therefore consistency with the general concepts)” p119
o Standard Operating procedures: “we should note that organizations make decisions typically by solving a series of problems” p121 “devote rather little time to long-run planning” –p121. “They move from one crisis to another” p121 “Three basic principles: 1) uncertainty.. 2) maintain the rules… 3) Use simple rules” p121
o Specific standard Operating procedures: 1) task performance rules; 2) Continuing records and reports; 3) Information-handling rules; 4) plans” –p123 “Thus, rules not only transmit past learning: they also control (make predictable) behaviour within the firm” –p124 “good practice … tends to be shared among firms… standardization provides a defense” p125
o Records and reports “two main purposes: control and prediction” p125
o Information handling rules: “there are two aspects to standard operating procedure for information flows. Routing rules and filtering rules” –p129. “The departmental organization defines reasonably well the groups within which sharing of information is needed. Since information needs and task specialization are highly correlated, it is appropriate to process information through the hierarchy defined in terms of task specialization.” –p129
o “Thus, the internal biases in the organization increase the pressure (from external uncertainty) to develop decision methods that do not require reliable information (other than the simplest, most easily checked information). –p130
o “decisions are used as devices for learning about their hidden consequences” –p131
o “The budget in a modem, large-scale corporation plays two basic roles. On the one hand… management control…to check achievement…On the other hand, .. determine feasible programs” –p131
o “1) a plan is a goal,…2) a plan is a schedule,…. 3) a plan is a theory… 4) a plan is a precedent…”p132
o “rules are the focus for control within the form; they are the result of a long-run adaptive process by which the form learns; they are the short-run focus for decision making within the organization” –p134
o “1-Multiple, changing, acceptable-level goals; 2-an approximate sequential consideration of alternatives; 3-the organization seeks to avoid uncertainty by following regular procedures; 4- the organization uses standard operating procedures and rules of thumb to make and implement choices. In the short run these procedures dominate the decision made” –p134

6- A specific price and output model

7- A summary of basic concepts
o “The four major concepts used in the theory are 1) quasi resolution of conflict [goals as independent constraints / local rationality / acceptable-level decision rules / sequential attention to goals]; 2) uncertainty avoidance [feedback-react decision procedures / negotiated environment]; 3) problemistic search [search is motivated / search is simple-minded / search is biased], and 4) organizational learning [adaptation of goals / adaptation in attention rules / adaptation in search rules]” –p164
o “The order in which various alternative solutions to a problem are considered will change as the organization experiences success or failure with alternatives” –p174

8- Some implications
o Descriptive analysis: the firm :
• 1) Price and output determination (excess resources, organizational slack, decentralising, reduce uncertainties using standards)
• 2) Internal resource allocation quasi resolution of organizational conflict, search behaviour, uncertainty avoidance, organizational learning): “In general, for an alternative investment opportunity to have a significant chance of being introduced in the system, two conditions have to be met. A problem must be perceived by the organization, and the investment must be visible to that part of the organization in which search is stimulated by the problem” p180
• 3) Innovations (“failure induces search and search ordinarily results in solutions” p188: “firms that have made specific significant technological improvements, we find that they were made by firms with substantial slack (and thus mostly successful firms).” –p189
o Descriptive analysis: non-business organizations: “the behavioural theory of the firm is one the important potential sources of evidence about the validity of this structure and there mechanisms” –p196
o “These implications for descriptive economics, for studies of non-economic organizations, and for normative analysis are not always easy to see at this stage. They are even harder to validate” – p211

9- An Epilogue
o Three related but largely independent ideas:
1. Bounded rationality: “rational actors are significantly constrained by limitations of information and calculation” –p214. “They set targets and look for alternatives…rather than try to find the best imaginable solution; they allocate attention by monitoring performance with respect to targets. They attend to goals sequentially, rather than simultaneously. They follow rules-of-thumb and standard operating procedures.” –p214
2. Imperfect environmental matching: “behavioural theories emphasize the inefficiencies of history” –p215
3. Unresolved conflict: “multiple actors with conflicting interests not entirely resolved by the employment contract” –p215
o Developments in economic theories of the firm:
• Theory of teams
• Control theories of the firm
• Transaction costs economics: “two behavioural assumptions about “contracting”, as opposed to “maximizing”. The first assumption is bounded rationality…. The second, assumption is opportunism, the notion that there is conflict of interest within, as well as between, organizations, that participants in an organization will lie, cheat, and steal in their own self-interest if they can” *** p220; “,…when asset specificity is low, debt financing is likely…where asset specificity is high, costs of debt will have to grow to cover the risk” -p221; “the flexibility of the definition of transaction costs tends to make the concept amore powerful tool for interpreting historical outcomes than for predicting future ones” -p221
• Agency theory: “…bounded rationality has tended to fade into the background, and attention to conflict of interest has become paramount” p222; “In practice, the theory is written from the point of view of one side of the contract. From this perspective, there is a cascade of principal-agent relations” –p222
• Evolutionary theories: “they see firms as being selected upon by virtue of their fit to the environment” –p224
o Developments in behavioural studies of organizational decision making:
Four interrelated visions: (p225)
1. Decisions resulting from intentional, consequential action
2. Decisions by a logic of appropriateness implemented through a structure of organizational rules, roles, and practices
3. Decisions influenced by the interactive ecological character of decision making (“hierarchies but they tend to function as less hierarchical networks of relations” p233: “this ability to learn from others is one of the most powerful of adaptive tools available to individuals and economic organizations. It depends, however, on a structure of linkages among forms… and… capability of learning the lessons” p234
4. Decisions as artifactual rather than as central to understanding decision making. “Individuals fight for the right to participate in decision processes, but then do not exercise the right.” –p236; “very little time spent in making decisions…managers seem to spend time meeting people and executing managerial performances” p236; “choices as artifacts… the focus has shifted from the “substantive” to the “symbolic” components of decisions” p236; “On the one hand, the processes of choice reassure those involved that the choice has been made intelligently, that it reflects planning, thinking, analysis, and the systematic us of information: and that the choice is sensitive to the concerns of relevant people, that the right people are involved.” -p237. Symbolic action: “It is the process that gives meaning to life, and meaning is the core of life” –p237

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:
• I think the notion of slack is real: salaries and policies are revised in periods of difficulties. This means that there was a cushion to cost reduction. This is also true that negotiation can be more flexible in the presence of evidence of bad times. I.e. a worker would not accept a wage reduction if the bad conditions cannot justify it.
• The influence and applicability of the theory of Cyert & March is very wide. For instance, in International Studies (that I study in Dr Farashahi’s course), the main two streams are OLI theory (based on Transaction cost theory) and Organizational Capabilities theory. Both can be explained using the behavioural theory of the firm.
• The behavioural theory of the firm tries to reflect better the firm’s reality. Let me do an analogy: If the firm is the territory, the classical theory of the firm is the map and the behavioural theory of the firm is a photo from an airplane (with an inclination to see land’s imperfections).
• The behavioural theory of the firm is based on highlighting all firms’ imperfections and explaining how they are faced to coexist with them.

69 – A concept of Corporate Planning (Ackoff, 1970)


Ackoff, Russel L.
“A concept of Corporate Planning”
Wiley, New York, 1970 (Ch.1,2,3,7)

Topic: Corporate Planning: definitions, concepts and framework for its development

Summary and citations:

• Planning is the design of a desired future and of effective ways of bringing it about. It is an instrument that is used by the wse, but not by the wise alone. (p1)
• Planning is one of the most complex and difficult intellectual activities in which man can engage. (p1)
• Nature of planning: 1) canticipatory decision; 2) system of decisions; 3) process (p4)
• Strategic planning is lnog-range corporate plaaning is ends oriented (p5)
• Philosophies of planning: satisficing, optimizing, and adaptizing
• Satisficing : more concerned with survival than with development and growth
• Optimizing: use of mathematical models (p9) Optimizer tries to a) minimize the resources …B) maximize the performance …c) to obtain the best balance of costts and benefits (p12)
• Techniques of optimization have in general been more useful in tactical than in strategic planning (p15)
• Adaptizing: innovative planning (p15); 1) Process is our most important product; *** 2) design an organization that will minimize the future need for retrospective planning 3) knowledge of the future: certainty, uncertainty and ignorance – p17
• Adaptive responses are ppassive or active (p18).
• The more that corporate planning is pushed from satisficign toward adaptizing, the greater the requirement for scientific methods, techniques, and tools.- p21
• Optimizing planning requires more understanding of an organization’s behavior than dies satisficing. Adaptative planning requires even more than does optimizing – p21
• The required understanding of collective and individual beahvior is dconsedeably greater than that currently possessed by many corporate planners and managers – p21
• Desired states or outcomes are objectives. Goals are objectives that are scheduled for attainment during the period planned for. Objectives are of two types, stylistic and performance. P-41
• Performance objectives require operational definition – p41
• Profit maximization is commonly taken to be the most general formulation of a company’s performance objectives. But profit is often ill defined. It can be operationally defined and transformed into goals by constructing gain and loss euqations for each product line… – p41
• One cannot fix goals until at least the means to be employed in pursuing them have been considered. – 41
• It is usually much better to dissolve a problem than it is to solve it. Dissolution of a problem requires innovation, whereas it solution requires only evaluation – p43 ***
• The key to both creating and evaluating courses of action and policies lies in understanding the system involved. – p 43
• A manager is unlikely to be aware of how little understanding he has of some of the operations for which he is responsible – p47 **
• Few companies understand why their products are consumed although they think they do – 51 ***
• Thus there are three attitudes toward the future, which, ordered from the most to the least prevalent are a) wait and see, b) predict and prepare, c) make it happen. P56 ***
• Reinventing the system: understanding a system increases our ability to find innoative and superior courses of action and policies. … Polisy innovation depends critically on our ability to brong these self-imposed constraints into question. P59
• Modeling efforts should be directed at acquiring understanding of the form, its supply system, its distribution and marketing system, its consumers, its competitors, and its environment. – p64
• Creation fo new alternatives can often be facilitated by redesigning (from scratch) the system being planned for, with no constraints. – p64
• The probability of success of a planning effort decreases as the organizational autonomy of the planning activity increases. – 129
• Remember that successful planning cannot be done to or for an organization; it can only be done by the organization itself. – p132
• The value of planning to managers lies more in their participation in the process than in their consumption of its products. – p137

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• Philosophies of planning: Satisfacing might aim eficacity and otimizing maybe efficciency
• I think that in current business (also social and political) world, uncertainty and ignorance are a major trend. From this point of view, contingency planning and rsponsiveness planning are important because they make companies flexible and adaptable to changes (ie crisis management).
• How do we take into consideration individual and collective behavior into planning? Has our knowledge of behavior increased to have a better planning?
• Ackoff affirms that technology (in the 70’s) is the limit to optimizing planning: which is the current state of the art of technology and planning?
• Planning reminds me of the concept of quality: 1) affects all departments in the firm; 2) is an on-going process and can always be improved; 3) quality costs are high but non-quality costs are higher. The same could be said of risk management.
• Ackoff says that the book is not a handbook (it is what should be done, not how it should be done). (Preface) But I think it is quite practical and even says details of how to do it (“The scenarios themselves should be from 10 to 20 (double-spaced) typewritten pages in length…. I have found it convenient to organize each scenario into three sections” p29
• Ackoff is very didactic, step-by-step and with plenty of examples. To explain his theory, many concepts are defined. He had 30 years involvement with universities when he wrote the book and we can feel his interest in pedagogy (see expample p61-63)
• What I liked the most in Ackoff is his effort in transmitting the message that the system has to be reinvented. The importance of what an organization should be like “as a whole and ideally” (p59)
• “Process is our most important product” and “It is usually much better to dissolve a problem than it is to solve it”: the two stronger ideas

Comparative analysis: Ackoff and Drucker

• Both Ackoff and Drucker, uses the same example: the answer of the carpenter “Puttting some pepices of wood together” ot “putting up a door frame” or “bulding a house”. Ackoff to explain different types of objectives (means and ends), Drucker to show the difference between a non-manager and a manager.
• Ackoff and Drucker have a common point: “Maximize profit cannot be a goal”. But for different reasons. Ackoff says that to maximize profit(ability) is a matter of definitions and a matter of financial and accounting policy. Drucker says that this is not the goal, but the sastisfy the customer.
• Ackoff and Drucker both analyze the consumers. Ackoff studies the models of consumers and says “Few companies understand why their products are consumed, although they think they do” (p51). Drucker says that this understanding and serving the customer is the goal of the company.
• Ackoff and Drucker –p61- both consider that objectives have to be reexamined continually
• This requires each manager to develop and set the objectives of his unit himself – p129 says Drucker. Ackoff agrees when he says that an outsourced firm can’t make your planning.

80 – The Practice of Management (Drucker, 1993)


Drucker, Peter F.
“The Practice of Management”
Harper and Brothers, New York, 1993
(Introduction, Parts 1,2, 5, Conclusion)

Topic: Comprehensive theory of the management tasks and responsibilities

Summary and citations:

• The first definition of management is therefore that it is an economic organ, indeed the specifically economic organ of an industrial society – p8
• Management is a practice, rather than a science or a profession, though containing elements of both. – p10
• Managing is not passive, adaptative behavior; it means taking action to make the desired results come to pass. – 11
• To manage a business means, therefore, to manage by objectives – p12
• Second function is therefore to make a prodctive enterprise out of humna and material resources. P 12
• It must be a genuine whole: a greater than –or at least different from- the sum of its parts with its output larger than the sum of all inputs. – p12
• The final function of management is to manage workers and work – p14
• Time dimension of management: has to live always in both present and future p 15
• The popular belief that the new technology will replace human labor by robots is utterly false – p21
• A business enterprise is created and managed by people. It is not managed by “forces”. P34
• Profitaibility is not the purpose of business enterpise and business activity, but a limiting factor on it. – p35
• There is only one valid definition of business purpose : to create a customer – p37. It is the customer who determines what a business is. P 37. Because it is its prpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two –and only these two- basic functions: marketing and innovation. They are the entrepreneurial functions. – p37
• Innovation goes right through all phases of business – p40
• Innovation can no more be considered a separate function than marketing – p40
• Productivity means the balance between all factords of production that will give the greatest output for the smallest effort – p41
• First duty is to survive (p46), not maximizatino of profits but avoidance of loss (p47), creative rather than adaptative task (p47)
• What is business is not determined by the producer but by the consumer. – p50
• Business must be managed by setting objectives for it. – p60
• Developments may change objectives. This is one reason why all objectives have to be reexamined continually –p61
• Objectives are needed in every area where performance and results directly and vitally affect the survival and prosperity fo the business. P63
• There are eight areas in which objectives of performance and results have to be set: market standing, innovation, productivity; physical and financial resources; profitability; manager performance and development; worker performance and attitude; public responsibility. – p63
• Its performance is the performance of human beings. And a human community must be founded on common beliefs, must symbolize its cohesion in common principles. – p64
• There are three basic systems of industrial production known to us so far: unique-product production, mass production (old style and new style) and process production. – p96
• New-style mass production: It does not rest on uniform products. It rests on uniform parts which can then be mass-assembled into a large variety of different products. – p100
• Management must therefore develop new markets for any new products as well as maintinaa steady market for the old – p105
• Managers are the basic resource of the business enterprise and its scarcest … Are the most expensive resource in most business – p111
• Upward relations are properly a manager’s first concern. – p112
• Henry Ford’s misrule was a systematic, deliberate and conscious attempt to run the billion-dollar business without managers. – 114
• The first requirement in managing managers is management by objectives and self-control. ***– 119 – may legitimately be called a “philosophy” of management (p136)
• Story of the stone-cutters: p 122
• Emphasis should be on teamwork and team results. These objectives shold always derive from the goals of the business enterprise. – ‘126
• This requires each manager to develop and set the objectives of his unit himself – p129
• One of the major contributions of managemnent by objectives is that it enables us to substitute management by self-control for management by domination. – p131
• Authority…derives from knowledge rather than from rank – 138
• The span of control, we are told, cannot exceed six or eight subordinates – p139
• A team does not normally make a good superior manager – p140
• Every manager has the task of contributing what his superior’s unit needs to attain its objectives. This is indeed his first duty…. He has secondly a duty towards the enterprise…Finally, the manager has responsabilities downard, to his subordinate managers – p142
• The vision of a manager should always be upward –toward the enterprise as a whole. But his responsibility runs downward as well– p143
• It is performance, not conformance – p145 (constant improvement, neutralizae weaknesses of its members)
• The focus must be on strengh – p145 (not weaknesses)
• The danger of safe mediocrity: nobody learns except by making mistakes The better a man is the more mistakes will he make –for the more new things he will try. – p147
• Promotion decisions are what I call “life-and-death” decisions for managers.- p155
• Lack of character and integrity, …destroys people..spirit…performance – p158
• Leadership: making common men into uncommon men – p158 – but leadership cannot be created or promoted. It cannot be taught or learned.. But management cannot create leaders – p159. Leadership requires basic aptitude… but also requires basic attitudes.
• The chief-executive team alone can adequately solve the problem of succesion.- p169
• The much publicized divorce of ownership from control which makes it absurd that the business enterprise be directed by the representatives of the share-holders – p179
• The Board must also be detached from operations.- p181
• Sudden emergence of manager development as a major concern – p183
• No one can develop himself unless he works on the development of others – p189
• A manager has two specific tasks: 1) creating a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts; 2) harmonize in every decision and action the requirements of immediate and long-range future. – p342
• 5 basic operations: 1) sets objectives; 2) organizes; 3) motivates and communicates; 4) job of measurement; 5) develops people p343-344
• 5 phases of decision making : definig the problem, analyzing the problem, developing alterante solutinos, deciding uupon the best solution, converting the decision into effective action.– p353
• It must create customers and markets by conscious and systematic work. Above all, it must focus continuously on creating mass purchasing power and mass purchasing habits. – p371
• 7 new tasks of the manager – p373
• The tasks must be simplified. … to convert into system and method what has been done before by hunch and intuitino… a logical and cohesive pattern. – p374
• … is neither education nor skill; it is integrity of character – p 378
• Private enterprises is an organ of society and serves a social function – p381
• The public responsibility of management must therefore underlie all its behavior (ethics of management) – p383
• The first responsibility to society is to operate at a profit, and only slightly less important is the necessity for growth. – p386
• The company is not and must be never claim to be home, family, religion, life or fate for the individual. It must never interfere in his private life or his citizenship. He is tied to a company through a voluntary and cancellable employment contract. – p387
• Business has the responsibility to make its best contribution to the defensive strength of its country. – 388

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• One man show: Drucker writes about all aspects: strategy, functions, marketing, innovation, structure, competition (recalls Porter in p53), goals for each area, productivity, “instrument panel” (Balanced Scorecard?), production, two-way communication within the company, reports and procedures, authoritym, rank of control, constant improvement, compensation and reward, develop managers,…
• Drucker puts the manager as the one creating value for society and as the most important element in the company. Sees the manager as one person (the isolation of the CEO) in the whole the book, except when he talks of management teams. That shocked me.
• Interesting: the Ford story (p116). Strategy (on strong command) precedes structure (Centralisation) and it failed. “The greatest change perhaps –certainly the most visible- is in organization structure” p117. Confirms Chandler “structure follows strategy”
• Drucker has several first duties or tasks for the manager. Sometimes it seems as the last element is more important than the previous.
• Contrasting what MBA’s are told in BS, Drucker says that leadership can’t be taught.
• Drucker emphasizes the importance of integrity, which is the base for CSR.
• Conclusion is very pro-capitalism and pro-America.

71 – The Concept of Corporate Strategy (Andrews, 1971)


Andrews, Kenneth J., “The Concept of Corporate Strategy”, Irwin, 1971 (Ch. 1-5)

Kenneth R Andrews (1916 – 2005) was an academic who wrote and thought on business policy or corporate strategy at the Harvard Business School. He is regarded as one of the ‘fathers’ of modern business strategy and has been credited with giving corporate strategy its dominant strategy[1]. Originally, a schloar of American literature (his PhD was on Mark Twain)in 1946 he was persuaded by Edmund Learned to join Harvard Business School[2] where he taught for forty years. His books are a popular source of SWOT analysis in business strategy. [Source: Wikipedia]

Topic: Formulation and implementation of corporate strategy.

Summary and citations:

• General Management tasks: “…assignable to three roles – organization leader, personal leader, and architect of organization purpose” p3
• “The complexity of the general manager’s job and the desirebility of raising intuititve competence to the tlevel of verifiable, conscious, and systematic analysis suggest the need,… for a unitary concept” p10
• “The basic determinants of company character, if purposefully institutinoalized, are likely to persist through and shape the nature of sbstancial changes in product-market choices and allocation of resources.”p14
• “Incrementalism might have… the appearence of consciously formulated strategy, but may be the result… of skillful improvisatory adaptation”. P17
• “In a dynamic company, moreoever, where strategy is continually evolving….”p17
• “Corporate strategy is an organizarion process, in many ways inseparable from the structure, behavior, and culture…”p18
• “The ability to identify the four components of strategy –(1) market opportunity, (2) corporate competence, (3) personal values and aspirations, and (4) acknowledgede obligations to segments of society other than stockholders- is easier to exercise than the art of reconciling their implications in a final pattern of purpose”. P19
• Uniqueness: “The most important characteristic of a corporate pattern of decision that may properly be called strategic is its uniqueness” p22
• Forced-growth Strategies : 1) Acquisition of competitors; 2) Vertical integration; 3) Geographical expansion; 4) Diversification (p24)
• Brice Scott’s stages: 1) Single product (single business) ; 2) single-product with functional specialization; (dominant business) 3) multiple product lines organization based on product-market (related business) –the most successful strategic pattern; 4) unrelated business p25
• Criteria for ealuation: “A strategy must be explicit to be effective and specific enough to require some actinos and exclude others. Clarity should not imply rigidity” p27 “Uniqueness is morethe produc tof imagination than experience” p28; “Vulnerability to competition is increased by lack of interest in market share” p28; “….consistency becomes a viatl rather than merely an esthetic problem” p29 “the riskiness of any plan should be compatible with the economic resources of the organization and the temperament of the managers concerned” p29
• “… a high risk srategy that failed was not necessarily a mistake” p32
• Company environment: technology, ecology, economics, industry, society, politics (p38)
• “to conceive of a new development in response to market information and prediction of the future is a creative art” p45 –more than economic analysis-
• Consideration of all combinations of 1) Environmental conditions and trends; 2) opportunities and risks; 3) Dinstinctive competence; 4) Corporate resources
• Importance of personal values: “what they personally want to do” p53
• “… actions taken can be rationalized so as not to seem quite so personal as I have suggested they are” p55
• “Finally, at a higher level of sophistication, the strategy should have some appeal for all employees” p55
• “A change in corporate directino and the energy and innovation required to make it successful usually call for a cultural adaptation that is better encouraged than forced” p59
• “Strategic innovation is a practical alternative to violent restructuring” p60
• “The effort to formulate personal purpose might well acompany each individual’s contributions to organizational purpose” p62
• “As much as a leader wishes to trust others, he has to judge the soundness and validity of his subordinates’ positions” p63
• “Strategy is a human construction; it must in the long run be responsive to human needs. It must ultimately inspire commitment. It must stir an organization to successful striving against competition. People have to have their hearts in it.” P63
• Ethical values: “strategists might and can do to what they want to do. We now move to what they ought to do” p65
• “The decentralization of authority that makes large organizations possible requires trust rather than suspicion in the granting of appropiate autonomy to subordinates” p67
• Concern about the world: “The willingness to undertake joint ventures…share management,…cooperate…to train nationals… oppportunity for combining entrepreneurship with responsibility…” p71
• “Governments everywhere are active claimants to a voice in individual corporate strategy” p72
• “Business cannot remain healthy in a sick society” p73
• “Overregulation of the individual by corporate policy is no more appropriate than overregulation of the corporation by government” p75
• “…a company should not venture into good works that are not strategically related to its present and prospective economic functions” p76
• The determination of strategy: “1) appraisal of present and foreseeable opportunity and risk in the company’s environment, 2) assessment fo the firm’s unique combination of present and potential corporate resourcess or competence; 3) determination of the noneconomic personal and organizational preferences to be satisfied, and 4) identification and acceptance of the social responsabilities of the firm” p78

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• The book distinguishes very clearly the formulation and the implementation of corporate strategy. The formulation is progressively explained, in a very clear way, the concepts are clearly explained and Andrews gives a lot of examples. I think it is a book written for practitioners, managers and CEO’s.
• Importance of the Personal Values: I have found a strong will of rationalizing causes (i.e. reasons for internationalization). This might be because normally, the facts are analyzed after the phenomenon happened (ie the company is already international) and not when the decision was taking place. I think there is a strong component on strategic decisions (and any decision) consisting on the influence of personal values. For instance, in class, Guillaume explained to us the way he discarted a supplier, mainly by personal reasons. But these reasons would never be reported as personal, he said. The importance of personal values is showed in the case of strong-personnality leaders and founders: the character of Richard Branson is in the base of its risky and broad diversification.
• I like the balance that Andrews shows between the separation of the economic analysis and calculation of ROI and the personal interests of managers.
• As Chandler “structure should follow strategy” p20
• Mimetism (effects of instittionalisation?) : “Sometimes the companies of an industry run like sheep all in one direction” (p32) instead of uniqueness. Personal interest of the manager – problem of agency.

72 – Corporate Strategy (Ansoff, 1965)


Ansoff, H. Igor, “Corporate Strategy”, McGraw Hill, New York, 1965 (Ch.1-6)

H. Igor Ansoff (December 12, 1918 – July 14, 2002) was a Russian American, applied mathematician and business manager. He is known as the father of Strategic management.
Professionally, Ansoff is known worldwide for his research in three specific areas: 1) The concept of environmental turbulence; 2) The contingent strategic success paradigm, a concept that has been validated by numerous doctoral dissertations; 3) Real-time strategic management.
Marketing and MBA students are usually familiar with his Product-Market Growth Matrix, a tool he created to plot generic strategies for growing a business via existing or new products, in existing or new markets. [Source: Wikipedia]

Topic: Analytical approach to the definition of a corporate strategy.

Summary and citations:
• “The purpose of this book is to synthesize and unify these into an overall analytic approach to solving the total strategic problem of the firm” (preface)
• Classes of decisions: strategic, administrative and operating
• A new method for modelling for strategic decisions because the Capital Investment Theory (CIT) is not applicable to strategic management decisions (chap 2)
• “..decision rules for search and evaluatino of products and markets are not the same for all firms.” P22
• “Our concern must be not only with evaluation of projects for given rules, which is the main concern of CIT, but also with formulation of the rules for each individual firm” p23
• Adaptative search method: “1) a “cascade” procedure of successive narrowing and refining the decision rules, 2) feedback between stages in the cascade, 3) a gap-reduction process within each stage, and 4) adaptation of both objectives and starting-point evaluation” p28
• System of objectives: “both economic (exert primary influence) and social objectives (secondary)”; “The central purpose of the firm is to maximize long-term return on resources employed within the form” p38 “influences: responsibilites and constraints”
• “Contrary to Cyert and March, we assume that the business form dies have objectives which are different and distinct from the individual objectives of the participants” p39
• “…significant aspect of the adaptative search method… is the circular dependence of the goals on the environment and of the choice of environment on the goals” p49
• External (defensive, aggressive) flexibility or internal flexibility (liquidity of firm’s resources)
• Types of synergies: 1) Sales synery; 2) Operating synergy; 3) Investment synergy; 4) Management Synergy. P80
• “The problem of strngths and weaknesses and the problem of synergy are seen to be related” p91
• Grid of competences: 1) R&D; 2) Operations; 3) Marketing; 4) General Management (p100)
• “The major ise of the competence profile is in assessment of this balance in four different parts of the strategic problem: 1) Internal Appraisal; 2) external Appraisal; 3) Synergy Component of Strategy; 4) Evaluation of individual opportunities” p102
• Growth vector components – table 6.1 p109

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:
• This is a book for managers, with concepts and procedures to be used. I think though that it is quite dense to be applied.
• The corporate strategy is too ROI-centered
• Ansoff was mathematician and it can be viewed in his approach: First defines the problem, then gives definitions of the tools, then solves the problem with the defined tools. Very deterministic and carthesian.
• Agrees with Andrews about the influence of the environment. Also sees strategy as a always-adapting process with feed-back.
• Bases strategy on decisions made on quantitative values (rates, ratios, ROSales, networth, inventory, assets, etc), based on finance.
• As personal objectives of individuals, the author also considers goals as: 1) maximum current earnings; 2) Capital gains 3) Liquidity of estate; 4) social responsibility – Enlightened self-interest; 5) social resposibility – Philanthropy; 6) attitude toward risk (p62). No consideration of more ‘soft’ values (!). Even 4 and 5 are considered for profit (but not economical) !!
• “Is strategy necessary?” p112 might be a question that many authors might take for garanted but I think that is good to be asked.
• Last diagram p202 makes me think (and smile) if this is a book really for managers to be used in a practical way. It is more an informatic algorithm than an ‘enlightning’ vision.

77 – Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprises (Chandler, 1962)

Chandler, Alfred D.
Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprises
The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1962

Alfred DuPont Chandler, Jr.[1] (September 15, 1918 – May 9, 2007) was a professor of business history at Harvard Business School, who wrote extensively about the scale and the management structures of modern corporations. Chandler graduated from Harvard College in 1940. After wartime service in navy he returned to Harvard to get his Ph.D. in History. He taught at M.I.T. and Johns Hopkins University before arriving at Harvard Business School in 1970. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his work, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977). [Source: Wikipedia.com]

Topic: The creation and the spread of the multidivisional form of organization in American industry.

Main questions :
Thesis: Structure follows strategy
How multidivisional structures were created?

Data and Methods :
Analysis of 4 industrial cases. Chandler described how the chemical company Du Pont, the automobile manufacturer General Motors, the energy company Standard Oil of New Jersey and the retailer Sears Roebuck managed a growth and diversification strategy by adopting the revolutionary multi-division form

Summary and citations:

• “The initial proposition is then, that administration is an identifiable activity, that it differs from the actual buying, selling, processing, pr transporting of the goods, and that in the large industrial enterprise the concern of the executive is more with administration than with the performance of functional work” p9
• “A second proposition is that the administrator must handle two types of administrative tasks when he is coordinating, appraising and planning the activities of the enterprise” p9 (1-long-run health and 2-day to day operation)
• “Strategy can be defined as the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals” p13
• “Structure can be defined as the design of organization through which the enterprise is administered”. P14 . Two aspects. 1) lines of authority and communication and 2) information and data that flow in these lines.

I – Historical settings
• “The more common road to the formation of the vertically integrated enterprise was by way of horizontal combination and consolidation.” P29
• “After 1890’s, administrative innovations [standardization of procurement and processes] were much more important to the development of American business than legal ones [i.e. New Jersey amendment]”. P31
• “And by 1900, some of the very largest of the new enterprises were already responsible for the administration of integrated multifunction subsidiaries as well as single-function departments” p38
• “After 1900…three types of strategies. Growth came either from an expansion of the firm’s existing lines to much the same type of customers, or it resulted from a quest for new markets and sources of supplies in distant lands, or finally it came from the opening fo new markets by developing a wide range of new products for different types of customers.” P42
• “…structure does follow strategy, and the different types of expansion brought different administrative needs requiring different administrative organizations.” P49

II – DuPont
• The Finance Committee was taken in charge by the top management, Pierre and Coleman DuPont.
• “From this time on [1914], the criterion for promotion was competence rather than family background.” p64
• “This strategy of product diversification was a direct response to the threat of having unused resources” p90
• “The structure accepted in Sept, 1921, has serve the du Pont Company effectively ever since. Losses were soon converted into profits… “p112
• “The strategy of diversification quickly demanded a refashioning of the company’s administrative structure if its resources, old and new, were to be used efficiently and therefore profitably” p113
• “And in transforming the highly centralized, functionally departmentalized structure into a “decentralized”, multidivisional one, the major achievement had been the creation of the new divisions.” P113

VI – Organizational innovation – A comparative analysis
• Importance of the financial department. DuPont introduced a 3rd role of this department. “Planning, coordinating, and appraising the work of other departments and the enterprise as a whole”. P288’. “Thus these departments became increasingly part of the central and even of the general office organizations” p288
• “The central office activities that tied the work of the functional departments to the changing market usually came about only after a slowing of market demand”. P291
• More attention was paid in bringing together departments to improve products than to coordinate product flow. P292
• “(Managers) had to be encouraged to concentrate on entrepreneurial rather than operational activities” p294
• “the initial awareness of the structural inadequacies … came from executives close to top management , but who were not themselves in a a position to make organizational change” p303
• “it took sizable crisis to bring action “ p303
• “the men who make the critical decisions in any economy can be defined as those who have the actual or real, rather than merely the legal, power t o allocate the resources available to them and who, in fact, determine the basic goals and policies for their enterprises. Clearly the general executive is such a man”…”stockholders and legal owners long ago abdicated this function” p312
• “The general executive of the large corporation is then a crucial and identifiable a figure mid-twentieth century economy as Adam Smith’s capitalist was in the late eighteenth century, and Jean Baptiste Say’s entrepreneur in the early nineteenth” p314
• “Unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results” p314
• “the empire builder rarely became an organization builder” p315

VII – The spread of the multidivisional structure
Technologic changes and market diversity are the main drivers for companies to adopt multidivisional structures. Metallurgic companies (Steel, Aluminium, Copper, Nickel) don’t accept the new structure. Others (processors of agricultural products, rubber, petroleum) accept partially the new structure and other industries (electrical and electronics, machinery and chemicals) accept widely the new structure.
• Those who accept widely the new structure: “The leading companies in all these industries have increasingly developed new product lines sold in markets quite different from their original one.”p362
• “the fewer the markets and the simpler the marketing process, the easier will be the administration and coordination of functional departments” p343
• Family-firms have tended to be slower in changing both structure and strategy than the others. p380

• “Structure has been the design for integrating the enterprise’s existing resources to current demand; strategy has been the plan for the allocation of resources of anticipated demand”. P383
• “Thus four phases or chapters can be discerned in the history of the large American industrial enterprise: the initial expansion and accumulation of resources; the rationalization of the use of resources; the expansion into new markets and lines to help assure the continuing full use of resources; and finally the development of a new structure to make possible continuing effective mobilization of resources to meet both changing short-term market demands and long-term markets trends.” P385.

Personal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• P29: When Chandler says “marketing”, he is referring to logistics and distribution of finish products. Chandler’s marketing together with “the procurement of raw materials” would now be called supply-chain management (SCM). Chandler calls marketing “advertising”. Also, in the chart 1 p10, there are not represented the departments of Quality (came later, in the 80’s with the Japanese methods), Human Resources, Logistics or Marketing (included in Sales?).
• I think that the person makes the position. Some persons do less that what their position implies and in opposition, some people go beyond the responsibilities of their position. But I agree with Chandler (p290), multidivisional structure is needed in order that the character and training of the mid-executives matter.
• Ch VII: On the spread of the multidivisional form, the author focuses on technological and market diversity as the mains drivers for its acceptance in specific groups of industries. I think that now, the use of technologies and knowledge-based economies tend to collaborative networks organisations but it is true that industrial companies still adopt the multidivisional structure.
• A new book “The New How: Building Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy” by Nilofer Merchant (2010) says that the multidivisional structure creates an “Air Sandwich” between top management and workers. This is the consequence of top management setting strategies and workers implementing them. According to Merchant, collaborative networks can bring a solution to this “gap”.
• A conclusion of this book is that to change, you need a crisis. DuPont implemented the new structure not in the “happy” years of the WWI but after the war, when sales decreased.
• As seen in the book, top management is initially against change (ie Irénée DuPont)

Comprehensive Exam – PhD HEC Montréal

1 Amabile, T. M. (1998). “How to kill creativity.” Harvard business review 76(5): 76-87. ARTICLE
2 Andriopoulos, C. and M. W. Lewis (2009). “Exploitation-exploration tensions and organizational ambidexterity: Managing paradoxes of innovation.” Organization science 20(4): 696-717. ARTICLE
3 Arthur, W. B. (2007). “The structure of invention.” Research policy 36(2): 274-287. ARTICLE
4 Bathelt, H., A. Malmberg, et al. (2004). “Clusters and knowledge: local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation.” Progress in Human geography 28(1): 31. ARTICLE
5 Bergson, H. (1908). L’évolution créatrice, F. Alcan. BOOK
6 Chesbrough, H. (2011). Open services innovation: Rethinking your business to grow and compete in a new era, Jossey-Bass. BOOK
7 Chiapello, E. (1997). “Les organisations et le travail artistiques sont-ils contrôlables?” Réseaux 15(86): 77-113. ARTICLE
8 Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience: Steps toward enhancing the quality of life, Harper Collins Publishers. BOOK
9 DeFillippi, R. and M. Arthur “Paradox in Project-Based Enterprise: The Case of Film-Making.” California Management Review 40: 125-139. ARTICLE
10 Eikhof, D. R. and A. Haunschild (2007). “For art’s sake! Artistic and economic logics in creative production.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 28(5): 523-538. ARTICLE
11 Engwall, M. (2003). “No project is an island: linking projects to history and context.” Research policy 32(5): 789-808. ARTICLE
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24 Lessig, L. (2005). Free culture: The nature and future of creativity, Penguin Group USA. BOOK
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26 March, J. G. (1991). “Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning.” Organization science: 71-87. ARTICLE
27 Menger, P. M. (2003). Portrait de l’artiste en travailleur: métamorphoses du capitalisme, Seuil. BOOK
28 Nonaka, I. and H. Takeuchi (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation, Oxford University Press, USA. BOOK
29 Santamaría, L., M. J. Nieto, et al. (2009). “Beyond formal R&D: Taking advantage of other sources of innovation in low-and medium-technology industries.” Research policy 38(3): 507-517. ARTICLE
30 Simon, L. (2006). “Managing creative projects: An empirical synthesis of activities.” International Journal of Project Management 24(2): 116-126. ARTICLE
31 Tschang, F. T. (2007). “Balancing the tensions between rationalization and creativity in the video games industry.” Organization science 18(6): 989. ARTICLE
32 Von Hippel, E. (2005). Democratizing innovation, The MIT Press. BOOK
33 Woodman, R. W., J. E. Sawyer, et al. (1993). “Toward a theory of organizational creativity.” Academy of management review: 293-321. ARTICLE
34 Banks, M., A. Lovatt, et al. (2000). “Risk and trust in the cultural industries.” Geoforum 31(4): 453-464. ARTICLE
35 Bieri, D. (2010). “Booming Bohemia? Evidence from the US High-Technology Industry.” Industry & Innovation 17(1): 23-48. ARTICLE
36 Boggs, J. S. and N. M. Rantisi (2003). “The’relational turn’ in economic geography.” Journal of Economic Geography 3(2): 109-116. ARTICLE
37 Caves, R. E. (2000). Creative industries: Contracts between art and commerce, Harvard Univ Pr. BOOK
38 Chapain, C. and P. Lee (2009). “Can we plan the creative knowledge city? Perspectives from western and eastern Europe.” Built Environment 35(2): 157-164. ARTICLE
39 Cohendet, P. and L. Simon (2007). “Playing across the playground: paradoxes of knowledge creation in the videogame firm.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 28(5): 587-605. ARTICLE
40 Cohendet, P., D. Grandadam, et al. (2010). “The Anatomy of the Creative City.” Industry & Innovation 17(1): 91-111. ARTICLE
41 Cooke, P. (2008). “Culture, clusters, districts and quarters: some reflections on the scale question.” Creative cities, cultural clusters and local economic development: 25-47. ARTICLE
42 Cunningham, S. D. (2002). “From cultural to creative industries: theory, industry, and policy implications.” Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: Quarterly Journal of Media Research and Resources(102): 54-65. ARTICLE
43 Dicken, P., P. F. Kelly, et al. (2001). “Chains and networks, territories and scales: towards a relational framework for analysing the global economy.” Global networks 1(2): 89-112. ARTICLE
44 Feldman, M. P. and D. B. Audretsch (1999). “Innovation in cities::: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition.” European Economic Review 43(2): 409-429. ARTICLE
45 Flew, T. and S. Cunningham (2010). “Creative industries after the first decade of debate.” The Information Society 26(2): 113-123. ARTICLE
46 Florida, R. (2002). “Bohemia and economic geography.” Journal of Economic Geography 2(1): 55. ARTICLE
47 Florida, R. (2004). The rise of the creative class, Basic Books New York. BOOK
48 Garnham, N. (2005). “From cultural to creative industries: An analysis of the implications of the ‘creative industries’ approach to arts and media policy making in the United Kingdom.” International Journal of Cultural Policy 11(1): 15-29. ARTICLE
49 Hall, P. (2000). “Creative cities and economic development.” Urban Studies 37(4): 639. ARTICLE
50 Healey, P. (2004). “Creativity and urban governance.” Policy Studies 25(2): 87-102. ARTICLE
51 Howkins, J. (2002). The creative economy: How people make money from ideas, Penguin Global. BOOK
52 Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of great American cities, Vintage. BOOK
53 Landry, C. (2008). The creative city: A toolkit for urban innovators, Earthscan/James & James. BOOK
54 Miller, T. (2009). “From creative to cultural industries.” Cultural Studies 23(1): 88-99. ARTICLE
55 Mommaas, H. (2004). “Cultural clusters and the post-industrial city: towards the remapping of urban cultural policy.” Urban Studies 41(3): 507. ARTICLE
56 Porter, M. E. (2000). “Location, competition, and economic development: Local clusters in a global economy.” Economic development quarterly 14(1): 15. ARTICLE
57 Potts, J., S. Cunningham, et al. (2008). “Social network markets: A new definition of the creative industries.” Journal of Cultural Economics 32(3): 167-185. ARTICLE
58 Pratt, A. C. (2004). “The cultural economy.” International journal of cultural studies 7(1): 117. ARTICLE
59 Pratt, A. C. (2008). “Creative cities: the cultural industries and the creative class.” Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 90(2): 107-117. ARTICLE
60 Putnam, R. D. (1993). “The prosperous community: social capital and public life.” The American Prospect 13(4): 35-42. ARTICLE
61 Rantisi, N. M., D. Leslie, et al. (2006). “Placing the creative economy: scale, politics, and the material.” Environment and planning A 38(10): 1789-1797. ARTICLE
62 Santagata, W. (2002). “Cultural districts, property rights and sustainable economic growth.” International journal of urban and regional research 26(1): 9-23. ARTICLE
63 Saxenian, A. L. (1996). Regional advantage: Culture and competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, Harvard Univ Pr. BOOK
64 Scott, A. J. (1997). “The cultural economy of cities.” International journal of urban and regional research 21(2): 323-339. ARTICLE
65 Scott, A. J. (2006). “Creative cities: conceptual issues and policy questions.” Journal of urban affairs 28(1). ARTICLE
66 Smith, R. and K. Warfield (2008). “The creative city: a matter of values.” Creative cities, cultural clusters and local economic development: 287. ARTICLE
67 Storper, M. and A. J. Venables (2004). “Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy.” Journal of Economic Geography 4(4): 351. ARTICLE
68 Zukin, S. (1987). “Gentrification: culture and capital in the urban core.” Annual Review of Sociology: 129-147. ARTICLE
69 Ackoff, Russel L. ; A concept of Corporate Planning; Wiley, New York, 1970 BOOK
70 Allison, Graham T.; The Essence of Decision; Little, Brown, Boston, 1971 BOOK
71 Andrews, Kenneth J.; The Concept of Corporate Strategy; Irwin, 1971 BOOK
72 Ansoff, H. Igor; Corporate Strategy; McGraw Hill, New York, 1965 BOOK
73 Barnard, Chester; Functions of the Executive (The); Harvard University Press, Boston, 1938 BOOK
74 Bower, Joseph; Managing the Resource Allocation Process: A Study of Corporate; Planning and Investment; Irwin, Homewood, Illinois, 1972 BOOK
75 Braybrooke, David and Charles Lindblom; A Strategy of Decision : Policy Evaluation as a Social Process; The Free Press, Macmillan, New York, 1963 BOOK
76 Castells, M. (2002). “Local and global: cities in the network society.” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93(5): 548-558. ARTICLE
77 Chandler, Alfred D.; Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprises; The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1962 BOOK
78 Crozier, Michel; Le phénomène bureaucratique; Éditions d’organization, 1964 BOOK
79 Cyert, Robert M. and James G. March A Behavioral Theory of the Firm; Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1963 BOOK
80 Drucker, Peter F.; The Practice of Management; Harper and Brothers, New York, 1993 BOOK
81 Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). “Building theories from case study research.” Academy of management review: 532-550. ARTICLE
82 Fayol, Henri; Administration Industrielle et Générale; Paris, 1916 BOOK
83 Hamel, G. and Bree, B. (2007). “The future of management.” Harvard Business School Publishing. BOOK
84 Homans, Georges C.; The Human Group; Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1950 BOOK
85 Langley, A. (1999). “Strategies for theorizing from process data.” Academy of management review: 691-710. ARTICLE
86 Mintzberg, H. (2009). “Rebuilding companies as communities.” Harvard business review 87(7/8): 140–143. ARTICLE
87 Roethlisberger, Fritz J.; The Elusive phenomena; Division of Research, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA,; 1977 BOOK
88 Selznick, Philip; Leadership in Administration; Harper and Row, New York, 1957 BOOK
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90 Thompson, James D. Organization in Action: Social Science; Bases of Administrative Theory, Transaction Publishers, 2003 BOOK
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84 – The Human Group (Homans, 1950)

Homans, George C.
The Human Group
Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1950

George Casper Homans (born in Boston, Massachusetts, August 11, 1910 – died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 29, 1989, age 78) was an American sociologist, founder of behavioral sociology and the exchange theory.
Homans is best known for his research in social behavior and his works including The Human Group, Social Behavior: Its Elementary Forms, his exchange theory and the many different propositions he enforced to better explain social behavior. Within sociology and social psychology, Homans is regarded as one of the major sociological theorists in the period from the 1950s to the 1970s. [Source: Wikipedia]

Topic: The human group: relations of interaction, activity and sentiments

Main questions :
• Strong concepts:
o Environment / External system / Internal system
o Interaction / Activity / Sentiments
o Norms
o Social Rank / Relations superior-subordinate / Structure / Leadership

Data and Methods :
Study based on closed observation of social small groups (in a factory –Hawthorne experiments-, in a gang, in a tribe,…). Theory derived from a clinical analysis (“In action, we must always be clinical” p15)

Summary and citations:

• Mutual dependence of interaction and sentiment :”the more frequently persons interact with one another, the stronger their sentiments of friendship for one another are apt to be.” P133
• Mutual dependence of sentiment and activity: “persons who feel sentiments of liking for one another will express those sentiments in activities over and above the activities of the external system.” P134
• Mutual dependence of activity and interaction: “persons who interact with one another frequently are more like one another in their activities than they are like ogher persons whom they interact less frequently” p135
• “The activities of a subgroup may become increasingly differentiated frm those of other subgroups up to some limit imposed by the controls of the larger group which all the subgroups belong”. P136
• Social ranking and activity: “The higher the rank of a person within a group, the more nearly his activities conform to the norms of the group” p141
• Social ranking and interaction: “a person of higher rank than another originates interaction for the latter more often than the latter originates interaction for him” p145
• “A person who originates interaction for another in the external system will also tend to do so in the internal” p146
• Leadership: “Krupa sought greatness; Taylor had it thrust upon him”p149; “Ability to carry the followers with him is the source of any leader’s authority”.p171
• “We shall now assert that the internal system arises out of the external and the reacts upon it” p151 “internal and external systems are not independent but mutually dependent” p152.
• Differentiation within the group: mutual dependence of activity ans sentiment: “the closer an individual or a subgroup comes to realizing in all activities the norms of the group as a whole, the higher will be the social rank of the individual or subgroup” p181
• Mutual dependence of sentiment and interaction: “the higher a man’s social rank, the larger will be the number of persons that originate interaction for him, either directly or through intermediaries” p182, “the higher aman’s social rank, the larger the number of persons for whom he originates interaction, either directly or through intermediaries”p 182; “the more nearly equal in social rank a number of men are, the more frequently they will interact with one another” p184; “if a person does originate interaction for a person of higher rank, a tendency will exist for him to do so with the memebrs of his own subgroup who is nearest him in rank” p184; “the higher a man’s social rank , the more frequently he interacts with persons outside his own group” p186
• “…a civilisation, if it is in turn to maintain itself, must preserve at least a few of the characteristics of the group, though necessarily on a much expanded scale” p456
• “How can values of small groups be maintained on the scale of the civilization?”p466

Personnal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• Homans is very didactic, giving examples and analogies (engine, thermodynamics, etc).
• Homans applies the universal-known Harvard’s ‘case method’.
• Some propositions seems rather logical but this is because: 1) we all interact with and know social groups and we “know” how they work and 2) as Mayo (and Roethlisberger)said “better to have a complex body of fact and a simple theory than a simple body of fact and a complex theory” p16
• Homans goes back to the basics, starts from scratch: to understand society, you have to understand the society’s unit of analysis: the group. Homans enjoys details (“The stress is on desire”p2) and extracting patterns of behavior from a micro-cosmos. Families as any other group: “a division of labor and a chain of command” p234
• Homans « The leader is the man who comes closest to realizing the norms the group values highest »p188 ; Selznick and others: the leader sets and communicates the values.
• The whole book is based on taking two strong concepts and explaining its relationship.
• Family is based on affection (Tikopia), even groups in firms, as Homans show are deternined by sentiments (helping, caring, etc). Might love be the primal driver of humanity?

78 – Le phénomène bureaucratique (Crozier, 1964)


Crozier, Michel
Le phénomène bureaucratique
Éditions d’organisation, 1964

Michel Crozier est un sociologue français, né le 6 novembre 1922 à Sainte-Menehould(Marne). Il est le principal concepteur de l’analyse stratégique en sociologie des organisations. Depuis 1999, il est membre de l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques (Elu au fauteuil de François Lhermitte).

Topic: Analyse des organisations bureaucratiques, modélisation et telations avec le système social et culturel français.

Summary and citations:

• Ouviers de production ? ouviers d’entretien ? chefs d’atelier

VI – Relations de pouvoir et situations d’incertitude
Le problème du pouvoir :
• « Du gouvernement des hommes à l’administration des choses » (théorie rationaliste, taylorienne et théorie marxiste)
• 1930-1950 ; « relations humaines » (paternalistes européens et néocapitalistes) mais échec
• Le courant « interactionniste » (Mayo, Roethlisberger et al.)
• Le courant « lewinien » (MIT, Lewin, « Survey research center » ; « ils voulaient démontrer, au moins au début, qu’il existait une relation constante et univoque entre la satisfaction individuelle, la productivité et un style de leadership permissif » p199)
• « Mais un être humain ne dispose pas seulement d’une main et d’un coeur, il est aussi une tête, un projet, une liberté. »
• « Si à tous les échelons d’une organisation et dans le fonctinonnement même de l’ensemble, il ne pouvait y avoir qu’une seule meilleure soluttion, one best way, le comportement de chaque membre de l’organisation deviendrait entièrement prévisible. » p211
• « on constate… une forte tendance d’inspiration rationaliste à éliminer toute relation de pouvoir ; …. mais, d’autre part, … nouvelles relations de pouvoir…. ne pouvait être prévu(e) facilement… »p212
• Subordonnés veulent accroître la partie laissée à son arbitrage ? pouvoir de négociation (pe réserve de pièces) p216
• Pouvoir de l’expert vs Pouvoir hiérarchique fonctionnel. Structure formelle vs informelle
• L’évolution des systèmes de pouvoir : la technocratie et ses limites dans l’actualité
• « D’autres forces sont à l’oeuvre qui imposent un minimum de consensus : … 1) le fait que les différents groupes soient condamnés à vivre ensemble ; 2) le fait que le maintien des privilèges d’un groupe dépende dans un large mesure de l’existence des provolèges des autres groupes ; 3) la reconnaissance par tous les groupes qu’un minimum d’efficacité est indispensable, et 4) enfin la stabilité même des relations entre groupes » p224
VII – Le système d’organisation bureaucratique
• « … cette évolution, que Weber avait crue inexorable, dépend, en partie au moins, de la capacité même de l’homme à dominer et à briser les cercles vicieux bureaucratiques. » p273
• « (Gouldner) a su montrer en effet d’une part que la punition fonctionne dans les deux sens… et d’autre part que l’existence de règles dont l’application peut être suspendue constitue un terrain de négociation excellent et un instrument de pouvoir pour les deux parties ». p241
• « une organisation bureaucratique serait une organisation qui n’arrive pas à se corriger en fonction de ses erreurs ». p247 » et dont les dysfonctions sont devenues un des éléments essentiels de l’équilibre. »p257 « mais c’est aussi un système trop rigide pour s’adapter sans crise aux transformations que l’évolution accélérée des sociétés industrielles rend de plus en plus fréquemment impératives. » p261
• « Quatre traits essentiels permettent… de rendre compte de la rigidité des routines que nos avons observées : 1) l’etendue du développement des règles impersonnelles, 2) la centralisation des décisions ; 3) l’isolement de cahque strate ou catégorie hiérarchique et l’accroissement concomitant de la pression du groupe sur l’individu ; 4) le développement de relations de pouvoir parallèles autour des zones d’incertitude qui subsistent. » p248

Personnal comments, interesting issues and findings:

• Je pense au courant « lewinien » : est-ce que dans les entreprises considérées « Best place to work » on cherche à appliquer le modèle lewinien ? p.e. Google exerce un leadership permissif aux travailleurs (collaborateurs) en considérant que la satisfaction personnelle améliore la créativité et la productivité.
• Crozier défini le Monopole comme « un équilibre quasi stationnaire » p227. Son analyse de l’équilibre des forces fait penser à l’equilibre des forces à la Guerre Froide (qui avait lieu, en fait, lors de la publication du livre). Aussi : « En fait on a tendance à échapper à la pression de la réalité aux deux extrêmes, quand il est trop difficile d’y faire face ou quand c’est devenu trop facile. » p247
• La communication et l’organisation coopérative de Barnard est très loin des structures décrites par Crozier. Isolement des strates, etc. La notion de stratégie et de vision se perd dans les organisations bureaucratiques (voir p253). «…donner la priorité aux moyens sur les fins » p261
• La question que je me pose: Une organisation telle peut exister actuellement ? Et ma réponse est non. « Un système d’organisation dont la principale caractéristique est la rigidité ne peut naturellement pas s’adapter facilement au changement et tendra à résister à toute transformation. Et pourtant le changement est permanent au sein des organisations modernes. »p257. Je crois que l’incapabilité d’adaptation au changement et l’application des nouvelles technologies, font que la bureaucratie telle que la décrit Crozier, n’existe plus.