The Org by Ray Fisman
The Underlying Logic of the Office

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It is an amiable guide, enjoyably wry without being jokey.
-WSJ online


We create organizations because we need to get a job done--something we couldn't do alone--and join them because we're inspired by their missions (and our paycheck). But once we're inside, these organizations rarely feel inspirational. Instead, we're often baffled by what we encounter: clueless managers, a lack of clear objectives, a seeming disregard for data, and the vast gulf between HR proclamations and our experience in the cubicle.

So where did it all go wrong?

In THE ORG, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the tradeoffs that every organization faces, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is actually inherent to the very nature of orgs. THE ORG diagnoses the root causes of that malfunction, beginning with the economic logic of why organizations exist in the first place, then working its way up through the org's structure from the lowly cubicle to the CEO's office.
Woven throughout with fascinating case studies-including McDonald's, al Qaeda, the Baltimore City Police Department, Procter and Gamble, the island nation of Samoa, and Google--THE ORG reveals why the give-and-take nature of organizations, while infuriating, nonetheless provides the best way to get the job done.
You'll learn:
The purpose of meetings and why they will never go awayWhy even members of al Qaeda are required to submit Travel & Expense reportsWhat managers are good forHow the army and other orgs balance marching in lockstep with fostering innovationWhy it's the hospital administration-not the heart surgeon-who is more likely to save your lifeThat CEOs often spend over 80% of their time in meetings-and why that's exactly where they should be (and why they get paid so much)
Looking at life behind the red tape, THE ORG shows why the path from workshop to corporate behemoth is pockmarked with tradeoffs and competing incentives, but above all, demonstrates why organizations are central to human achievement.

About Ray Fisman

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Ray Fisman is the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and co-director of the Social Enterprise Program at the Columbia Business School. His is the author of Economic Gangsters with Ted Miguel. Tim Sullivan is the editorial director of Harvard Business Review Press and has worked at Basic Books, Portfolio, and Princeton University Press, where he helped build one of the most successful academic economics lists in the world.
Published January 8, 2013 by Twelve. 321 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Org
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Trevor Butterworth on Jan 11 2013

It is an amiable guide, enjoyably wry without being jokey.

Read Full Review of The Org: The Underlying Logic... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NY Journal of Books

Reviewed by Daniel S. Feiman on Jan 08 2013

Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Fisman provide much for the reader to consider and throughout the book make solid points with excellent anecdotal tales.

Read Full Review of The Org: The Underlying Logic... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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