The authors have adopted this new methodology, in order to highlight the fact that to understand organisations, they must be experienced. They strongly portray, that theory is useful, but not enough to appreciate what is involved in organisations. This can be linked to chapter 8, which refers to propositional knowledge (knowing by description) and experiential knowledge (knowing by acquaintance), as being equally important for the understanding of organisations.This book does not have a strong theoretical and research backing.
For example, motivation is an area of businesses, and organisations in general, that can influence the overall running. However, when attempting to address this common and important concept, it was found that the term ‘motivation’ had been referred to in various chapters, with very limited explanations of its link with the subject being discussed. The only explanation of relevant theories is mentioned in a brief summary in the thesaurus. This does not appear to strike the important balance between practice and theory that has been highlighted within the main body.
However, if research had been discussed, shouldn’t the outcomes be expected to reflect ‘real life’? Therefore, perhaps the examples that are provided provide enough information without stating significance levels.Readers with a limited knowledge of organisations will enjoy the book, but may not appreciate its value, as they do not have the knowledge to relate the practice to. However, if the reader wishes to find out about organisations from the practice angle, this book is a very thorough. There is a good range of topics discussed, with good real-life examples, and the usually ‘unsaid’ or ‘unwritten’ aspects of being part of an organisation are also discussed.
It covers aspects of organisations that are so important but generally disregarded in professional books. For those wishing to obtain a good balance of knowledge of both theoretical and practical aspects of organisations, this book could be used alongside a traditional textbook.Although the authors occasionally come across as being fairly cynical, they do try to provide a fairly balanced view of the topics. However, their strong ‘anti-politics’ views are represented in all areas, and their strong biases against politics, gives the book a somewhat subjective scope. Emphasis is also placed throughout the book on morals and ethics, which have been incorporated into the majority of chapters. All of these topics cover issues that are rarely discussed in traditional books, and provide an insight into what can’t be seen, but is definitely present in organisations.
The fact that examples are given, and different angles are taken in most of the chapters, gives the reader a good base for understanding organisations, and the organising of processes within them. Although this new approach to tackling appears to have worked well in this field of studies, would it be appropriate for all fields of study? If for example, this method were attempted in writing a cognitive psychology textbook, would people be able to discuss their experiences of memory issues or attention problems?Perhaps, being able to relate to everyday stories may aid people in the understanding of these issues. However, to understand the underlying aspects, theories would need to be considered. So, although the authors of the present book presented the thesaurus (and relevant theories and references) as a separate section of the book, perhaps the way forward is to integrate the practical and theory together.This leads to the recommendation, that this book would be ideal for those with previous (not necessarily expert) knowledge of the subject area, who are looking to examine how the theory relates to what really happens in organisations. Those with no previous knowledge of organisational theory could use this book, to establish and appreciate the diversity of issues that affect and influence the running of an organisation.
It would also be a useful tool for people with a wide range of interests, including psychology, sociology, and business, as the authors have highlighted that they have brought teaching, research and consultancy together in these areas.A large range of psychological concepts and issues have been raised throughout the book, therefore it would be useful for people in the field of occupational psychology. Social issues are also raised, making the book useful for those concerned with the social perspective in business. Finally, it would be extremely useful for people who either have little or no practical experience in organisations, who would like to know what to expect.Overall, although this book has stepped into ‘untouched’ ground, it has definitely provided a new and interesting approach to something that has always been studied in a set way. Once readers adjust to the structure and method of this style, it could prove to be a big success, not only in the field of organisations, but many others.
It will appeal to those who want to know more than what traditional textbooks discuss, and is suitable for people with varied knowledge and varied areas of expertise. In summary, this book gains a definite approval and recommendation.