Managerial Dilemmas: Exploiting paradox for strategic leadership

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9781405160278: Managerial Dilemmas: Exploiting paradox for strategic leadership
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In the midst of the most severe recession for 80 years there islittle need to argue that organizations are beset by dilemmas andparadoxes. Confidence in prevailing business models and in theunderlying assumptions underpinning business decisions over manydecades has now been shaken. But it is not enough to rail againstarrogance and greed. Within their own (flawed) assumptions bankersand corporate leaders were acting rationally. A major reason forthe failure to anticipate and warn is that observers oforganizations usually tend to view organizations in terms similarto those employed by the people who run them: as rational, sensibleand objective, whereas, in fact, they are usually confused andconfusing, paradoxical and contradictory entities. Paradox is atthe heart of how organizations work (or don’t work) yet thephenomenon has been strangely unstudied.

In an age of crisis and uncertainty, dilemmas and paradoxes areespecially evident and prevalent. The fascination and the promiseof paradox is that there is also a sense that there is a hiddentruth entwined within the opposites. This we contend is a challengefor leaders. The ultimate responsibility of leadership is to makesense of these and to handle them in a competent manner.This demands a new mode of leadership. The managementof dilemma and paradox it is contended, the essence ofleadership today. Paradoxical forces provide a dynamism which,although often experienced as potentially threatening,discomforting and negative can also be exciting, promising andpositive.

"The assumption that organizations are rational entities ischallenged every day in the work environment by a rich reality ofasymmetries between conflicting forces, complexity, hiddenintentions and paradoxes. Anyone wanting to understand the realforces that govern organizations should read this book. A must readfor modern leaders who have the intellectual honesty to leadorganisations with open eyes and not with the over simplificationsand clichés of the past"--Giovanni Ghisetti, DirectorBusiness Transformation, Coca Cola Enterprises Europe

"Storey and Salaman’s description of the paradoxeswhich characterise leadership today is hauntingly accurate. Theirintelligent optimism that those dilemmas can be met is asencouraging as it is challenging for those of us who have to dojust that. Having read the insights in this book I now understandhow their business advice was always so pertinent".--AndyStreet, Managing Director of John Lewis

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More than ever, today’s managers are beset by successive, fashionable, prescriptions concerning the structure, dynamics, processes and direction of the modern corporation.

Unlike their earlier counterparts, the current areas of interest are less clearly associated with Human Resource issues (HR policies, processes, cultures and so on) and far more closely linked with issues more explicitly central to business activity and business performance. Managers need to develop an understanding of innovation, off-shoring, outsourcing, inter-organizational arrangements and other aspects of supply chain management.


This book will assist executives and management students to make better sense of these different spheres of activity by exploring them in relation to each other. By helping them make sense of these ideas in relation to each other the book will also allow them to better assess if, and to see how, where and when, they could be of use.


This is an invaluable guide to the most current management issues for advanced management undergraduates, MBAs and executives.

About the Author:

John Storey is Professor of Management at The OpenUniversity Business School. He regularly consults for public andprivate sector organisations and has served on several governmentaladvisory panels. He is Chairman of the Involvement &Participation Association (IPA). He has served as journal editorand sits on several journal editorial boards. He has authored andedited around 20 books and published widely in leadinginternational journals. He has led many large-scale researchprojects; current work focuses health service organisation,governance and management.

Graeme Salaman is Professor of Organisation Studies, OpenUniversity Business School. He has written many books and articles.He has worked as a consultant at senior levels in eight countriesfor clients such as Sun Microsystems, Willis, BAT, Allianz, Ernst& Young, the government of Ethiopia, Rolls Royce and MorganStanley. Recent projects include work in Ethiopia where he hasworked on change issues in the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and theMinistry of Information. .

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. More than ever, today s managers are beset by successive, fashionable, prescriptions concerning the structure, dynamics, processes and direction of the modern corporation. Unlike their earlier counterparts, the current areas of interest are less clearly associated with Human Resource issues (HR policies, processes, cultures and so on) and far more closely linked with issues more explicitly central to business activity and business performance. Managers need to develop an understanding of innovation, off-shoring, outsourcing, inter-organizational arrangements and other aspects of supply chain management. This book will assist executives and management students to make better sense of these different spheres of activity by exploring them in relation to each other. By helping them make sense of these ideas in relation to each other the book will also allow them to better assess if, and to see how, where and when, they could be of use. This is an invaluable guide to the most current management issues for advanced management undergraduates, MBAs and executives. Seller Inventory # AAH9781405160278

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