Outline for the Book

Hybrid outline now shows some of what the intro looks like while maintaining that dry, somnolent aspect toward the end. Stuff at the beginning kind of reads like a first draft. Stuff at the end is mere detritus.

Also, and I am pretty self-conscious about this, please keep sending story ideas. You can see below that I am using Ozzy Osbourne’s family as a beginning to define organizations. I would prefer something a little more jarring and current than a canceled television show about a guy that eats bats. It’s a placeholder right now. Don’t make me use it.

Part One: xxx

Chapter One: Pirates, Prisons, and the Organizational Striptease: Introducing the Organization

The pirates’ bureaucracy

Humankind’s most complex invention

The reflective monkey and freedom to choose

Between theory and chaos

Why should I read this book?

Chapter Two: Traffic Jams, Tribes, and Atoms: Ways of Understanding Organizations

Are the Osbournes an organization?

From Hunter-Gatherer to Human Resources: Where Do Organizations Come From?

Splitting atoms and modeling organizations (Part One and Part Two)

Mobile homes and motorboats: the far-reaching effects of organizations

Chapter Three: Kaleidoscope: The Many Theories of Organizations

Chapter Four: Decision points: Analyzing, Predicting, and Influencing the Behavior of Organizations (Quetelet)

A. Basic unit of organization

B. How are decisions made?

  1. Effects on policy or strategy

C. Organizational learning in decisions
D. Pre/post: prism/stargate/pane of glass
E. Consequences and antecedents: going upstream and downstream
F. Inflection point/punctuated equilibrium

Part Two: Analysis and Prediction

X. Tools of Analysis

A. What is OrgPorn?

1. Tangible tip of a socially constructed iceberg
2. Analysis without access
3. Possible elements

a. Org charts
b. CVs
c. Annual reports
d. Audits/investigations
e. News
f. Metaphors

B. Analysis after the fact: history

1. Organizational forensics

C. Analysis before the fact: prediction

Part Three: Patterns of Organizations in Decision-Making

A. Groupthink (explanation) (example) (criteria)

B. Abilene Paradox and Organizational Silence {summary here}

Chapter X: The Law of Unintended Consequences

The iPhone, the ROKR, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Why didn’t the ROKR roll?

Truck stops, climate change, and unintended consequences

Viagra, traffic cameras, and covertly intended consequences (Part One and Part Two)

Feedback loops and looking ahead

Part Four: A New Level of Thinking


2 responses to “Outline for the Book

  1. Pingback: Progress Notes 23Jan2008 « PublicOrgTheory

  2. Graham Stewart

    Re current stories to exemplify organisations, how about…

    gang culture – orgs and governments are just like big gangs, with hierarchies and their own perspective on what constitutes a good time

    bacteria and flu viruses – very well organised bunch

    tweet deck

    ps alfie kohn has some interesting ideas on pay / reward schemes and how they don’t improve corporate performance in the long term. given that you seem to be suggesting we reframe how we think about orgs, what about a section on what are the driving motivations behind orgs?

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