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Very Short Fairly Interesting And Reasonably English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1988 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This is a book that I had read with easy understanding on organizational theories, various aspects to define organizational forms in different chapters like philosophy, management, psychology. High motivation approved because of not only focusing on business cases, however, involved military and wars or either Grey’s assumption with daily occurrence in the concept of what is an organization formed. Grey provided dichotomy of different aspects comparison seems to sketch a picture of organizational studies in my imaginary, impressing knowledge deeply in my subconscious for digestion.

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A book wrote by a professor working organizational behaviour at Warwick Business School, Chris Grey. What are the reasons for Grey to write this book? He had mentioned in the introduction that numerous of organization studies were hard carrying and reading for readers. Therefore, he had designed it elaborately as a short textbook with theories and organizations for readers, especially recommended to undergraduate students to stimulate their thinking on an advanced new area.

Summary and Context

The book has divided into three parts based on defining chapters. The first two chapters had written the ‘classical’ issues are the infrastructure to contribute the recent theories of organizations. These two chapters had inserted various aspects in organizations to assist readers to have a basic understanding. A bureaucracy and rationality, was firstly having an assumption to a German sociologist, Max Weber, the former can be defined as a series of hierarchical relationships. Latter had split into two groups, ‘formal or instrumental rationality’ with definition to achieve a goal by adopted the most efficiency way for that purpose; ‘substantive or value rationality’, this refer to bureaucracies focused on means more than results. Hawthorne studies, an assumption of human relations theory conducted in the 1920s and 1930s, comparing ‘illumination experiment’ and the ‘bank wiring room experiment’ to investigate further information of personhood. Certainly, there are more theories and cases had written down in the book. Newcomers and experience readers may already have a contact to the above theories before – Grey’s version had slightly difference of the original thinking of these themes, the general consideration of theories are boring to consult or either dusty. However, these theories had launched as a reference material that for the modern form of organization theory to reproduce.

Secondly, Grey has concerned more on some contemporary goals in studying organizations in the following three chapters. This involved organizational culture and self-management, post-bureaucracy and change management and as well as fast capitalism and the end of management. The themes of chapter three are relevance organizational culture that a familiar range of initiatives which position ‘values’. Post-bureaucracy is a term of (supposedly) new organizational structures that (apparently) have replaced the stereo-organizational forms by pressuring its agility and fluidity. Fast capitalism is to accelerate and re-structuring to produce unfounded consequences for individuals and society. In chapter 6 Grey using his perspective to address the study of organizations, a business school is the place where the organisational studies began and taught and claimed as another part of contemporary academic study. In my view, the study of organization is a part for students’ ambitions to become a manager or those who already have several year experiences on working as organizational managers on how to understand them contentedly, and also the connection between management and organization theories become obviously appeared.

As for the final part, a conclusion, Grey mentioned the importance of studying organizations like to consider managerial concerns in a political way and realities is being equal to consult the truth of organizations in general. It is not only a conclusion in my purpose, he is trying to convince the readers to understand why they have to study organizations and at the same time to allow us to think deeply what is the truth and how we perform afterwards. This represented Grey’s is acting an intermediary through his writing rather than writing something to extend organizational knowledge to readers.


There is a high organizational structure in this book. Preface and introduction allow readers to know more about the second edition and author’s thinking at the beginning. An organizational structure formed in this book seems a metaphor for Grey giving a message of what an organization is in usual. Each chapter had designed two topics for readers to understand how organizational theories forms and within inside the chapters: Grey reveals his thought on comparing, critique, expounding and experiments in separation. The separation means Grey had set some sub-topic in every chapter to meticulous analyse those academic theories related to organizations. Conclusion had set up in every chapter to summarize his words allow readers to have clearer minding on organizational knowledge.

Grey’s words are spontaneous and detailed in the book. There is no space for empirical or philosophical precisions, which we have to compare in organizational stuff. His writing had spent less time on discussing the psychological life of Taylor, and even not to focus on advanced investigation on philosophy within an unsophisticated way to point out. The style of Grey’s book is a stand out writing on argument which attracted many remarkable people to regards, using some ordinary language to speak a plain truth. One of an argument about ‘goal displacement’ in bureaucratic dysfunctionalism: a security guard of a factory rejected a managing director enter to meet her creditors and result the factory closes down. This is a double theory that the guard should allow MD to get into factory or not rationally. Another example appeared in two conversations between a child and his dad which are simples, but they have a high contrast on the result of human relations between former and latter behaviour changes. (p. 48-49)

Grey is quite often to analyse the organizational theories with some professors’ speech and thinking. This writing can state an argument between other authors and him to allow readers to consult and consider a better choice. An academic idea from Linda Smircich (1983), suggested that organizational culture could be thought of two different ways: ‘critical variable’ and ‘root metaphor’. A critical variable is to assume culture could be managed inevitably, amenable to intervention, control and definition. Another cultural speech from Smircich, “Culture as a root metaphor means something the organization is rather than something it has”. (p73) In a certain sense, a root metaphor is to represent that cultures are spontaneous and unmanaged. According Grey’s thought, ‘culture’ is the leitmotif of a gathering of modern development that organizations have, which is not simply of a topic in organization studies.

Another form of Grey’s writing is rarely touchable in organization studies, pointing out topics of what Grey is thinking. Pragmatism teaches through examples to motivate readers to restructure the organizational thinking rather than instructional education. The pragmatism that Grey used is not only on academic aspects on philosophy and psychology; he does simply use pragmatism at a certain amount on critical, empirical and analytical tools on theories to perform his pragmatic fashion. There are some pragmatic works had engaged in the book that he linked topics up as scientific management at the beginning, and then turned into post Fordist industries. Grey’s has a well meticulous planning on pragmatism using in organizational theories, and this allows readers to know how words can be used in the similar phenomenon.


This book has highly recommended to students and managers. There are some critical statements provided by Grey which is an opportunity for readers to learn organizational theories under informal structure. However, this is a book review and so I should not focus on how Grey’s merits, I have to evaluate its defect at the same time.

There is an argument in the critical study on interpret. Organizations constructed by organizational theories are only a thesis with invalid points, and an ideology of that thesis is to stimulate managers to desire a higher status in their working places. Social science failed to create an efficacious knowledge because of unpredictable of human behaviours. There are some similar features of organizational theory, instrumental rationality, mentioned by Grey that within the using of unethical examples in the book to explain what rationality is. Management schools want to improve its status and socialize students; nevertheless, the schedules are empty. Readers are willing to seek some valid approaches to study what organization is. However, this information did not reveal in Grey’s writing.

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Based on an ‘unconventional’ perspective of organizational theories, some of Grey’s writing are not broad enough of the field of organization studies. This makes some empirical readers lose their interests to get further advanced education in the book. Although it is a fact, but Grey had also pointed out that this is not a textbook, it is simply a comprehensive reading with several organizational knowledge and constructionist viewing. On my perspective, some of Grey’s themes had overextended, and some undeserved. There is a scenario related to the development of American management born, which found in military successfully in the Second World War. In my point of view, it is a story about the coordination between culture and management. Grey had mentioned the American logistics were as central to their military success. However, it did not mention deeply what American logistics had contributed. (p. 67) This is an insufficient thing in Grey’s explanation that I had mentioned previously.


After the reading, I would say that it is a high valuable book with explicit in theories and powerful critique of the organizations. I had pointed out the inward that the book describes Grey’s knowledge with the structure how Grey’s elaborated on those chapters (three main parts). Some thesis have mentioned with book’s theories like goal displacement in analysing paragraph and the argument mentioned in critical studies, which impressed in my heart. Studying organization is not only understanding its theories and process, we have to understand what is world, how does it changing, what the trend is etc. If we prefer to achieve higher quality of living standard, we will need to expand the traditional managerial thinking, which is an obtrusion that business management schools do to their students.

In a nutshell, the price of this book is an opposite contrary of its original values. The price of this book is cheap compare to its value, which is incommensurability, the value of ‘A very short book’, I had explained in the previous paragraph. There is a phrase in the book impressed me deeply: formal rationality swallows up substantive rationality, and systemic rationality overwhelms individual rationality. (p. 29) This phrase convinced me to understand the running system of rationality perform and new thinking on management. I am going to use the theories from the book in my undergraduate, following ‘fast capitalisms’ aims to adapt the world.


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