The modern firm : organizational design for performance and growth
Part of the Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies series
Business firms around the world are experimenting with new organizational designs, changing their formal architectures, their routines and processes, and their corporate cultures as they seek to improve their current performance and their growth prospects.
In the process they are changing the scope of their business operations, redrawing their organization charts, redefining the allocation of decision-making authority and responsibility, revamping the mechanisms for motivating and rewarding people, reconsidering which activities to conduct in-house and which to out-source, redesigning their information systems, and seeking to alter the shared beliefs, values and norms that their people hold.
In this book, John Roberts argues that there are predictable, necessary relationships among these changes that will improve performance and growth.
The organizations that are successful will establish patterns of fit among the elements of their organizational designs, their competitive strategies and the external environment in which they operate and will go about this in a holistic manner. The Modern Firm develops powerful conceptual frameworks for analyzing the interrelations between organizational design features, competitive strategy and the business environment.
Written in a non-technical language, the book is nevertheless based on rigorous modeling and draws on numerous examples from eighteenth century fur trading companies to such modern firms such as BP and Nokia.
Finally the book explores why these developments are happening now, pointing to the increase in global competition and changes in technology.
Written by one of the world's leading economists and experts on business strategy and organization, The Modern Firm provides new insights into the changes going on in business today and will be of interest to academics, students and managers alike.
The Modern Firm was the Economist Best Business Book of the Year 2004.