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  • John Murray Learning

The Org: How The Office Really Works

Ray Fisman, Tim Sullivan

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Economics, Organizational theory & behaviour, Advice on careers & achieving success

Organisations can drive us crazy. Discover how to stop working for THE ORG and start making THE ORG work for you.

Why do members of Al Qaeda have to submit travel and expense reports?

How do you create incentives for policemen, or priests?

What are managers good for?

We create organisations because they are an efficient way of doing something we couldn't do alone. We join organisations because we are inspired by their mission, or their payslip. But once we're inside, these organisations rarely feel efficient or inspiring.

In THE ORG, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the trade-offs that every organisation makes, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is in fact actually inherent in the very nature of orgs. Woven throughout THE ORG are fascinating stories of organisations ranging from Google and McDonald's, to Al Qaeda and the island nation of Samoa.

THE ORG tells us how the office really works. As such it is required reading for anyone who wants to come to terms with the frustrations of their workplace, or to work their way up the org.

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Praise for The Org: How The Office Really Works

  • The writing is compelling, the research is rigorous and the topic could hardly be more relevant to us all - The Org is a must-read. - Tim Harford, author of THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST STRIKES BACK

  • If you despair at endless meetings and interfering managers - you need to read The Org ... a charming and deeply researched field guide to what makes organisations tick, and why they sometimes drive us crazy. - Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of THE ANTIDOTE

  • a compelling new book....The book offers telling insight on a topic that has ebbed and flowed across the world over the last 30 years, as governments of all stripes have set out to privatize state-owned enterprises and outsource services - what does the private sector do better than government, and what does it do worse? - The New York Times

  • A voice of reasoned analysis amid the airport bookstore barkers . . . breezy and approachable . . . the conclusions and insights presented in THE ORG are ones you can actually use. Less Hollywood blockbuster and more a moody independent film, THE ORG is incisive on how things actually are, while leaving readers to find the answers. - Bloomberg Business Week

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Ray Fisman

Ray Fisman is the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and Research Director of the Social Enterprise Program at the Columbia Business School. He received his Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University, and his work has been covered widely in the popular press, from Maureen Dowd in the New York Times to Al Jazeera to the Shanghai Daily. He also writes a monthly column for Slate. His first book, Economic Gangsters (with Ted Miguel), was published to great critical acclaim by Princeton University Press in 2008.

Tim Sullivan is an executive editor at Harvard Business Books. He has also worked at Basic Books, Portfolio, and Princeton University Press, and has worked with some of the world's leading economists.

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