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Chapter 1 Zen & Creative Management

Shareholder, Employee, Customer: The Basic Triad

A company is a multidimensional system capable of growth, expansion, and self-regulation.  It is, therefore, not a thing, but a set of interacting forces.  Any theory of organiztion must be capable of reflecting a company’s many facets, its dynamism, and its basic orderliness.  When a company organization is reviewed, or when reorganizing a company, it must be looked upon as a whole, as a total system. 

A system can be defined as a set of independent but mutally related elements.  The different jobs or functions in a company are the “independent elements”; each has its own reason for being; each isdone by a different manager, each of whom is expected to act to some extent as an autonomous and independent whole.  This, after all, is what we mean by responsibility.  But the mutual relatedness of the job with other jobs in the company is as important a feature of the organization as the content of the job itself.

This mutual relationship corresponds to the structure of the whole, and it must be emphasized because it is frequently ignored when organizations are reviewed.  When managers reorganize they often do not give very much attention to how parts of the system are related in time or structure.  Furthermore, this relatedness is something that is poorly understood.  For example, managers frequently write job descriptions in complete isolation from what the company as a whole is trying to do.  Although organization charts are drawn, they often ignore the content of job descriptions.  A gesture is sometimes made in the direction of relatedness and structure by putting dotted lines on the organization chart, but these frequently serve to confuse rather than to clarify the issue.

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