Can we imagine organisations to be like human bodies? Modern medicine has advanced since the study of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile was assumed to explain how the body functions. Organisational science today is in a similar mediaeval position, with fragmented theories of structure, competitiveness and human resources, and no overall theory of organising. This book fills that gap by constructing a physiological theory of organising.
During the middle of the twentieth century, the anthropologist Radcliffe-Brown asserted that there should be a single branch of science for the study of human society. He maintained that a natural science, in the form of the study of the physiology of societies, was not yet available to form a link between theory and applied science. This research-based book explores the feasibility of studying the physiology of organisations, and determines whether this sort of knowledge can offer an improved perspective on organisational functioning. If we think about organisations in the same way that we think about human bodies, then we will be able to treat them when they are ill, and ensure that they work at maximum efficiency.
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Dr Cecilia M. Dean has over 25 years’ experience in senior management and consultancy in large organisations, including IBM, Aviva and KPMG. Her experience also includes tutoring support to students at the Open University and the University of Leicester. She is currently a director of a private consultancy company.