The authors tell us that organisations are necessarily dysfunctional. Their stated aim is not to stop our cynicism but to make it better informed. The book is founded on economics more than history. Companies, they remind us, are for doing things that we can’t do ourselves. — Read the complete FT review
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 organizations because they are an efficient way of doing something we couldn’t do alone. We join organizations because we are inspired by their mission, or their payslip. But once we’re inside, these organizations rarely feel efficient or inspiring.
In The Org, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the trade-offs that every organization 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 organizations 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.