Cover image for Pressing problems in modern organizations (that keep us up at night) : transforming agendas for research and practice
Pressing problems in modern organizations (that keep us up at night) : transforming agendas for research and practice
Quinn, Robert E.
Publication Information:
New York : American Management Association, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxix, 274 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD31 .P7253 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This is a compendium of leading-edge research on pressing organizational problems - but presented in simple language, with a focus on workable, real-world solutions. Among the 11 important problems addressed are corrosive organizational politics, service two (or more) masters, overworked people, underemployed human resources, and analysis paralysis.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Everyone has lain awake at least one night bothered by some problem at work; but for some, sleepless nights are a frequent occurrence. This catalog of managerial nightmares will help beleaguered worriers gauge their woes. Quinn and his fellow editors are all management professors; they surveyed managers from 117 organizations to come up with a list of 21 particularly pressing common problems. Those were then presented to a group of researchers, who selected 11 that were of greatest interest to them. The resulting analysis is a rare blend of the practical with the theoretical. The editors have each research team present a problem statement, consider relevant research literature, and provide a discussion that includes practitioners, consultants, and academics. What emerges is a clearer understanding of the problem and its potential solutions and an agenda for future research. Grouped as either people problems or process problems, the topics include balancing workloads, cultural misunderstanding, decision-making dilemmas, and the disappointments and promises of TQM. --David Rouse

Choice Review

This collection addresses core issues confronting business organizations in today's changing environment. The editors, academicians with expertise in the area of organizational behavior, seek to combine theoretical, methodological, and practical approaches to 11 "pressing problems" of organizational research. Those problems fall into two major categories: those that focus on "people" problems and those that focus on "process" problems. In the former, essays deal with such organizational concerns as overwork, dysfunctional communications, ambiguous roles and responsibilities, and politicized behaviors. Process problems include effective decision making, team building techniques, measuring financial performance, and total quality management. Those topics are treated in depth in the respective chapters. In a concluding essay, the editors develop a framework for resolving such problems through a "responsive organization." The framework begins with recognition that global competition drives ongoing organizational change. Pressure for change results in conflicting demands on the organization. As a result, organizations must cope with "competing values" in terms of human relations, internal systems, innovation, and external goals. Management's task is to balance competing values and avoid negative consequences associated with flexibility and innovation. The editors conclude that in light of turbulent business conditions, "organizational responsiveness is becoming a necessity, rather than a competitive advantage." A useful acquisition for upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. R. L. Hogler; Colorado State University