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Dialogic Organization Development by Gervase R. Bushe, Robert J. Marshak, Edgar H. Schein

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7Understanding Organizations as Complex Responsive Processes of Relating

Ralph Stacey

This chapter summarizes a theory of organizations that focuses attention on our actual, bodily, lived experience of working in organizations—that is, what we as human beings are actually doing as we go about our ordinary, everyday activities at work. In the late 1980s when I moved from a management role in industry to lecture at a university, I became very aware of just how abstract mainstream literature on organizations and their management was, and how little relationship it bore to my experience as a manager or consultant to organizations. Later, in the mid-1990s, I was joined by two colleagues who had the same misgivings. Over time we developed what we found ...

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