Managing Understanding in Organizations

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-27
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
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Bringing a fresh perspective to the evaluation of management problems, this book scrutinizes the influence managers have on employees' understanding. It considers how managers use ideas and visions to frame their employees' internalized understanding of the external rules and instructions that govern their work. The book brings an interpretative perspective to the question of individual and group competence and looks at how this is linked with understanding. The book refers throughout to international case studies and considers the cross-cultural impact on management and understanding at work.

Author Biography

Jorgen Sandberg is Reader in Organization and Management at the University of Queensland, Australia Axel Targama is Associate Professor in the Department of Business Administration at Goteborg University, Sweden

Table of Contents

Understanding becomes a key issuep. 1
A paradigm shift is taking place in managementp. 1
Socio-economic forces behind the paradigm shiftp. 2
Research emphasizes understanding as the basis of human actionp. 10
The paradigm shift: from instruction to visionp. 11
How this book is organizedp. 18
Summaryp. 20
The rise of an interpretative perspective on managementp. 21
Management has been dominated by a rationalistic perspectivep. 21
The alternative: the interpretative perspectivep. 26
What is the practical relevance of having one perspective or the other?p. 31
A gradual shift of perspective in management researchp. 33
Research paradigms control the content of knowledgep. 49
Human competence at work: a question of understandingp. 51
Human competence: the basis for all enterprisesp. 52
Rationalistic approaches to competencep. 54
Towards an interpretative approach to competencep. 58
A practical example: competence in engine optimizationp. 62
Understanding: the basis for human competence at workp. 71
Concluding remarksp. 73
Understanding: the basis for competence developmentp. 75
Understanding as the basis for what competence we develop at workp. 76
Understanding as the basis for how we develop competence at workp. 78
How does understanding operate?p. 80
Reflection: a basic condition for developing competencep. 86
Shared understanding: the basis for collective competence and its developmentp. 89
Collective versus individual competencep. 89
The social nature of understandingp. 91
Shared understanding of flute manufacturingp. 94
Collective competence as culturep. 97
Developing collective competence by changing shared understandingp. 104
Understanding and its transformationp. 109
Once again - what is understanding?p. 109
Issues involved in transforming understandingp. 112
Concluding remarksp. 123
Methods and principles for managing understandingp. 125
Possible methods for managing understandingp. 125
Language-driven methodsp. 126
Action-driven methodsp. 139
Guiding principles for managing understandingp. 154
Concluding remarkp. 158
Management: a question of managing understandingp. 159
Shift in focus and new priorities in management practicep. 160
The paradigm shift reshapes the point of leadershipp. 170
Avoiding the rationalistic trapp. 180
Some problematic power issues in managing understandingp. 188
Conclusionp. 191
Referencesp. 193
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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