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Who Really Matters

Who Really Matters

An original look at the mechanisms of power in the organization.

Auteur(s) : Art Kleiner

Éditeur : Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Date de parution : 2003

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This book, written in a lively style closer to the world of journalism than management research, offers an original point of view on the mechanisms of power in the organization. The author highlights the key role of a small number of individuals – the Core Group – who have a decisive impact on everyone else’s behavior. He draws conclusions on the principles for capitalizing fully on your power of influence over the organization, whether or not you are a member of the Core Group.
– The fundamental ideas behind the book are presented in Part 1 (chapters 1 to 6). To get a better grasp of the Core Group concept, start with chapters 1 and 2, which introduce this notion intuitively. Chapters 3 to 5 then explore different facets of the concept, the most instructive being that of legitimacy, covered in chapter 5.
– The order in which you read the rest will probably depend on whether or not you are a member of the Core Group. If you are unsure about this, refer to the diagnostic exercises found at the end of chapters 3 and 4.
– If you are part of the Core Group, continue with Part 2 (chapters 7 to 13), with particular focus on chapters 8 and 11, which explain the importance of minimizing the distortion between your expectations and how they are perceived by the organization. You can round out your reading on this topic with chapter 9, which shows how the MBO system does not provide sufficient clarity, and chapter 7, which underlines the symbolic importance of your signs of interest. The other chapters in this section cover various other aspects, although more superficially, in our opinion.
– If, like most employees, you are not a Core Group member, start with chapter 6, which emphasizes the importance of being lucid about your position, and possibly complete this with chapter 15, which explores this subject in greater depth. You can then consult chapters 16 and 23, which offer many suggestions on how to develop your ability to influence the organization, despite a lack of natural legitimacy.
– The remaining chapters of the book explore the subject more or less successfully depending on the case. We recommend chapter 14, which describes the importance of your first experiences with a Core Group, and chapter 18, which highlights the destruction that can be wrought by a rift in the Core Group, supported by the example of Hewlett-Packard.


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