CHAPTER 2

A Balancing Act: Tensions to Be Managed

This chapter introduces the tensions that arise in attempting to align organizations, business strategy, and human behavior. Balancing these tensions is at the heart of implementing strategy.

In a pure sense, organizations are instruments created to achieve specific goals such as the manufacture of machinery or the provision of services. But organizations are multifaceted. They are also social systems, collections of individuals bound together to meet personal and social needs. Group norms and patterns of power and influence affect internal decision processes. Organizations are also sets of relationships among self-interested participants, each of whom is balancing personal well-being and organizational ...

Get Levers of Control now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.