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The Future of Leadership: Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders by Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Warren Bennis, Thomas G. Cummings

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Chapter Five

Boundaryless

Steven Kerr

On the topic of organizations of the future, which was our assignment, I thought I would check in with what used to be, or what is said to be, the relevant literature, and it took me back to some of the old classics, like Lawrence and Lorsch. And it turns out that the concepts of differentiation and integration have been with us in one form or another for a long time. Sometimes, they become decentralization versus centralization, other times loose coupled versus tight coupled. And the folks say that those are the right core things to do. To differentiate and integrate if organizations are to adapt to complex, changing environments.

But what didn't get said was how easy it is to do differentiation as compared ...

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