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The Abilene paradox and other meditations on management /
Jerry B. Harvey.
Lexington, Mass. : Lexington Books ; San Diego, Calif. : University Associates, c1988.
viii, 150 p. ; 24 cm.
0669191795 (alk. paper)
More Details
Lexington, Mass. : Lexington Books ; San Diego, Calif. : University Associates, c1988.
0669191795 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [145]-150.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-01:
Harvey (George Washington University) is the author of many articles on organizational dynamics as well as a management training film, The Abilene Paradox (1984) based on his concept. The "Abilene Paradox," a phrase the author originated in 1974, refers to the tendency of groups to make collective decisions that no individual member of the group considers valid or wise. This group behavior results in counter productive activities and staff morale problems. Harvey views this paradox as a "failure to manage agreement," which he considers to be the most serious issue facing modern organizations. The author provides case studies and examples that show how this paradox occurs. He discusses the underlying causal dynamics of this problem, indicates some of the implications of accepting this model for describing organizational behavior, and makes recommendations for coping with the paradox. Harvey writes in an entertaining and clear style. His examples come not only from business organizations (the boardroom) but also from the "bible" (Abraham and Isaac), politics (Watergate), and world events (Adolph Eichmann). Footnotes and an excellent bibliography are provided for each chapter. Academic and public library collections. -D. W. Huffmire, University of Connecticut
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, October 1988
Choice, January 1989
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Faulty decision-making can have dire consequences, and when it comes to group decisions, the challenges are even greater. Join Dr. Jerry B. Harvey as he clearly illustrates why no organization wants to find themselves goin' to Abilene. See how group dynamics can keep individuals from stating their true beliefs for fear of isolation and separation, and how that often leads to mismanaged agreement. You'll learn to recognize the warning signs of risky group dynamics and improve decision-making processes throughout your organization.
Table of Contents
The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement
Organizations as Phrog Farms
Management and the Myth of Abraham; or, Go Plant a Cabbage on God's Behalf
Captain Asoh and the Concept of Grace
Eichmann in the Organization
Group Tyranny and the Gunsmoke Phenomenon
Encouraging Future Managers to Cheat
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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