The Org
The Underlying Logic of the Office - Updated Edition
Ray Fisman & Tim Sullivan
With a new preface by the authors

Editions

We create organizations because we need to get a job done—something we couldn't do alone—and join them because we’re inspired by their missions (and our paycheck). But once we’re inside, these organizations rarely feel inspirational. So where did it all go wrong?

In The Org, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the tradeoffs that every organization faces, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is actually inherent to the very nature of orgs. The Org diagnoses the root causes of that malfunction, beginning with the economic logic of why organizations exist in the first place, then working its way up through the org’s structure from the lowly cubicle to the CEO’s office.

You'll learn:

  • The purpose of meetings and why they will never go away
  • Why even members of al Qaeda are required to submit travel and expense reports
  • What managers are good for
  • How the army and other orgs balance marching in lockstep with fostering innovation
  • Why the hospital administration—not the heart surgeon—is more likely to save your life
  • Why CEOs often spend more than 80 percent of their time in meetings—and why that's exactly where they should be (and why they get paid so much)

Ray Fisman is the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and codirector of the Social Enterprise Program at the Columbia Business School. His research has been published in leading economics journals. He is also a regular contributor to Slate. Tim Sullivan is the editorial director of Harvard Business Review Press. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and other popular outlets.