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The Elephant and the Flea by Charles Handy - Book Report/Review Example

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In the paper “The Elephant and the Flea by Charles Handy” the author analyzes the concept of corporate leaders. Charles Handy, a self-described social philosopher, prescribes that to properly lead individuals of an organization, the best-fit approach is the answer…
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The Elephant and the Flea by Charles Handy
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Download file to see previous pages Many of our fathers worked for the same company most of their adult lives.  Today, individuality is prised over the corporation and the individual is more likely to search for a position more suited to his or her capabilities, interest and education.  The organizational leadership is not as centralized, or as well defined as it was only a generation ago.  Organizations have branches scattered throughout the country and in many cases, the world.  Leaders now must adapt to these changing times or fail.  They must lead colleagues, not manage workers.  “When Kofi Annan spoke at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UN, he said ‘if the previous century had taught us one thing it was that central planning did not work.  No-one thought his statement controversial, yet many of our organizations are still, in essence, centrally planned economies.’  You have to wonder why” (Handy, 2002, p. 37).  Handy, in his many writings, lectures, and interviews predict the changing leadership roles of the future and claim the future is now.  This discussion highlights the many facets of Handy’s ‘best-fit approach’ as it relates to employment adaptations and organizational structures both at the societal and cultural levels. In his 1995 Gods of Management, Handy breaks society into four philosophical classes, or “cultures”: Club, Role, Task, and Existential.  The setting in which the organization operates is the determinate on the proper blends of these cultures.  A different balance of personalities is needed in different countries and differing occupations (Handy, 1995a, p. 102).  A ‘club’ personality likes to run the operation themselves.  They are happy to spend the day giving orders dealing with questions, settling disputes and allocating assignments all by personal intervention.  “His idea of work is to have the phone running and employees asking for direction at the same time.  He then feels indispensable, powerful and valuable” (Handy, 1995a, p. 33). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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