Chris Rodgers’s latest book, The Wiggly World of Organization – Muddling through with puprose, courage and skill (Routledge 2021), challenges the neatly packaged, predictable and controllable view of organization and management that dominates mainstream understanding and practice. Consistent with philosopher Alan Watts’s description of the world at large, organization is “wiggly”; continuously (re-)emerging in the self-organizing process of everyday human interaction. The book sets out and explores the complex reality, and the muddling-through nature of real-world management practice. As well as offering practical guidance to managers and other practitions as to how they can participate in this pprocess with purpose, courage and skill.
Hisearlier book, Informal Coalitions – Mastering the hidden dynamics or organizational change (Palrave Macmillan, 2007), deals with the hidden, messy and informal aspects of organisational change and the implications of these for leadership and management practice.
Chris has also written a number of articles and papers on various aspects of leadership, change and organizational dynamics.
More details on The Wiggly World of Organization and Informal Coalitions, as well as access to various other publications, can be found on the Books and Papers and Articles pages. We hope that you’ll find these interesting, thought-provoking and, above all, helpful in shaping your own practice.
Walking Case Studies
In introducing the dynamics and implications of the wiggly world and informal coalitions to managers, it has been interesting to see how readily they have connected with the ideas and recognised these in their own experience and practice. Managers – from Board members to first-line supervisors – rarely fail to ‘get it’. Some initially feel uncomfortable with the challenges that these wiggly-world dynamics make to the orthodox views on what constitutes ‘good leadership’, and to the rational assumptions on which these are based. Nevertheless, they all accept that these dynamics will happen anyway – with or without their active involvement in them in their management roles. They know this to be the case, not least because they participate in these dynamics themselves. In this sense, they are all ‘walking case studies’ of the wiggly world in action.
In interacting with the ideas contained in the books and articles, therefore, you can benefit most if you similarly reflect on your own. lived experience of organizational life.