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The End of Management

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The End of Management

And the Rise of Organizational Democracy


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Democracy — coming soon to a company near you.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Newscasts are filled with reports of democracy’s relentless spread across the planet, but less is heard of its expansion through the corporate world. Just as dictators and oligarchs everywhere are being toppled from power, the hierarchical management structures that have governed organizations since before the industrial revolution are falling. Their usurper is self-management - the concept that motivated employees empowered to make their own decisions will work harder, faster and smarter than their rigidly controlled counterparts. Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith document this organizational coup and instruct executives on how to incite the revolution in their own companies. While acknowledging the scarcity of hard data to prove some of the book’s assertions, highly recommends The End of Management to all executives for its innovative take on modern organizational theory.


Organizational Evolution

The business world is witnessing a major shift as management gives way to collaborative, democratic and self-managing organizations. Organizations of all types - from corporations and government agencies to schools and non-profits - are finding that they function better when they empower their employees to manage themselves and take on responsibility for their own development and performance.

To implement this new approach, organizations are breaking down rigid boundaries and creating organic, evolving webs of associations. They are allowing employees to identify and select their own leaders, with input from peers, customers and shareholders. These leaders are guiding employees who to a large extent manage themselves in small collaborative teams that combine empowerment with responsibility and trust.

The evidence of this evolution can be seen in corporate titles. Many organizations are replacing high-sounding titles and multi-layered hierarchical positions with informal titles like "Chief Poobah." Companies also are adding to their traditional corporate rosters innovative positions like peer coach, process facilitator, and peer mediator...

About the Authors

Kenneth Cloke is director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, consultant, and trainer. Joan Goldsmith is an organizational consultant and educator specializing in leadership development and organizational change. Cloke and Goldsmith draw on more than 30 years of practical experience in organizational consulting with hundreds of organizations. They are co-authors of four previous books, including Resolving Conflicts at Work.

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