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Recent Organization Design Books authored by members of the ODC

The Organizational Analytics E-Book: A Guide to Data- Driven Organization Design

Phanish Puranam and Julien Clement

The (free) “Organizational Analytics E-book” offers a practical guide to data driven organization design. It covers how one might use “Big Data”, machine learning, experiments, computational models, network analysis and natural language processing to do organization re-design. We have been teaching this material for several years now at INSEAD & Stanford. The book is basically written to train “translators” who can bridge data science and organization development/design domains.

Download the e-book here




Fit to Compete

Michael Beer

In his thirty years of working in corporations, Michael Beer has witnessed firsthand how organizational silence derails strategic objectives. When employees can't speak truth to power, senior leaders don't hear what they need to, and employees lose trust and become less committed to change.

In his book Fit to Compete: Why Honest Conversations about Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy, Michael presents an antidote to silence—a process used by over eight hundred organizations across the globe to enable honest conversations. 

Michael Beer's strategic fitness process has helped leaders from all industries—from tech to pharmaceuticals and from banking to restaurant chains—hear the raw but necessary truth about why their strategies and their organizations are misaligned.

Michael Beer is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. He is a cofounder and Chairman of TruePoint Partners, an international consulting firm, and chairman of the board at the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of companies and leaders committed to creating economic and social value. He is the author of eleven books.

Book is available on Amazon

Organizational Design- A Step-by-Step Approach

4th edition

Richard M. Burton

Børge Obel

Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson

Now in its fourth edition, this is the definitive step-by-step 'how to' guide to designing an organization. Building on information processing theory, the book proposes a holistic, multi-contingency model of the organization. This textbook communicates the fundamentals of traditional and new organizational forms, including up-to-date analysis of self-organizing, boss-less, digital, and sustainable organizations. Providing a framework for the practical implementation of organizational design changes, the authors break the process down into seven basic steps: (1) Assessing Goals, (2) Assessing Strategy, (3) Analyzing Structure, (4) Assessing Process and People, (5) Analyzing Coordination, Control and Incentives, (6) Designing the Architecture, and (7) Implementing the Architecture. Each step connects with one of the nine interdependent components of the multi-contingency model, and the authors also provide a logical query process for approaching each of these components. This is an ideal guide for managers or executives interested in assessing their organization and taking steps to redesign it for success, as well as for MBA and executive MBA students looking for an introduction to organizational design.

Book available on Amazon


The Mircostructure of Orgnizations

Phanish Puranam

This book synthesizes a decade of research by the author into fundamental issues in organization design. The result is a novel micro-structural perspective on organizations, which aims to both expand and narrow current thinking.

The new perspective takes an expansive view on the kinds of phenomena that can be studied in terms of organization design- such as cross-functional teams, strategic partnerships, buyer-supplier relations, alliance networks, mega-projects, post-merger integration, business groups, open source communities, and crowdsourcing, besides traditional concerns with bureaucratic organizations. At the same time, this approach narrows focus by abstracting away from the variety and complexity of organizations to a few fundamental and universal problems of organizing (that relate to how they aggregate their members' efforts), as well as a few reusable building blocks microstructures (which capture common patterns of interaction between members of an organization). The microstructural approach to organizations will be of interest to researchers and PhD students in management, organization science, and strategy.

Book available on Amazon


Organization Design: Simplifying complex systems

Nicolay Worren

A well-designed organization is an effective organization. Decisions about organization design determine the shape and form of the organization – not only the reporting structure and authority relations, but also the number and size of sub-units and the interfaces between the sub-units. Indirectly, such decisions affect individual productivity as well as the organization’s ability to attain strategic goals.  

Organization Design equips the reader with advanced tools and frameworks, based on both research and practical experience, for understanding and re-designing organisations. Particular emphasis is placed on how one can improve effectiveness by simplifying complex roles, processes, and structures. This updated second edition includes a new chapter about traditional organizational forms, and is complemented by a companion website.    

Students will find thorough conceptual explanations combined with case studies from different industries. This textbook will be essential reading for students, scholars, and practitioners.

Book Available on Amazon

Organization Design: The Practitioner’s Guide

Naomi Stanford 

Organization Design looks at how to (re)design an organizational system in order to increase productivity, performance and value, and provides the knowledge and methodology to design an adaptive, agile organization capable of handling the kind of continuous organizational change that all businesses face. The book clarifies why and how organizations need to be in a state of readiness to design or redesign, and emphasizes that people as well as business processes must be part of design considerations.

With an enhanced international focus, this third edition includes new material on:

  • organization design theories
  • designing ethical, diverse and inclusive organizations
  • the role of leaders in organization design work
  • organization design in public sector organizations
  • evaluating the success of an organization design project

This book is a must-read for students or practitioners involved in organizational design, development and change.

Book  Available on Amazon


Bridging Organization Design and Performance: Five Ways to Activate a Global Operation Model

Amy Kates and Gregory Kesler

Bridging Organization Design and Performance is a handbook for leaders looking to enhance the success of their organizations and themselves. Companies that compete globally require organizational operating models as robust as their strategies. Many companies have created elegant designs and consider their worldwide, matrix organizations sources of competitive advantage. However, the reality is that these complex structures bring many challenges and senior executives are often frustrated by the difficulties of delivering growth in organizations that span numerous brands, products, and geographic regions. 

After working closely with over twenty large US and Europe based global companies during the past decade, Gregory Kesler and Amy Kates concluded that the problem is not in the fundamental design of these operating models. The matrix is not going away. The challenge is to effectively and completely activate the organization to deliver the strategy. This book shares the five practical actions that bring complex organizations to life and help companies gain sustainable results from their global operating models.

Book Available on Amazon



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