The Precarious Balance
This chapter presents an account of organizational life as relational process, replacing the traditional notion of organizations as collections of single individuals, each of whom is hired, advanced, or terminated on the basis of individual knowledge, skills, and motivation. Before explaining how relational process can lead to effective organizing, the chapter considers the precarious balance between fluid and frozen relations and how attempts to solidify the fruits of co-action give rise to frozen relations. It then outlines four specific domains of practice: organizational decision-making, leadership, performance evaluation, and the organization's relationship to its environment. Finally, it examines how a relational approach to practice can sustain vitality.
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