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Book Review: The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office by Raymond Fishman and Timothy Sullivan

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The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office by Raymond Fishman and Timothy Sullivan is an important book about the design of organizations. The authors explain how important it is to get the organization size and span of control right from the start. Organizations are getting flatter but bigger in part due to the difficulties inherent in having too many layers of management.

The authors describe different organizational cultures such as Proctor and Gamble, known for its emphasis on adaptation to changing ways of doing things. Simplicity is at a premium to facilitate understandability and ease of replication. The culture in an organization consists of unwritten ways of doing things which are understood from time spent in the organization.

The authors explain how company CEOs value holding personal meetings in order to convey their vision of where the company should be and how to get there. When an organization prospers, the rising tide tends to lift all salaries onto an upward trajectory.

At bottom, the management of an organization is there to extract value from employees. Profit sharing and higher salaries are the end result of a successful value driven approach. The authors explain how the design of an organization evolves from varying levels of high centralization to decentralization and ceding too much control.

The book extols the benefits of a results oriented approach. As an example, countries with better managed hospitals have higher survival rates for things like heart attacks and surgical interventions. In addition, educational institutions with better management tend to have higher test scores amongst the students.

The Org is an important book on the inner workings of how businesses operate to create value and reward employees and the management for doing so. The book should be read by a wide constituency of stakeholders.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.