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.