Jeffery Joerres, the chief executive of Manpower, one of the world’s biggest temporary employment
agencies, says that today’s “business organizations are like theatre troupes.” What he means is that a number of players from the troupe come together for a performance, complete it to a high standard, disband and reassemble with other players for a different sort of performance, and so on.
A recent book by two Stanford MBAs, The Starfish and the Spider, claims that the modern organization is like a starfish. Organizations of the past, say the authors, used to be like spiders. Cut off their heads and they’re dead. Starfish, on the other hand, are decentralized structures. They don’t have heads as such. Cut certain types of starfish into pieces and “each one will generate into a whole new starfish.” This sort of “neural network,” say the authors, is the model for the 21st century organization. It has no central point of control, no brain. Every bit of it can communicate with every other bit.
No metaphor for modern corporate life has stuck with quite the same tenacity as the late great Peter Drucker’s long-ago suggestion that the “institution that most closely resembles a knowledge-based business is the symphony orchestra, in which some 30 different instruments play the same score together as a team.”
Clayton Christensen, a management guru, started a recent article in the Harvard Business Review with just such an image. “The primary task of management,” he wrote, “is to get people to work together in a systematic way. Like orchestra conductors, mana gers direct the talents and actions of various players to produce a desired result.”
【題組】 6. Which of the following is the best title for the above passage?
(A)Human Resources and Corporate Strategies
(B)Making Music: the Modern Business Model
(C)Hiring Tempts: the New HR Strategy
(D)The Survival of Starfish Organizations