In this revealing study, Larry Hirschhorn examines the rituals, or social defenses, organizations develop to cope with change. Using extended ease studies from offices, factories, and social services, he describes why these often irrational practices that fragment and injure individuals within the workplace exist, how they operate, and how they can be reshaped to enhance people's work experience.
"The Workplace Within is a deeply ambitious book. It addresses practical human problems in organizations, drawing on solid case data, and at the same time it raises questions at a broad philosophical and policy level about good organizations, how to go beyond social defenses, and the scope of changes required in our political economy to build developmental work cultures... a major contribution toward understanding the felt experience of work in post industrial society... most importantly it represents a methodological breakthrough in that it tells the stories - successful and failed of organization consulting as a 'applied clinical' practice."
-- J.M. Ryan, Human Resource Management
Larry Hirschhorn is principal and senior research manager at the Wharton Center for Applied Research.