Friday, 18 December 2009

The Quest for responsibility - update and read more

Dr B is doing some editing work at the moment and came across this book on the Quest for responsibility by Mark Boyens which looks very interesting. "Famous names have over the last few years became tarnished and venerable institutions have been brought into discredit ..."
I've been thinking alot about responsibility recently - taking responsibility is quite a Calvinist thing. What is interesting about this book are the links it tries to make between citizenship, organisations and accountability in complex systems. Simply the contents page looks fascinating. The epilogue at the end of chapter 12 modestly states "the quest for resposnibility never ends". That made me smile. It also seems to build in places on some of the ideas from Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Lots more thoughts for the leadership reflexion - so much to read so little time ...

The modern world is dominated by complex organizations. In this book Mark Bovens analyzes the questions associated with the search for responsiblity within such organizations. In organizations with many people contributing in many different ways, how can we determine who is accountable for organizational behavior? How do we define responsible behavior within organizations? Can different notions of responsibility prevent abuses? His analysis is multidisciplinary, combining law, social science, ethics, and organizational design, and provides a number of suggestions for institutional reform.