Pluralists of all Countries, Unite!
(5 min read)
Henry is an outspoken critic of today’s "Corporate Society", advocating instead a Rebalanced Society which — in his own words — is made up of “a public sector of political forces rooted in respected governments, a private sector of economic forces based on responsible businesses, and a plural sector of social forces manifested in robust communities”.
Keywords: a) Theory: Pragmatism, Business Ethics, Realism, Constructionism b) Application: Organisational design, Strategy, Professional education
Unique concepts: Communityship, Rebalanced Society, Corporate Social Irresponsibility
Developing the topic map and framing the big questions
(1) We wanted to interview Henry Mintzberg because he has been studying "organisations behaving badly" for a long time. He has examined this topic from a variety of angles, including organizational configurations, strategizing, managerial work, business ethics, and political economy. With his critical and transdisciplinary approach and his intimate knowledge of some of the drivers of "bad business behaviors," he has developed a reform plan on how to rebalance society to enable organizations to become good again. Through this, he has contributed to an embedded view of business in society.
(2) In our interview, we discussed the issue of corporate irresponsibility and the various ways in which companies can fail us. We examined the hegemonic US management approaches that have caused misery in the business world, and we talked about what a better society would look like in order for good companies to thrive while green- and whitewashing companies would be identified and pressured. Henry introduced us to his Declaration of Interdependence, which promotes the concept of communityship and provides a strong foundation for a third, plural sector to emerge. This sector would consist of associations such as cooperatives, NGOs, foundations, and clubs that would help rebalance the collective power between businesses and governments.
Exploring the Critical concepts for this session
Rebuilding companies as communities.
Henry Mintzberg on CSR as irresponsible management.
We recommend strongly to download his book “Rebalancing Society” which can be found on this page in addition to further comments, insightful articles, and suggestions for action
Personal Links & Relevant Essays
Henry's own excellent homepage where you can find all his blogs, books (also those which are freely available) and many articles
Our absolute favourite: make sure you sign the "Declaration of Interdependence"!
If you are interested in coaching and development with Henry and with Phil please visit this page for further details on the global "Coaching Ourselves" initiatives
Finally, you can get an overview and links to his scientific work here
Who should control the corporation (hint: the government will not be able to do this job alone)
And of course we must give a call out for Henry's unique beaver sculpture collection!
Henry Mintzberg refers to this excellent article of John Kania and Mark Kramer on how to bring movements together for collective impact.
Selected published works
Live video recording and podcasts
Our exclusive "best bits" selection
pills of wisdom from the interview
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On Corporate Governance
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Recommended readings for personal reflection and research
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