Case Study Interviews and Analysis (reverse chronological order, up to 1970s)

Below is a list of my library and literature research, with an attempt to trace the earliest publications on the subject of progressive post-industrial organisational design (with hyperlinks)

Exerpts from these books on the specific case-study examples of principles and practices have been (and are still being) inputed into the Databases available on this website.

(Read by JCO)
Reinventing Organizations
- Frederic Laloux
- Feb 2014
  • A breakthrough book based on 12 case studies (including some less well known European organizations), and an insightful theoretical framework (based on Integral and Developmental Theories).
  • Outlines the specific principles and policies of the case study companies, how they tackle the challenges of running and maintaining self-management, with some fascinating anecdotes. Foreward by Ken Wilber (Integral Theory)
  • All of the case study material from this book has been entered into the Case Study database. 
  • (The book I wish I could have written going back to 2002/3 when interviewing my first case studies of Semco, Oticon and St Lukes etc.! I have written a review of the book here "Can Organisations Be Reinvented To Become More Soulful?  Making Sense Of The Evidence and Counter-Evidence.Review of Frederic Laloux's "Reinventing Organizations"")
(Read by JCO)
Flexible Firm: The Design of Culture at Bang & Olufsen
- Jakob Krause-Jensen
- Sept 2010

  • Anthropological approach to studying transition and culture - charting the rise and fall of "values" leadership and self-management, through a secondment by academic anthropologist Krause-Jensen (University of Aarhus) to the HR department. Reveals how B&O were using the very latest thinking in values based self-management going back to their major transitions in the 1990s.  

(Read by JCO)
Freedom Inc: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth.
- Brian M. Carney, Isaac Getz
- Feb 2010

  • Good collection of write-ups of interviews with well-known case study companies such as W L Gore, Harley Davidson, IDEO, Sol and Favi, and also Chapparal Steel, GSI, Vertex, Richards Group, USAA and Quad/Graphics.

 The Second Bounce of the Ball: Turning Risk into Opportunity.
 Cohen, Ronald (November 2007). 
- London: Weidefeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-85148-6.
 The Future of Management (Harvard Business School Press)
- Gary Hamel
- 2007

Includes chapters on:
  • W.L.Gore: An Innovation Democracy
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Google
(Read by JCO)
Mavericks at Work: Why the most original minds in business win
- William Taylor, Polly LaBarre
- Sept 2008
  • Covers the following case studies: Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Cirque du Soleil, Commerce Bancorp, Craigslist, Cranium, DPR Construction, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Goldcorp, GSD&M, HBO, IBM’s Extreme Blue, ING Direct, Innocentive, Jones Soda, KI, Kaveron, Netflix, NineSigma, Opsware, Pixar Animation Studios, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Procter & Gamble’s Connect+Develop, Rockwell Group, Second Curve Capital, SEI Investments, Southwest Airlines, Tellme Networks, TopCoder, Vermont Teddy Bear, Whole Foods Market, Wieden + Kennedy, Yahoo!

(Read by JCO)
Engineering Culture: Control and Commitment in a High-Tech Corporation 
- Gideon Kunda
- Aug 2006
  • Kunda is given the opportunity to study over time HP employees. The result is a frank assessment of realities behind the "HP Way", and the hidden consequences of the commitment culture.
  The Southwest Airlines Way
- Jody Hoffer Gittell
- 2005
(Bought, currently reading)

Joy At Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun On The Job 
- Dennis Bakke
- March 2005
  • Co-founder of AES, recounts his journey, values and vision in building a decentralised values-based management culture at AES, growing to 40,000 people.    
(Read by JCO)
The Myth of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations
- Jeffrey S. Nielsen
- 2004 
  • In this unconventional, thought-provoking text, Jeffrey Nielsen debunks leader-based corporate hierarchies and presents the paradigm of "peer-based" organizations.  
(Read by JCO)
Freedom from Command and Control: A Better Way to Make the Work Work
- John Seddon
- 2003
  • Written from the perspectives of lean manufacturing and agile / distributed quality management.
(Read by JCO)
The Democratic Enterprise: Liberating your Business with Freedom, Flexibility and Commitment
- Lynda Gratton
- 2003

Case Studies including some of the largest muti-nationals (BP, McKinsey&Co, Sony, Unisys, Goldman Sachs, Astra Zenica, British Telecom, Hewlett Packard), and how they have each implemented progressive policies of transparency, autonomy, personal development and flexibility. 
(Read by JCO)
The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy
Kenneth Cloke, Joan Goldsmith
- 2002

Comprehensive picture of all the practices that can make up an autonomous management and personal development culture (though without case study references).

(Read by JCO)
Open Minds
- Andy Law
- 2001
  • The account by Andy Law as to how the London office of maverick US ad-agency Chiat and Day spun itself off from the US parent company to reinvent itself as a democratic, flexible work place.

(Read by JCO)
Birth of the Chaordic Age (Berrett-Koehler)
- Dee Hock  (Founder and CEO Emeritus of Visa Corporation)
- 1999


One from Many 
- Dee Hock
- 1996
Describes the founding of the Visa bank card alliance.

(Read by JCO)
Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace
- Ricardo Semler
- April 1995 
  The Democratic Corporation: A Radical Prescription for Recreating Corporate America and Rediscovering Success (Wharton. Oxford Uni Press Inc.)
- Russell L. Ackoff 
- 1994.
(Read by JCO)
Liberation Management: Necessary Disorganization for the Nanosecond Nineties
- Tom Peters
- Nov 1992
(Read by JCO)
La fin des patrons
- Yvon Gattaz
- 1980

Introduces the wonderful concept of pathologies in hiearchies in the "Irreversibility of Aquired Advantages"
Work and Community: The Scott Bader Commonwealth and the Quest for a New Social Order
Routledge and Kegan Paul,
- 1968 - no longer in print

And as a follow-up:
  • Hoe, Susanna - The Man Who Gave His Company Away: a biography of Ernest Bader, Founder of The Scott Bader Commonwealth. 1978. Price £9.99 plus P&P from Scott Bader 
The Human Side of Enterprise 
- Douglas McGregor
- McGraw-Hill, 1960

A seminal work on participative management.

Book References:
  • Firms of Endearment (FoE) (Sisodia & Sheth & Wolfe, 2007)
  • The Living Company de Geus A. (Harvard Business School Press, 1997). 
  • At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity Stuart Kauffman (Oxford Press 1996) 
  • The Therapeutic Corporation, Tucker, J. (1999)n, University of New Hampshire, USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Kent Thierry, CEO of Devita, has chief wisdom officer role. Turnaround story. Dialysis company. Contact with warren bennis, meeting of minds on power of conversions.
  • The Open Book Management Movement
  • Books as per the quadrant segments of the "Competing Values Framework" 


Individual Development

(Read by JCO)
The Psychology of Executive Coaching: Theory and Application

Bruce Peltier

(Sept 2009)

(Read by JCO)
In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life Paperback

Robert Kegan 

(August 1998)

Organizational Development

(Read by JCO)
Action Inquiry - The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership

Bill Torbert

May 2004
(Read by JCO)
 Dialogue - The Art of Thinking Together
- William Isaacs

(Read by JCO)
 Spiral Dynamics
- Don Beck, Chris Cowan


(Read by JCO)
Capitalism 4.0
- Anatole Kaletsky 

(Read by JCO)
The Origin of Wealth
 - Eric Beinhocker

(Read by JCO)
 Small is Beautiful
- E. F. Schumacher

Philosophy, Sociology, History

(Read by JCO)
 Integral Psychology
- Ken Wilber

(Read by JCO)
 A Brief History of Everything
- Ken Wilber

(Read by JCO)
 An Initimate History of Humanity
- Theodore Zeldin

(Read by JCO)
Guns, Germs and Steel
- Jared Diamon 
(Read by JCO)
 Sex, Ecology and Spirituality
- Ken Wilber

(Read by JCO)
 Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
- Edward O. Wilson

(Read by JCO)
A Guide For The Perplexed
- E.F. Schumacher 

My future reading list!
  • Nathan Harter’s philosophically oriented overview of leadership studies Clearings in the Forest