A touchstone for understanding how we behave on the job
"This is a stimulating and provocative book in bringing together important ideas from different fields, and, thereby, giving us a whole new slant on 'human nature.'" --Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and Senior Lecturer, MIT
In this astonishing, provocative, and solidly researched book, two Harvard Business School professors synthesize 200 years of thought along with the latest research drawn from the biological and social sciences to propose a new theory, a unified synthesis of human nature. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria have studied the way people behave in that most fascinating arena of human behavior-the workplace-and from their work they produce a book that examines the four separate and distinct emotive drives that guide human behavior and influence the choices people make: the drives to acquire, bond, learn, and defend. They ultimately show that, just as advances in information technology have spurred the New Economy in the last quarter of the twentieth century, current advances in biology will be the key to understanding humans and organizations in the new millennium.
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"Darwin with an MBA. In this seminal work, Lawrence and Nohria combine their world-leading knowledge of organizational behavior with a deep understanding of our evolved human nature. Both managers and theorists will learn from this wide-ranging opus sure to change the way we view the bipedal ape in the corner office."
-- Terry Burnham, coauthor, Mean Genes
"This book provides a fundamental, controversial, and wonderful explanation of human nature. It provokes you to think more deeply and broadly about what drives people and their institutions."
-- Andrew H. Van de Ven, president, Academy of Management, and professor, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
"A stunning, pathbreaking view of the natural biological impulses underlying human behavior and guiding organizational systems. A succinct, pungent case for the coevolution of biology and culture in forming human nature. Tom Peters, move over."
-- William C. Frederick, author, Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation
What universal characteristics make us human? Are there biological drives that motivate us as human beings? Why do we choose to do what we do?
At last we have the answers to these and other timeless questions about human nature.
In this groundbreaking book, Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria, two Harvard-based researchers, take a multidisciplinary approach that bridges the gap between the latest findings from evolutionary biology and insights about human behavior derived from social science. Driven compellingly sets forth the authors' scientific theory for understanding human nature and behavior.
Lawrence and Nohria conclude that the way we act is a result of the conscious choices we make. These deliberate choices are fueled by the internal battle constantly raging among our four innate, subconscious, brain-based drives:
The drive to acquire objects and experiences that improve our status relative to others
The drive to bond with others in long-term relationships of mutual care and commitment
The drive to learn and make sense of the world and of ourselves
The drive to defend ourselves, our loved ones, our beliefs, and our resources from harm.
Driven offers a workable model to help make sense of the human experience-- at the dinner table, the card table and the conference table-- and reveals the common heritage of humans, no matter how diverse our cultural or social backgrounds.
The authors-- knowing that humans will always be contentious and never reach the idealized goal of total balance and agreement-- urge us to attend to the well-being of our souls. If we attempt to balance our four drives, we can find the way forward to the next stage of our evolution as human beings.
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