The Stanford Executive Briefings – The Power of Paranoia by Kramer


Publisher : Stanford University

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Contrary to the common management belief that trust is an organizational asset, two decades of research on trust and cooperation in organizations have convinced Roderick Kramer that an appropriate amount of skepticism can in fact be beneficial in the workplace. Recent world events and dramatic business failures have underscored his argument that holding trust as your highest ideal can be dangerously naive. Dr. Kramer argues instead for a moderate form of suspicion, the state he calls “prudent paranoia.” Being prudently paranoid means you remain vigilant by gathering data relentlessly. You engage in defensive preparedness, keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. You encourage bad news to rise to the top quickly so you can take preemptive actions to avert disaster. You even treat reality as a hypothesis. Dr. Kramer shows how this level of paranoia can prove highly valuable to the distrustful organization—or individual. Roderick Kramer has written over 100 articles in leading organizational behavior and psychology journals, and is the author of “Power and Influence in Organizations.” He has taught at Oxford, Harvard, and the London Business School.


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