Good Enough: The Tolerance of Mediocrity in Nature and Society
Authors: Nordberg, D.
Journal: Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies
Why, I wondered, did Organization Studies want someone to review a book, written by a philosopher, about evolutionary biology? Why did I leap at the chance? The second was easy: Years ago, while learning about corporate governance, I found a mention of a “theory of lesser peaks”. I have lost the reference, sadly, but it is related to institutions (Meyer & Rowan, 1977) and path dependence (Bebchuk & Roe, 1999), and a remark by Amartya Sen (2006) about eschewing the pursuit of an “ideal” form of justice. It suggests that the fear and cost of descending from a lesser peak inhibits us from achieving even greater heights. For example, having achieved pretty good corporate governance, do you want to risk losing those gains for the sake, after another, even longer climb, to try a different system? Why not settle for something good enough? The clue to answering the first question is the final word in the subtitle of this charmingly accessible book. ...