Moderism and Postmodernism Versus

Topics: Postmodernism, Modernism, Existentialism Pages: 7 (2141 words) Published: April 6, 2011
Organisation is a dynamic and important field of studies as it holds an entire structure of a company. With a well structured organisation, this will help align employees’ interest to work towards company’s goals. An organisation will also save the company time and resources as work can be delegated among the departments based on specialisation which will allow unnecessary movements to be eliminated. Without an organisation, there will be disorder in a workplace which will eventually lead to the fall of a company. There are four different theory perspectives of organisation which are modern, symbolic-interpretative, post-modern and critical theory and each theory has a different understanding of power, control and resistance.` In this essay, I will be looking at two different theoretical perspectives, modern and post-modern and discuss how each perspective’s differs based on their ontology and epistemology. Next, I will analyse and look into their understanding of power, control and resistance in organisations and lastly, I will end this essay with a conclusion on their overall views in organisations.

Power, Control & Resistance
Before I begin my analysis of the two different perspectives, I would first like to define what is power, control and resistance. Power plays a huge part in an organisation as it has the capacity to bring about change and influence individuals. It also holds the role of having control over people and resources such as information, decision making and politics which would affect an organisation. (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2006) Both power and control plays an indispensable role as it directs people to reach organisation goals with efficiency and effectiveness. With power and control, resistance in an organisation is unavoidable as it is a part of the organisation structure. Criticisms and conflicts are also bound to exist as there might be different goals of the organisation and each individuals, hence, employees might resist structural constraints which will lead to more tension and politics. (Jaffee, 2008)

Modernist & Post Modernist on Ontology & Epistemology
Before being able to do a comparison between the both theories, it is essential to first understand the assumptions of each perspective and I would begin by comparing their ontology and epistemology. In terms of ontology, modernist take an objectivist stand that that reality is objective and independent of those that live in it. In other words, it can also be considered as an interpretative approach as they define and perceive what is “real” based on their own assumptions and beliefs through senses experiences from an organisation life as they believe that what they see or hear is the fact. (Burell & Morgan, 1979) Whereas, the post modernist argues against the modernist’s perception as they define what is “real” by facts. They also believe that each individual has different experience and there are no accurate facts in this world. In other words, they also form a kind of anti-ontology. (Hammerstedt & Loughin, 2009) In terms of epistemology, modernist believes that they can gain knowledge of organisations from scientific experiments, of which, data is pitted against external reality to test their accuracy. They believe that this method can be used as a basis to provide factual explanations on how an organisation functions. (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2006) On the other hand, post modernist strongly rejects the modernist’s notions as they believe that knowledge derived from scientific methods cannot be defined as the truth as there are no facts but only interpretations from one’s own judgement and the post modernists would not relate words and concepts to reality. (Rosenau, 2002)

Modernist’s Perspectives
From a modernist’s perspective, they take on a stand that an organisation is a formal structure and strongly believe in efficiency and effectiveness to reach organisation goals which resulted in a mindset that is extremely profit...
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