“Theoretical categories are not cast in stone, they are ways to think – different categories stimulate different thoughts” (Hatch and Cunliffe 2006, p.97) How do the three perspectives (Modern, Symbolic-Interpretive and Post-modern) contribute to different ways to think about organization.
According to Hatch and Cunliffe, organization theory can be differentiated by identifying and clarifying three perspectives which are the modern, symbolic-interpretive and the post-modern. Each perspective has different approach when it comes to the structure, culture or even the technology which applies to the organizations. In this paper, I will be explaining how the three perspectives are poles apart to one another by mainly focusing on organizational structures and culture. In order to be able to distinguish the three perspectives, I will state the characteristic and contrast in further detail.
What is organization theory?
Based on my understanding, organization theory is about ideas and principles that flow within an association on how work can be done by investigating through different perspective. It is important to study organization as improvements can be carried out to make sure organizations are performing efficiently through developing the organizations structure and mission statement.
Modern, Symbolic-interpretive and Post-modern perspectives
Modernists are objectivists who focus on reality of knowledge which is build based upon the conceptualization and the theorization. There is always lucid definitions on how thing occur, often through the use of data that are collected from tools of measurement. For example, a company earns profits based on the CEO’s ability to make right decisions while investing the money. Hatch and Cunliffe stated that the data which modernists recognize are from the five senses, through what they see, heard, touch, smell and tasted (Hatch and Cunliffe, 2006, p.15). Modernism organization works according to the system implemented by the general system theory. The system can be set through deductive modes where theories are tested by using practice (Hatch and Cunliffe, 2006, p.26) It is aimed to build a set of rules that can be used in organization so that everyone will be able to follow, perform and function, ensuring the entire process in the organization works smoothly. Henri Fayol is a representative from modern organization as he developed the scientific management which is a framework on how system flows in organization. His contributions included identifying different organizational activities and established the principles of management, for example the esprit de corps and unity of command (Daniel A wren, 2006, p.215). When modernist operates a company, rules and laws is development for the members to follow.
On the other hand, symbolic-interpretivists who are subjectivist, define reality through what they experienced by having emotions and feelings towards what had happened. Ontology of symbolic-interpretive is by believing what is meaningful. It is established by creating reality which has not existed and proves it was real. Organizations aim to get an understanding from verbal and written form between human interactions. The main focus on symbolic-interpretive is the social construction of reality where assumption are made base on point of view as a community. The objective to get theory developed is through observation.
Modernist sees reality as an illusion that was created through language and discourse. The epistemology of post-modern stated that there is no exact truth and therefore no precise explanation of meaning. However, it is to believe that organizations are entities that take every possible aspect to reinforce power with their knowledge. The relationship between concepts is always changing as there is no clear definition of a word or concept can be fully verified. Basically, these theories are developed on the basis of critically analyzing the assumptions of...
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