Organisation Theory

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| |Modernism |Postmodernism |Symbolic Interpretive |Critical Theory | |Focus of Organisation |Finding universal laws, methods and techniques |Deconstructing organisational texts; |Describing how people give meaning and order to|Developing the intellectual ‘tools’ to ‘unmask’| |Theory |of organisation and control, favours rational |destabilising managerial ideologies and |their experience within specific contexts, |the truth | | |structures, rules, standardised procedures and |modernist modes of organising and theorising; |through interpretive and symbolic acts, forms | | | |routine practices |revealing marginalised and oppressed |and processes | | | | |viewpoints; encouraging reflexive and inclusive| | | | | |forms of theorising and organising | | | |Ontology (Assumptions |Objectivism – belief in an objective, external |Postmodernism – belief that the world appears |Subjectivism – belief that we cannot know an |Objectivism – belief in an objective, external | |of reality, what is |reality whose existence is independent of our |through language and is situated in discourse; |external or objective existence apart from our |reality whose existence is independent of our | |‘real’?) |knowledge of it |what is spoken of exists, therefore everything |subjective awareness of it; that which exists |knowledge of it; it is driven by natural laws | | | |that exists is a text to be read or performed |is that which we agree exists | | | | |(Dialogue) | | | |Epistemology (How do we|Positivism – we discover Truth through valid |Postmodernism – knowledge cannot be an accurate|Interpretivism – all knowledge is relative to |Subjectivism - ‘knowing’ the ‘truth’ is | |gain knowledge on the |conceptualisation/ theorisation and reliable |account of Truth because meanings cannot be |the knower and can only be understood from the |‘tainted’ by dominant ideology and values of | |‘real’ nature of |measurement that allows us to test knowledge |fixed; there is no independent reality; there |point of view of the individuals who are |the those seeking ‘truth’ | |reality?) |against an objective world; knowledge |are no facts, only interpretations; knowledge |directly involved; interpretations of the |‘Nature cannot be seen as it ‘really is’ or | | |accumulates, allowing humans to progress and |is a power play – Knowledge = Power |objects of knowledge thereby constructed and |‘really works’ except through a value window’ | | |evolve | |therefore shifts and changes through time |(Guba, 1990: 24). | |Theoretical (Set of |Goal: To discover the ‘truths’ that govern...
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