U10A1 Project – Organization Theory Project

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u10a1 Project – Organization Theory Project
Modernism and Symbolic Interpretation Perspectives of Facilities Management

OM8010 – Principles of Organization Theory and Practice.

Capella University


Elizabeth G. Wilkerson

13230 Helotes Circle

Helotes, TX 78023



Instructor: Betty Martin-Lewis, PhD

Modernism and Symbolic Interpretation Perspectives of Facilities Management


Modernism and symbolic interpretations are the two perspectives which organizational theories are based. Comparison and contrast elements of these two perspectives will be discussed as they relate to which organizational theory is applied in the management of Facilities Management, Logistics Division, United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Texas (DOA, 2010). The areas that will be compared and contrasts are environment, technologies, cultures, physical structures, decision-making, power, conflict, control, and change within organizations.

Facilities Management is responsible for the physical maintenance and operations of the health care facility which consists of a hospital, several free standing clinic buildings, blood laboratory, research facilities, veterinary clinic, food service facilities, warehouses, communications networks systems, utility power plant, multiple acres of grounds (parking lots, parking garage, roadways, security perimeter fences, and helipad), and security operations (DOA, 2010). Facilities management is part of a multidivisional form, which consists of functional, and matrix organizational designs commonly utilized in government agencies (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2006, p. 299).

OT consists of is theories about organizations of human elements whether in the family life, business enterprise religious communities, ethnic cultures, or absolute fields of science and the arts. As OT has evolved from the classical concepts of management, the three dominate perspectives, modernism, symbolic interpretation, and postmodernism, jockey for the dominate position and acceptance (Capella, 2010).

As noted by Hatch & Cunliffe (2006), “Organization theory has helped me time and again to analyze complicated situations in the organizations with which I have worked, and to discover or invent effective and creative means for dealing with them” (p. 3). According to Answers (2010),

As Jeffrey Pfeffer summarized in New Directions for Organization Theory, organizational theory studies provide "an interdisciplinary focus on a) the effect of social organizations on the behavior and attitudes of individuals within them, b) the effects of individual characteristics and action on organization, …c) the performance, success, and survival of organizations, d) the mutual effects of environments, including resource and task, political, and cultural environments on organizations and vice versa, and e) concerns with both the epistemology and methodology that undergird research on each of these topics."

Within the theorists community a major theme dominates all perspectives, and that is of design. As noted by Thompson (1997), organizations are viewed as open systems and are part of a larger environment (super system) (Ensign, 19998). Within the federal government, modernism and symbolic interpretation constantly interacting with each other along with interjections of postmodernism tracts that periodically surfacing to counter balance continuously changing environments that are affected by social, economic, and political.

Modern organization theory is rooted in concepts developed during the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s and early 1900s (Answers, 2010). Modernism perspective is the first perspective and its influence on the evolution of other perspectives is apparent. As noted by Hatch & Cunliffe, (2006),...
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