An organization is defined as a consciously coordinated social entity that has a boundary that is relatively identifiable that functions on a relatively on-going basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals (Robbins and Barnwell 2006). An organization will be understood clearly through the use of methodology land through different aspects of an organization (i.e. structure, power, culture, technology and environment). The issues of ontology and epistemology are complex and are different when viewed from each perspective. It is important for us to understand how different the applications of the perspectives are because it is important to know how organising is practiced (Hatch & Cunliffe 2006). Ontology is about the assumptions we have about reality while Epostemology is about the knowing how you can know. In this essay, I will analyze the different perspective that people in an organization have using the different the underlying assumptions when applying the theories because each set of ontological and epistemological assumptions will exercise a different influence on the way an organization is managed (Hatch & Cunliffe 2006). I have chosen to use the modernist and critical perspective to help explain the different ideas of power and its related concepts such as authority, obedience and resistance. Modernism and critical theory look at things differently. Ontology based on a modernist’s perspective uses objectivism which believes that reality is present independently of those who live in it (Hatch & Cunliffe 2006). Epistemology from a modernist’s perspective uses positivism which assumes the discovery of truth through achieving categorization and scientific measurement of the behavior of people and systems (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2006). On the other hand, a critical theorist’s perspective on ontology states that society cannot be simply regarded as an empirical phenomenon made up of norms and regularities. An Epistemology approach from critical theory is subjectivist which challenges the dominant’s views and questions the research methods and how interpretations of the data were arrived at (Crowther & Green 2004).
Modernist Perspective on power, culture and environment
Perspectives towards power and culture differ as differences towards ontology and epistemology exists which provides unique and important ways of understanding organizations and their management. According to Max Weber, modernism is concerned about power distribution within the organisation and believes in exercising power to increase the level of efficiency and effectiveness in organisation in a rational and systematic way (Hatch and Cunliffe 2006). Power, control and conflict are interrelated and conflict can be thought of as a manifestation of the struggle between the relationship of power and control. According to Marx’s theory, modernist assumes that conflict is beneficial to an organisation as compared to cooperation and that this conflict leads to potentially continuous transformation of the society (Hatch and Cunliffe 2006). This brings about the modernist theories of control. The first being the Bureaucratic Theory of control which stamps on the idea of power being derived from a hierarchy that gives owners and mangers the right to control. The concept of bureaucratic control is dependent on the presence of a legitimatized hierarchy of authority. In this bureaucratic mechanism, employees need to adhere to the rules and regulations which describe how processes should be completed as stipulated by management (Wren & Bedeian 2009). This helps in achieving obedience among employees (Jaffee 2008). Also, bureaucracy is not likely to take place in complex environments that go through a lot of changes and has a high level of uncertainty. Another theory that is associated with modernism is contingency theory. Contingency theory can be described as the best way of designing and managing an organization depending on the...
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