Organization Theory

Topics: Organizational culture, Organizational studies, Organization Pages: 9 (2530 words) Published: February 19, 2010
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. (Developing an enabling organisational culture, changing organisational culture.). (See Apendix A for some applications of organizational Theory). There are three major perspectives-modernism, symbolic interpretive, and postmodernism to look at organisation which provide broad frameworks to guide our thinking and research. In this essay paper, an effort has been made in discussing how the three perspectives assist us in achieving more comprehensive understanding of complex organisation phenomena- culture within organisation.Organization culture has been defined very differently in the literature. All definition agrees that organizational culture has something to do with the people in the organization, their relations with each other and their thoughts. Some academics stress the uniqueness of each organization’s culture. Organizational culture is a popular but also a very complex concept that has been identified as an influential factor affecting the successes and failures of organizations. Culture is a very versatile concept, and there are many controversies in both defining and applying it. Therefore, this paper reviews different perspection of organizational culture. (Hatch 2006).

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, quantitative data. 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). The theories and thought of modernist period of management are set against a background of great economic, political and technological change. For example, there was a great political upheaval caused by the first and second world wars and the great depression of 1929 where national governments were trying to isolate themselves from any fluctuations and effect from international trade. Interestingly enough, managers of business took a similar attitude by trying to isolate their business to outside forces. They treated their businesses as a closed system of operation. This meant external forces operating outside the business such as competitive forces or government changes did not influence the owner’s decision regard to the business. (Nixon 2003). In business context, modernist has supported the rationalization of organizational practices, as reflected in management research since the writings of early pioneers such as Max Weber and Frederick Taylor. (Miller 2009).The focus of modernist is always for effectiveness and effeciency.The rational modern mind is trained for ‘progress’, both scientifically and productively. (Mills, Terry, Boylstein, Craig & Lorean, S 2001).Modernist tend to deal with results or organized states rather than complex social processes.(Chia 1995).

Modernists assume that behavior of individual at work is significantly determined by values, or attitudes, or beliefs, that they hold, and that they can share it with others. Thus behavior of the workforce can therefore be changed to managerial ends by changing their underpinning shared attitudes. (Cooke 1999). Schein describes organization culture as “a pattern of basic assumptions” while Lorsch writes that it is “the shared beliefs top managers in a company have about how they should manage”. Schein (1984) has graded the things that make up culture from the invisible...
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