Understanding Organisations

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EDUC8884: ORGANISATION THEORY IN EDUCATION
Assignment 1- UNDERSTANDING ORGANISATIONS (LITERATURE REVIEW)

INTRODUCTION
Organisations, which have been developed over decades, embrace dynamic and complex elements and structures. Working in organisations requires leaders, managers and staff members to pay attention to these features in order to understand the organizational life and the way it works.
In this paper, a review of the literature related to understanding organisations will be presented while the concepts of, and interrelationships between, organizational culture and change are going to be explored and examined. Then two common themes growing from the literature will be critiqued, and finally I will draw on my insights from the literature to critique a current change initiative in my organization and reflect on the implication for future practice.

UNDERSTANDING ORGANISATIONS
Organisations are entities involving a diversity of workforce, cultures, roles, structures with dynamics and complexities within themselves and can be influenced by different factors. Hence, to have some insights into understanding organisations requires a critical scrutiny of that diversity. Bolman and Deal (2008) recommend four frames for making sense of organisations, namely a structural frame, a human resource frame, a political frame, and a symbolic frame. A frame is deciphered as a mental model, which engages a group of assumptions and ideas (Bolman & Deal, 2008). The structural frame covers rules, roles, goals, policies, technology and environment while the human resource frame centers on needs, skills and relationships between the organisation and its workforce. The political frame is concerned with power, coalitions of individuals and interest groups embraced by micro-politics in organisation, and the symbolic frame is known as a cultural element of the organisation (Bolman & Deal, 2008). The researchers further point out that thinking about these frames



References: Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding organisational culture. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Argyris, C. (1993). Knowledge for action: a guide to overcoming barriers to organizational change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. A. (1999). Management: building competitive advantage (4th ed.). Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill. Bolman, L Bush, T. & Middlewood, D. (2003). Leading and managing people in education. London: Paul Chapman. Busher, H. (2006). Understanding educational leadership: people, power and culture. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Cameron, E Carnall, C. (1995). Managing change in organizations (2nd ed.). London: Prentice Hall. Cunliffe, A Denison, D. R. (1990). Corporate and organizational effectiveness. New York: Wiley. Dimmock, C Fullan, M. (1993). Change forces: probing the depths of educational reform. London: Falmer. Fullan, M Fullan, M. (2003). Change forces – with a vengeance. London: Routledge Falmer. Greenfield, T Handy, C. (1993). Understanding organizations (4th ed.). London: Clays Ltd and St Ives plc. Hargreaves, A Hargreaves, A. & Fink, D. (2006). Sustainable leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Levin, B Lieberman, A. (2001). The professional lives of change agents: what they do and what they know. In F. O. Rust & H. Freidus (Eds.). Guiding school change. (pp.155-162). New York: Teachers College Press. McLeod, L Miller, S. J., Hickson, D. J., & Wilson, A. C. (1999). Decision-making in organizations. In S. R. Clegg, C. Hardy, & W. R. Nord (Eds). Managing organizations. (pp. 43-62). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Mills, J. H., Dye, K., & Mills, A. J. (2009). Understanding organizational change. London: Routledge. Moran, M Ogbor, J. O. (2001). Critical theory and the hegemony of corporate culture. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14 (6), 590 – 608. Peterson, K. D. & Deal, T. E. (1998). How leaders influence the culture of schools. Educational leadership, September, 28 – 30. Piggot-Irvine, E Prosser, J. (Ed.). (1999). School Culture. London: Paul Chapman. Rowling, J Rust, F. O., & Freidus, H. (Eds.) (2001). Guiding school change. New York. Teachers College Press. Sergiovanni, T Schein, E. H. (2004). Organisational culture and leadership (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schein, E Scott, G. (1999). Change matters: making a difference in education and training. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Stoll, L Williams, J. (2002). Professional leadership in schools. London: Kogan Page Limited. Yukl, G

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