What Is Unitary Theory

Topics: Organization, Management, Trade union Pages: 3 (736 words) Published: November 1, 2008
The notion that there is one common goal shared by all, and perhaps one way of seeing things, one source of leadership, and one way of understanding what the organization exists to do. The organization is like a traditional patriarchal family, or like a football team. The British sociologist Alan Fox has pointed out that many managers are inclined to subscribe to a unitary view about what organizations are all about, perhaps because they believe organizations should be this way. Perhaps many managers would like everyone in the organization to accept one common goal or set of goals, and to subscribe to one set of values and ideas about what the organization should do—the goals, values and ideas promoted by top management. Source: Organizational Behaviour and Leadership, module 1. Citations: Alan Fox, “Management’s Frame of Reference”, Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations, “Industrial Sociology and Industrial Relations,” Research Paper 3 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Officer, 1966), pp. 2-14.

Unitary Perspectives and Management
To talk of a unitary frame of reference is to refer to a way of thinking: a mind-set of assumptions, attitudes, values and practices relating to management and organisational membership. A core assumption of many (unitary) managerial approaches is that management and staff, indeed all members of the organisation, share the same objectives, interests and purposes. Thus we naturally and "should" work together, hand-in-hand, as one - striving towards shared, mutual goals.

In a organisation that "culturally" and through the language used to influence and bind people together as a family, community or unit we assume:

1. acceptance and co-operative attitudes and values
2. those who disagree are outsiders, unreasonable and recalcitrant. 3. in our language we use key words and phases - signs and signifiers - that emphasise " working together here as a team. We all want the business to achieve its...
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