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Organization Theory Overview - Lesson Summary

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The key points from this module are:
An Organization is referred to as a consciously coordinated social entity that functions on a relatively continuous basis with identifiable boundaries and aims to achieve a common goal.
 
Organization Theory is the discipline that studies the structure and design of organizations.
 
Organization Design is concerned with constructing and changing an organization's structure to achieve its goals
 
Organization Structure defines:
- How task are to be allocated
- Who reports to whom
- The formal coordinating mechanisms
- Interaction patterns that will be followed
 
Components of Organizational Structure includes:
- Complexity
- Formalization
- Centralization
 
Some reasons why we study Organizational Theory include:

- To understand some theory about how each organization we interact with on regular basis operates and why their members behave the way they do.
- To replace our intuition about organizations with scientifically-based theories.
- In order to use the knowledge gained to practise organization design as a manager, administrator, or the likes.
- It may be a requirement for a particular degree or certificate one is seeking.
 
Comparing Organizational Theory and Organizational Behaviour:
Organizational Theory

- Takes on a macro perspective - Analyses the organization itself or its sub-unit.
- Focuses on the behaviour of organizations and uses a broader definition of organizational effectiveness.
- Concerned with not only the employee performance and attitude but with the overall organization's ability to achieve its goals.
- The micro-macro distinctions create some overlap.
Organizational Behaviour
- Takes a micro view - emphasizing individuals and small groups.
- Focuses on behaviour in organizations and a narrow set of employee performance (Productivity, absenteeism, job satisfaction, etc).
- Individual behaviour topics typically studied include perception, value, learning, motivation, and personality.
- Group topics include roles, status, leadership, power, communication, and conflict.
 
The two Organizational Perspectives are:


The Systems perspective - A set of interrelated and interdependent parts arranged in a manner that produces a unified whole e.g. Societies, automobiles, plants, and human bodies.
The Life-cycle perspective - To build on the biological metaphor of organizations proceeding through life-cycle stages. e.g. Like humans, all organizations are born, live, and die.

Importance of Systems Perspective:

Helps managers to see the organization as stable patterns and actions within boundaries.
It also helps them gain insights into why organizations are resistant to change.
It directs them to alternative input and processes for reaching their goals.

Importance of Life-cycle Perspective:

It helps offset the tendency to look at organizations as static entities.
It makes us aware when we describe an organization that it hasn't been the way it is, nor will it always be the same in the future.
It is valuable when considering ways to make an organization more effective.

Eras of the Organizational Theories include:

The 1900s - Traditional theories
The 1940s - Modification theories
The 1970s - Contemporary theories

The classifications of theorists who influenced the evolution of organizational theories include:
Type-1 Theorists
F. W. Taylor -- Scientific Management
 
Henry Fayol -- Principles of Organization

 

Max Weber -- Bureaucracy
 
Ralph Davis -- Rational Planning
 
Type-2 Theorists
<div "="">Maslow -- Hierarchy of Human needs

 

Douglas McGregor -- Theory-X & Theory-Y


 


Warren Bennis -- Death of Bureaucracy
 
Type-3 Theorists
<div "="">Hebert Simon -- Principle of Backlash
 
Katz and Kahn -- Environmental Perspective


 


Joan Woodward, Charles Perrow, and James Thompson -- The case for Technology

 

The Aston Group -- Organization Size
 
Type-4 Theorits -- Structure is not the rational effort by managers to create the most effective structure, but the outcome of the political struggles among coalitions within the organization for control.