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Theoretical Perspectives

The Modernist paradigm of organization theory identifies five core elements of organizations environment, technology, organizational social structure, organizational physical structure and organizational culture. Environment is recognized to be composed of discretely identifiable players or stakeholders.

Technology is viewed as the process of converting inputs taken from environment to products and services or outputs transmitted back to environment through a transformation process occurring inside the organization. An important implication of the Modernist perspective of technology is that it determines best type of organizational structure suitable for a particular type of technology Modernists organization theory is underpinned by the biological concept of differentiation and integration to justify social structure of organizations represented by hierarchy of authority, division of labor, coordination mechanisms, centralization and, formalization which determine whether the structure would be mechanistic, organic or bureaucratic.

Organization theory: Modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives. London: Oxford University Press, p.

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The management of innovation. The external control of organizations. American Journal of Sociology. Leadership in administration.

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Powell American Sociological Review. Management and technology and Industrial organizations: Theory and practice. Thomson James Organizations in action Charles Perrow Hawthorne studies undertaken in the Western Electric plant during s and 30s laid the foundation of highlighting the role of physical structure, work conditions and layout of an organization. Modernist paradigm views organizational culture as a tool of management and a variable effecting performance. Evolution of sociological and organizational thought during Modernism The sociological paradigm of functionalism directly influenced organization theorists.

But three crucial lines of thought are to be noted. Third influence comes from industrial psychologists forming part of human relation movement Abraham Maslow and Herzberg. The classical and industrial psychology influence is by and large objectivist in nature.

Theory of Organization

Social system theory of organizations emerged from cross-pollination from the two strands of objectivism mentioned above and manifested itself from Hawthorne studies23 onwards until the development of socio-technical approach in s. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Constructivism vs Positivism - a false debate?

Bernard Here the difference was that disequilibrium induced by technical changes needed to be corrected through deterministic interventions targeting the social side of the equation. These three strands combined together form the bulk of Modernist management and organization behavior traditions which are very much alive in literature and courses taught at business schools.

The main focus of neo-Modernist theorists are how human values beliefs shapes and are in turn shaped by the organizations. Around s it was Philip Selznick and Simon who advanced the organizational view of goal orientation and defined organizational structures as the rational expression of organizing. We will come back to this view while discussing the critique on Modernist organization theory. By and large the Modernist paradigm of organization theory resonates well with the organismic analogy, determinism and requirement of managers as the supreme force to keep all parts of the system in check to achieve overall equilibrium.

It considers society and organizations as concrete realities operating like a system. This critique gave rise to blurring of sharp divide between object and subject and gave birth to constructionism and subjectivism epistemologies. This assumption is problematic because it assumes that all individuals, groups and departments have same goals as that of organizations.

The issues of interests, conflict and power are masked behind this assumption. Managerialism is a natural outcome of this unitary view because managers are considered as engineers or architects of the organizational machinery. The foundations of sociological research: Meanings and perspectives in the research process. London: Sage Publication Limited, p. Another problem embedded within the Modernist epistemology is the clash between the abstract and the concrete.

Daniel Katz

Non empirical studies which can explore the non rational and non concrete aspects of organizations are considered valid and scientific enough and are therefore ignored. This tendency promoted the development of middle range inductive theories or abstract empiricism.

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The elites of organizations acquire control because they speak a particular language learnt in business schools and are supposed to have more organizational and strategic knowledge as compared to other employees. Concluding Remarks Modernism as an epistemology is summarized as one based on realist ontology, objectivism, positivism, empiricism, reductionism, logical positivism, rationality, value neutrality and, scientism.

The key epistemological premise is the emphasis on systems which are composed of parts. Related Papers.

Organizações de simbolismo intensivo

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