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Organization theory | Wikipedia audio article

Organization theory | Wikipedia audio article


Organizational theory consists of approaches
to organizational analysis. Organizations are defined as social units
of people that are structured and managed to meet a need, or to pursue collective goals. Theories of organizations include rational
system perspective, division of labour, bureaucratic theory, and contingency theory. In a rational organization system, there are
two significant parts: Specificity of Goals and Formalization. The division of labor is the specialization
of individual labor roles, associated with increasing output and trade. Modernization theorist Frank Dobbin states
“modern institutions are transparently purposive and that we are in the midst an evolutionary
progression towards more efficient forms”. Max Weber’s conception of bureaucracy is characterized
by the presence of impersonal positions that are earned and not inherited, rule-governed
decision-making, professionalism, chain of command, defined responsibility, and bounded
authority. The contingency theory holds that an organization
must try to maximize performance by minimizing the effects of varying environmental and internal
constraints. Dwight Waldo noted in a review of field work
in 1978: “Organization theory is characterized by vogues, heterogeneity, claims and counterclaims”,
and even greater differentiation in theory and practice have developed since then. Organization theory certainly cannot be described
as an orderly progression of ideas, or a unified body of knowledge in which each development
builds carefully on and extends the one before it. Rather, developments in theory and prescriptions
for practice show disagreement about the purposes and uses of a theory of organization, the
issues to which it should address itself (such as supervisory style and organizational culture),
and the concepts and variables that should enter into such a theory.==Rise of organizations==
In 1820 about 20% of the United States population depended on a wage income. That percentage increased to 90% by 1950. Generally, by 1950, farmers and craftsmen
were the only people not dependent on working for someone else. Prior to that time, most people were able
to survive by hunting and farming their own food, making their own supplies, and remaining
almost fully self-sufficient. As transportation became more efficient and
technologies developed, self-sufficiency became an economically poor choice. As in the Lowell Textile Mills, various machines
and processes were developed for each step of the production process, thus making mass
production a cheaper and faster alternative to individual production. In addition, as the population grew and transportation
improved, the pre-organizational system struggled to support the needs of the market. These conditions made for a wage-dependent
population that sought out jobs in growing organizations, leading to a shift away from
individual and family production. In addition to a shift to wage dependence,
externalities from industrialization also created a perfect opportunity for the rise
of organizations. Various negative effects such as pollution,
workplace accidents, crowded cities, and unemployment became rising concerns. Rather than small groups such as families
and churches being able to control these problems as they had in the past, new organizations
and systems were required. These organizations were less personal, more
distant, and more centralized, but what they lacked in locality they made up for in efficiency. Along with wage dependency and externalities,
the growth of industry also played a large role in the development of organizations. Markets that were quickly growing needed workers
urgently, so a need developed for organizational structures to guide and support those new
workers. Some of the first New England factories initially
relied on the daughters of farmers; later, as the economy changed, they began to gain
workers from the former farming classes, and finally, from European immigrants. Many Europeans left their homes for the promises
of US industry, and about 60% of those immigrants stayed in the country. They became a permanent class of workers in
the economy, which allowed factories to increase production and produce more than they had
before. With this large growth came the need for organizations
and for leadership that was not previously needed in small businesses and firms. Overall, the historical and social context
in which organizations arose in the United States allowed not only for the development
of organizations, but also for their spread and growth. Wage dependency, externalities, and growth
of industries all played into the change from individual, family, and small-group production
and regulation to large organizations and structure. Although the decline in small business might
not seem to explain the way in which the development of organizations leads to increased aggregate
economic return, it exemplifies the competitive nature of capitalism. As organizations develop, they devour smaller
organizations that cannot keep up and allow for the evolution of innovative management
and production techniques, which can then be used by other larger companies. The development of organizations demands more
highly skilled workers as they continue to grow. It also builds precautionary measures on cutting-edge
technology. It increases the need for specialization and
accounts of functionalism in various organizations and their respective societies. Through much advancement in the interaction
of capitalistic bureaucracies, the development of organizations has driven contemporary firms
to thrive in modern society.==Competing theories of organization==
As people implemented organizations over time, many researchers have experimented as to which
organizational theory fits them best. The theories of organizations include bureaucracy,
rationalization (scientific management), and the division of labor. Each theory provides distinct advantages and
disadvantages when implemented.===Weber’s ideal of bureaucracy===
Weber identified the essential components of bureaucracy as follows:
Official jurisdiction on all areas is ordered by rules or laws already implemented. There is an office hierarchy; a system of
super- and sub-ordination in which higher offices supervise lower ones. The management of the modern office is based
upon written rules, which are preserved in their original form. Office management requires training and specialization. When the office is developed/established it
requires the full working capacity of individuals. Rules are stable and can be learned. Knowledge of these rules can be viewed as
expertise within the bureaucracy (these allow for the management of society).When a bureaucracy
is implemented, it can provide accountability, responsibility, control, and consistency. The hiring of employees will be an impersonal
and equal system.Although the classical perspective encourages efficiency, it is often criticized
as ignoring human needs. Also, it rarely takes into consideration human
error or the variability of work performances (since each worker is different). In the case of the Space Shuttle Challenger
disaster, NASA managers overlooked the possibility of human error. (See also: Three Mile Island accident.)===
Rational system perspective===A rational organization system has two significant
parts: specificity of goals and formalization. Goal specification provides guidelines for
specific tasks to be completed along with a regulated way for resources to be allocated. Formalization is a way to standardize organizational
behavior. As a result, there will be stable expectations,
which create the rational organizational system. Scientific Management: Frederick Winslow Taylor
analyzed how to maximize the amount of output with the least amount of input. This was Taylor’s attempt to rationalize the
individual worker by:dividing work between managers and workers
providing an incentive system (based on performance) scientifically trained workers
developing a science for each individual’s responsibilities
making sure work gets done on time/efficientlyProblems arose out of scientific management. One is that the standardization leads workers
to rebel against mundanes. Another may see workers rejecting the incentive
system because they are required to constantly work at their optimum level, an expectation
that may be unrealistic.===Division of labour===
The division of labour is the specialization of individual labour roles. It is often associated with increasing output
and trade. According to Adam Smith, the division of labor
is efficient due to three reasons: occupational specialization, savings from not changing
tasks, and machines taking the place of human labor. Occupational specialization leads to increased
productivity and distinct skill. Also, Smith argued that human and physical
capital must be similar or matched; if the skill of workers were matched with technological
improvements, there would be a major increase in productivity. Although the division of labour is often viewed
as inevitable in a capitalistic society, several specific problems may arise. They include a lack of creativity, monotony,
and lack of mobility. Creativity will naturally suffer due to the
monotonous atmosphere that the division of labour creates. Doing the same routines may not suit everyone. Also, employees aren’t familiar with other
parts of the job. They cannot assist employers of different
parts of the system.===Modernization theory===
Modernization “began when a nation’s rural population started moving from the countryside
to cities” (Shah 3). It deals with the cessation of traditional
methods in order to pursue more contemporary effective methods of organization. Urbanization is an inevitable characteristic
of society because the formation of industries and factories induces profit maximization. It is fair to assume that along with the increase
in population, as a result of the subsequent urbanization, is the demand for an intelligent
and educated labor force (Shah 3). After the 1950s, Western culture utilized
mass-media to communicate their good fortune – attributed to modernization. The coverage promoted “psychic mobility” among
the social class and increased the aspirations of many hopefuls in developing economic countries
(Shah 4). Under this theory, any country could modernize
by using Western civilization as a template. Although this theory of modernization seemed
to pride itself on only the benefits, countries in the Middle East saw this movement in a
different light. Middle Eastern countries believed that the
media coverage of modernization implied that the more “traditional” societies have not
“risen to a higher level of technological development” (Shah 6). Consequently, they believed a movement that
benefits those who have the monetary resources to modernize technological development would
discriminate against the minorities and poor masses (Shah 6). Thus, they were reluctant to modernize because
of the economic gap it would create between the rich and the poor.The growth of modernization
took place beginning in the 1950s. For the ensuing decade, people analyzed the
diffusion of technological innovations within Western society and the communication that
helped it disperse globally (“Modernization theory”). This first “wave” – as it became known – had
some significant ramifications. First, economic development was enhanced from
the spread of new technological techniques. And second, modernization supported a more
educated society (as mentioned above), and thus a more qualified labor-force (“Modernization
Theory”). The second wave took place between the years
1960 and 1970. This period was labeled anti-modernization,
because it saw the push of innovations of Western society onto developing countries
as an exertion of dominance (“modernization theory”). It refuted the concept of relying heavily
on mass media for the betterment of society. The last wave of modernization theory, which
took place in the 1990s, depicts impersonality (Perrow 737). As the use of newspapers, television, and
radio becomes more prevalent, the need for direct contact, a concept traditional organizations
took pride in, diminishes. Thus, organizational interactions become more
distant (“Modernization Theory”).According to Frank Dobbin, the modern worldview is the
idea that “modern institutions are transparently purposive and that we are in the midst an
evolutionary progression towards more efficient forms (138).” This phrase epitomizes the goal of modern
firms, bureaucracies, and organizations to maximize efficiency. The key to achieving this goal is through
scientific discoveries and innovations (Dobbin 139). Dobbin discusses the outdated role of culture
in organizations. “New Institutionalists” explored the significance
of culture in the modern organization (Dobbin 117). However, the rationalist worldview counters
the use of cultural values in organizations, stating, “transcendental economic laws exist,
that existing organizational structures must be functional under the parameters of those
laws, [and] that the environment will eliminate organizations that adopt non-efficient solutions”
(Dobbin 138). These laws govern the modern organizations
and lead them in the direction that will maximize profits efficiently. Thus, the modernity of organizations is to
generate maximum profit, through the use of mass media, technological innovations, and
social innovations in order to effectively allocate resources for the betterment of the
global economy.==Classical perspective==
The classical perspective emerges from the Industrial Revolution in the private sector
and the need for improved Public Administration in the public sector. Both efforts center on theories of efficiency. Classical works have seasoned and have been
elaborated upon in depth. There are at least two subtopics under the
classical perspective: the scientific management and bureaucracy theory.===Efficiency and teleological arguments
in Weberian bureaucracy===Max Weber believed that an ideal bureaucracy
consists of six specific characteristics: hierarchy of command, impersonality, written
rules of conduct, advancement based on achievement, specialized division of labor, and efficiency. This ultimate characteristic of Weberian bureaucracy,
which states that bureaucracies are very efficient, is controversial and by no means accepted
by all sociologists. There are certainly both positive and negative
consequences to bureaucracy, and strong arguments for both the efficiency and inefficiency of
bureaucracies. While Max Weber’s work was published in the
late 1800s and early 1900s, before his death in 1920, his work is still referenced today
in the field of sociology. Weber’s theory of bureaucracy claims that
it is extremely efficient, and even goes as far as to claim that bureaucracy is the most
efficient form of organization. Weber claimed that bureaucracies are necessary
to ensure the continued functioning of society, which has become drastically more modern and
complex in the past century. Furthermore, he claimed that without the structured
organization of bureaucracy, our complex society would be much worse off, because society would
act in an inefficient and wasteful way. He saw bureaucracies as organizations driven
towards certain goals, which they could carry out efficiently. In addition, within an organization that operates
under bureaucratic standards, the members will be better off due to the heavy regulation
and detailed structure. Not only does bureaucracy make it much more
difficult for arbitrary and unfair personal favors to be carried out, it also means that
promotions and hiring will generally be done completely by merit.Weber most definitely
saw bureaucracies as goal-driven, efficient organizations, but one must not come to the
quick and incorrect conclusion that he saw no downfalls to bureaucracy. He recognized that there are constraints within
the bureaucratic system. First of all, he realized that bureaucracies
were ruled by very few people with very large amounts of unregulated power. This tends to lead to a situation of oligarchy,
whereby a limited number of officials become the political and economic power. Furthermore, Weber considered further bureaucratization
to be an “inescapable fate”, because it is supposedly superior to and more efficient
than other forms of organization. Weber’s analysis of bureaucracies led him
to believe that they are too inherently limiting to individual human freedom and he feared
that people would begin to be too controlled by bureaucracies. His rationale comes from the knowledge that
the strict methods of administration and legitimate forms of authority associated with bureaucracy
act to eliminate human freedom. Regardless of whether or not bureaucracies
should be considered positively efficient or too efficient to the extent that they become
negative, Weberian bureaucracy tends to offer a teleological argument. A theory, in this case bureaucracy, is considered
to be teleological if it involves aiming at specific goals. Weber claimed that bureaucracies are goal-oriented
organizations, which use their efficiency and rational principles to reach their goals. A teleological analysis of businesses leads
to the inclusion of all involved stakeholders in decision-making. The teleological view of Weberian bureaucracy
postulates that all actors in an organization have various ends or goals, and attempt to
find the most efficient way to achieve these goals.===Scientific management===The scientific management theory was introduced
by Frederick Winslow Taylor to encourage production efficiency and productivity. Taylor argues that inefficiencies could be
controlled through managing production as a science. Taylor defines scientific management as “concerned
with knowing exactly what you want men to do and then see in that they do it in the
best and cheapest way.” According to Taylor, scientific management
affects both workers and employers, and stresses the control of the labour force by management.====The Principles of Scientific Management
====Taylor identifies four inherent principles
of the scientific management theory. The creation of a scientific method of measurement
that replaces the “rule-of-thumb” method Emphasis placed on the training of workers
by management Co-operation between manager and workers to
ensure the principles are being met Equal division of labour between managers
and workers===
Bureaucratic theory===The scholar most closely associated with Bureaucratic
theory is Max Weber. In Economy and Society, his seminal book published
in 1922, Weber articulates the necessary conditions and descriptive features of bureaucracy. An organization governed under Weber’s conception
of bureaucracy is characterized by the presence of impersonal positions that are earned and
not inherited, rule-governed decision-making, professionalism, chain of command, defined
responsibility, and bounded authority. Weber begins his discussion of bureaucracy
by introducing the concept of ‘jurisdictional areas’: institutions governed by a specific
set of rules or laws. In a ‘jurisdictional area’ regular activities
are assigned as official duties, the authority to assign these duties is distributed through
a set of rules, and duties are fulfilled continuously by qualified individuals. These elements make up a bureaucratic agency
in the case of the state and a bureaucratic enterprise in the private economy. There are several additional features that
comprise a Weberian bureaucracy: It is possible to find the utilization of
hierarchical subordination in all bureaucratic structures. This means that higher-level offices supervise
lower level offices. In bureaucracies, personal possessions are
kept separate from the monies of the agency or the enterprise. People who work within a bureaucracy are usually
trained in the appropriate field of specialization. Bureaucratic officials are expected to contribute
their full working capacity to the organization. Positions within a bureaucratic organization
must follow a specific set of general rules.Weber argued that in bureaucracy, taking on a position
or office signifies an assumption of a specific duty necessary for the organization. This conception is distinct from historical
working relationships in which a worker served a specific ruler, not an institution.The hierarchical
nature of bureaucracies allows employees to demonstrate achieved social status. When an office holder is elected instead of
appointed, that person is no longer a purely bureaucratic figure. He derives his power ‘from below’ instead
of ‘from above’. When a high-ranking officer selects officials,
they are more likely to be chosen for reasons related to the benefit of the superior than
the competency of the new hire. When high-skilled employees are necessary
for the bureaucracy and public opinion shapes decision-making, competent officers are more
likely to be selected.According to Weber, if ‘tenure for life’ is legally guaranteed,
an office becomes perceived as less prestigious than a position that can be replaced at any
time. If ‘tenure for life’ or a ‘right to the office’
develops, there is a decrease in career opportunities for ambitious new hires and overall technical
efficiency becomes less guaranteedIn a bureaucracy, salaries are provided to officials. The amount is determined on the basis of rank
and helps to signify the desirability of a position. Bureaucratic positions also exist as part
of stable career tracks that reward office-holders for seniority.Weber argues that the development
of a ‘money economy’ is the “normal precondition for the unchanged survival, if not the establishment,
of pure bureaucratic administrations”. Since bureaucracy requires sustained revenues
from taxation or private profits in order to be maintained, a money economy is the most
rational way to ensure its continued existence. Weber posits that officials in a bureaucracy
have a property right to their office and attempts at exploitation by a superior means
the abandonment of bureaucratic principles. He articulates that providing a status incentive
to inferior officers helps them to maintain self-respect and fully participate in hierarchical
frameworks. Michel Crozier reexamined Weber’s theory in
1964 and determined that bureaucracy is flawed because hierarchy causes officers to engage
in selfish power struggles that damage the efficiency of the organization.===Criticism of the Weber’s theory of bureaucracy
===Weber’s theories were purposed to set a stage
for other organizations to follow, and the characteristics are so ideal that they may
be impossible for any actual organization to succeed. He wanted to come up with a set of guidelines
that would favor both efficiency and, most importantly, conditions that would make the
workers top priority. It was common for earlier theorists to distort
Weber’s views, and today, people still make the same mistakes as they did when Weber’s
views first came into play. He has always been critiqued for the branches
of his ideas that don’t work in reality, but the point of his theory was not to actually
create an organization, but to create an ideal model for other organizations to follow. One big misconception that people have had
in the past is a question of Weber’s morality due to their oversimplification of his characteristics
of a pure bureaucracy. “There is dangerous risk of oversimplification
in making Weber seem cold and heartless to such a degree that an efficiently-run Nazi
death camp might appear admirable” (Bureaucracy Theory). In reality, Weber believed that by using human
logic in his system, organizations could achieve improvement of human condition in various
workplaces. Complexity in an organization yields the highest
success, therefore simplifying it leads to the illusions of over-authority and intense
hierarchical power that are inaccurate of Weber’s beliefs. Another critique of Weber’s theory is the
argument of efficiency. Highest efficiency, in theory, can be attained
through pure work with no regard for the workers (for example, long hours with little pay),
which is why oversimplification can be dangerous. If we were to take one characteristic focusing
on efficiency, it would seem like Weber is promoting unhealthy work conditions, when
in fact, he wanted the complete opposite. Taking all of the characteristics together
will produce the ideal organization, but since a pure bureaucracy is nearly impossible to
obtain, efficiency takes the back seat in his beliefs. Though his theories include characteristics
of a highly efficient organization, these characteristics are only meant to set a model
for other organizations to follow, and if all the other conditions are not perfect,
the organization is not pure. With this said, the characteristics of Weber’s
theory have to all be perfect for a bureaucracy to function at its highest potential. “Think of the concept as a bureau or desk
with drawers in it, which seems to call out to you, demanding that everything must fit
in its place” (Bureaucracy Theory). If one object in the drawer does not fit properly,
the entire drawer becomes untidy, which is exactly the case in Weber’s theory; if one
characteristic is not fulfilled the rest of them are unable to work in unison, leaving
the organization performing below its full potential. One characteristic that was meant to better
workplace conditions was his rule that “Organization follows hierarchical principle – subordinates
follow orders or superiors, but have right of appeal (in contrast to more diffuse structure
in traditional authority)” (Bureaucracy (Weber)). In other words, everyone in a company or any
sort of work environment has the opportunity and right to disagree or to speak up if they
are unhappy with something rather than not voice their opinion in fear of losing their
job. Open communication is a very important part
of Weber’s ideal bureaucracy, and is practiced today. Because of the communication it may not be
the most efficient, but Weber would argue that improved human conditions are more important
than efficiency. It is hard to critique Weber’s theories strictly
because of the fact that they are theories; they are nearly impossible to perform in real
life, and therefore difficult to verify. They are merely a set of guidelines that make
up bureaucracy, which today many believe is the best way to run organizations in all aspects.==Neoclassical perspective==
The Neoclassical perspective began with the Hawthorne studies in the 1920s. This approach gave emphasis to “affective
and socio-psychological aspects of human behavior in organizations.” The human relations movement was a movement
which had the primary concerns of concentrating on topics such as morale, leadership.===Hawthorne study===
A number of sociologists and psychologists made major contributions to the study of the
neoclassical perspective, which is also known as the human relations school of thought. Elton Mayo and his colleagues were the most
important contributors to this study because of their famous Hawthorne study from the “Hawthorne
plant of the Western Electric Company between 1927 and 1932.”The Hawthorne study suggested
that employees have social and psychological needs along with economic needs in order to
be motivated to complete their assigned tasks. This theory of management was a product of
the strong opposition against “the Scientific and universal management process theory of
Taylor and Fayol.” This theory was a response to the way employees
were treated in companies and how they were deprived of their needs and ambitions. In November 1924, a team of researcher – professors
from the renowned Harvard Business school of USA began investigating into the human
aspects of work and working conditions at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company,
Chicago. The company was producing bells and other
electric equipments for the telephone industry. Prominent Professors included in the research
team were Elton Mayo (Psychologist), Roethlisberger and Whilehead (Sociologist), and William Dickson
(Company representative). The team conducted four separate experimental
and behavioural studies over a seven-year period. These were: ‘Illumination Experiments (1924–27) to find
out the effect of illumination on worker’s productivity.’ ‘Relay Assembly Test Room experiment (1927–28)
to find out the effect of changes in number of work hour and related working condition
on worker productivity.’ ‘Experiment in interviewing Working: In 1928,
a number of researchers went directly to workers, kept the variables of previous experiment
aside, and talked about what was, in their opinion, important to them. Around 20,000 workers were interviewed over
a period of two years. The interviews enabled the researchers to
discover a rich and intriguing world that previously remained undiscovered and unexamined
within the Hawthorne studies undertaken so far. The discovery of the informal organisation
and its relationship to the formal organization was the landmark of experiments in interviewing
workers. These experiment led to a richer understanding
of the social, interpersonal dynamics of people at work.’ ‘Bank wiring Room Experiments (1931–32)
to find out social system of an organization.’===Results of the Hawthorne studies===
The Hawthorne studies helped conclude that “a human/social element operated in the workplace
and that productivity increases were as much an outgrowth of group dynamics as of managerial
demands and physical factors.” The Hawthorne studies also concluded that
although financial motives were important, social factors are just as important in defining
the worker-productivity. Hawthorne Effect was the improvement of productivity
between the employees, it was characterized by: The satisfactory interrelationships between
the coworkers It classifies personnel as social beings and
proposes that sense of belonging in the workplace is important to increase productivity levels
in the workforce. An effective management understood the way
people interacted and behaved within the group. The management attempts to improve the interpersonal
skills through motivations, leading, communication and counseling. This study encourages managers to acquire
minimal knowledge of behavioral sciences to be able to understand and improve the interactions
between employees===
Criticism of the Hawthorne study===Critics believed that Mayo gave a lot of importance
to the social side of the study rather than addressing the needs of an organization. Also, they believed that the study takes advantage
of employees because it influences their emotions by making it seem as if they are satisfied
and content, however it is merely a tool that is being used to further advance the productivity
of the organization.==Modern organizational theory==
There was a wave of scholarly attention to organizational theory in the 1950s, which
from some viewpoints held the field to still be in its infancy. A 1959 symposium held by the Foundation for
Research on Human Behavior in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was published as Modern Organization Theory. Among a group of eminent organizational theorists
active in during this decade were E. Wight Bakke, Chris Argyris, James G. March, Rensis
Likert, Jacob Marschak, Anatol Rapoport, and William Foote Whyte.===Polyphonic organizations===
The scholar most closely associated with the research about polyphonic organizations is
de:Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen\. Niels Andersen believes that modern organizations
have exploded beyond their original organizational boundaries. For many years, private companies have automatically
been understood as part of the economy in the same way that political parties are considered
a part of politics and museums are considered a part of art. Today, concepts are linked together, according
to Niels Andersen, is this called the polyphonic organizational-movement. This claim was first made back in 1963 by
Richard M. Cyert and James G. March in the book “A behavioral theory of the firm”. They said that organizations rarely operate
with only one value. According to Cyert and March, organizations
actually often operate with more values in their everyday behavior. Niels Andersen elaborates on this assertion
in many of his publications.====The theory of the polyphonic organization
====Niels Andersen’s research about polyphonic
organization arise out of his understanding of the society as functionally differentiated. The society is divided into a number of countless
communication systems (social systems) with their own values and commutative code. Niels Andersen is inspired by the German sociologist
Nicklas Nicklas Luhmann and his theory about social systems. The core element of Luhmann’s theory, pivots
around the problem of the contingency of the meaning. In other words, the system theory becomes
a theory of communication and how meaning is created within different social systems. Niels Anders uses the elements of Luhmann’s
system theory to describe the differentiation of society and connect that to the evolution
of the modern organization. According to Andersen society is functionally
differentiated into a wide range of systems with their own binary code. The binary codes set some distinctions between
a positive and negative value and divide the world in two halves. Understandings of the world are made throughout
one side of the binary code. Andersen says that an organizational system
always communicates and creates meaning through a function system (binary code). In other words, an organization can only communicate
through one side of one binary code at once. Throughout history organizations have always
used several codes in their communication, but they have always had a primary codification. Andersen calls this type of organization a
homophonic organization. The homophonic organization is no longer exercised
in today’s society. According to Andersen, today we have polyphonic
organizations. Polyphonic organizations have emerged as a
result of the way that the function systems have exploded beyond their organizational
forms. A polyphonic organization is an organization
that is connected to several function systems without a predefined primary function system
(multiple binary codifications). In other words, the polyphonic organization
is an organization that describes itself through many codes. Andersen addresses how it can be difficult
for companies to plan their communication and action because they have to mediate between
many codes at the same time. There is no longer a predicted hierarchy of
codes and therefore no connection between organizations and specific communication. This can also create management challenges
for companies because they have to take more factors into account compared to earlier. Andersen’s view on polyphonic organizations
provides a newer way to critically examine modern organization and their communication
decisions.==Environmental perspective=====
Contingency theory===The contingency theory views organization
design as “a constrained optimization problem,” meaning that an organization must try to maximize
performance by minimizing the effects of varying environmental and internal constraints. Contingency theory claims there is no best
way to organize a corporation, to lead a company, or to make decisions. An organizational, leadership, or decision
making style that is effective in some situations, may not be successful in other situations. The optimal organization, leadership, or decision
making style depends upon various internal and external constraints (factors).====Factors====
Some examples of such constraints (factors) include: The size of the organization
How the firm adapts itself to its environment Differences among resources and operations
activities=====1. Contingency on the organization=====
In the contingency theory on the organization, it states that there is no universal or one
best way to manage an organization. Secondly, the organizational design and its
subsystems must “fit” with the environment and lastly, effective organizations must not
only have a proper “fit” with the environment, but also between its subsystems.=====2. Contingency theory of leadership=====
In the contingency theory of leadership, the success of the leader is a function of various
factors in the form of subordinate, task, and/ or group variables. The following theories stress using different
styles of leadership appropriate to the needs created by different organizational situations. Some of these theories are: The contingency theory: The contingency model
theory, developed by Fred Fiedler, explains that group performance is a result of interaction
between the style of the leader and the characteristics of the environment in which the leader works. The Hersey–Blanchard situational theory:
This theory is an extension of Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid and Reddin’s 3-D Management
style theory. This model expanded the notion of relationship
and task dimensions to leadership, and readiness dimension.=====3. Contingency theory of decision-making=====
The effectiveness of a decision procedure depends upon a number of aspects of the situation: The importance of the decision quality and
acceptance. The amount of relevant information possessed
by the leader and subordinates. The amount of disagreement among subordinates
with respect to their alternatives.=====Criticism=====
It has been argued that the contingency theory implies that a leader switch is the only method
to correct any problems facing leadership styles in certain organizational structures. In addition, the contingency model itself
has been questioned in its credibility.==See also==
Organizational culture Organizational orientations
Organization theory (Castells

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