Unlike modernists, Symbolic interpretivist and Postmodernists both have the same ontological and epistemological foundations. Both believe in relativist ontology and Interpretivist epistemology. Symbolic interpretivist, ontological, relativist perspective is based on subjectivity and that reality is viewed as the product of individual consciousness, creativity and construction. Although both take a relativist perspective there is the difference, as postmodern believe that organisations and their environment exist and that they are tangible with the ability to make technological changes.
The epistemology foundations for symbolic interpretivist is based on first-hand knowledge which is ‘lived’ concepts meanings and intentions through researchers’ involvement in everyday flow activities. Whereas for postmodernism their epistemological foundations are based on understanding what is going on and that matters in organisations are conducted in a way which emphasises indeterminacy.Symbolic interpretivists see organization as a community. Instead of testing and experimenting to get hard evidence like modernist, shared interest and understanding through interview and questionnaire are more likely to be the focus of symbolic interpretivist by emphasising on interpretation of interacts.Post-modernist does not accept the fact that organisation has structure because they do not think that there is a boundary.
De-constructing approaches are mainly used by postmodernist. Modernist have actual system and method that are recognised by people within an organisation and there are restrict on surpassing hierarchy level but post modernism provides recourses and technology for people to set up their own ideological methods to accomplish their goal as they believe in self-determination. Members of post modernism organisation have their own mind-set on what need to be done instead of having a standard process among the members. Modernism physical structure is from Hawthorne studies where theorists analyse organisation productivity through the layout, lighting and sound from the environment.