Organizational Theory Essay

Today with the advance of technology, organisations changes rapidly and work differently, adopting different ideas and implementing different strategy to their organisation. They gather different perspective that produces different knowledge from a wide variety field of studies and this perspective is able to associate with their own concepts and theories that could effectively design and manage organisations. These perspectives include modern, symbolic-interpretive, postmodern and critical thinking.

The focus will be on two perspectives, modern and postmodern that will be discussed later below. Modernist organisation In a modernist perspective, organisation is being distinguished as bounded and definable entity that thinks standardization is crucial in order to achieve the objective. According to Hatch and Cunliffe (2006), the implementation of modernist perspective has to be unbiased towards what is consider as knowledge into what is perceive as data collected by the five senses such as eyes, nose, tongue, ears or skin.

Their goal is to achieve the facts that rule the organisation as they believe that by identifying the facts, they are capable to capture the plan and achieve the goal of an organisation, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness. Power, control and conflict Modernist perspective view power as a unity of science and see it as an asset that is held by a particular group or individual. They believe that with authority comes power and in order to gain authority and power is to implement a structure strategy in an organisation.

Hence, the strategy that is based on hierarchy through the management such as the level of management is established. For example employee is the most basic, manager is the level above employee, and CEO is the level above manager (Hatch and Cunliffe 2006). Additionally, in order to maintain authority and power, modernist believe in adopting strategy such as time motion studies and deskilling is able to create efficiency and effectiveness in output, productivity and gaining profit.

For example, the implementation of time motion studies is to establish the observation on employee productiveness through simple task given based on the number of production and delivery time to evaluate incentive schemes (McAuley, Duberley & Johnson 2007). When power is adopted by the organisation, there are bound to be control and it acts as a mechanism to guide the activity in an organisation (Hatch and Cunliffe 2006). As a result, modernists examine the theories on control, how it can guide organisation in controlling situations. The touched of two theories, bureaucratic theories and clan control theories will be further elaborate below.

Bureaucratic control is a form of control that uses rules, regulation and formalized procedures to guide employee performances. For example, employees may not be allowed to use jargons when writing a report that is required for submission. Secondly, clan control theory is about employees in the organisation sharing the same values, expectation, norms, and goals that establish the way employees behave. For example, Chinese tend to leave after work, however from a Japanese culture, they tend to work over time and therefore might think why are they allowed leaving early (Murphy & Willmott 2010).

The modernist also believes that with the full use of power and control, they will be able to manage conflict well. This is based on a top-down approach where by the superiors will manage conflicts and scheduling of work for employees. Organisational Structure and Physical Structure The modernist view of organisational structure creates an impact on influencing organisation efficiencies whereby it has to be constant throughout the years and be perceived as fixed entities. This fixed entities should be for the best interest of the organisation and works towards rganisational goals. For example from the perspective of an organisation structure design, if the design is structured in a desired way that contributes the most to organisational effectiveness, then they believe that this design will be efficient for the next three years. Below are two examples of the ideal type of organizational structure by Burns and Stalker in the modernist perspective: Mechanistic ideal type is a structure whereby the task is being distributed among specialist roles within a clear defined hierarchy (Sine, Mitsuhashi, Kirsch 2006).

Organic ideal type is more dynamic, as it does not focus on specialisms and the precise definition of duties and power attached to each functional role as it emphasizes more on role flexibility (Sine, Mitsuhashi, Kirsch 2006). The view of modernist on organisation physical structure believes that the designs and layout such as lighting, music is able to affect individual performance and that social influences has great impact on influencing the performance of individuals. For example ambience in the company, and how nice is the supervisor or colleague.

Organisational Culture Organisational culture is a set of values, standards and shared perspective that are shared by employees of an organisation. From a modernist perspective, they believe that organizational culture exists, and it creates influences on the conduct of how employees within organisations interact and cooperate to reach organizational goal. On top of it, they believe that organisational culture is able to affect organisational effectiveness in both positive and negative way that brings about changes.

Lets take Zoo for an example the cultural zoo practices Naxi dances and are performing for tourist in Yunnan and china. The dance and practices are alike in the past but the performance serve a different purpose. The dances are now for the sake of tourism, as to make money and establish a livelihood by putting culture on display, which had a different meaning of the dance. Post-Modernist Perspective Postmodernist perspective challenges the modernist perspective.

It is being described as chain of breaks and continuities between modern and contemporary condition because the word post, comes after modern. Which means, it comes after bureaucracy, hierarchy and the industrial era (Wellmer 1985, cited in Hassard & Pym 1990, p. 110). The postmodernist thinks that what it means by the modernist knowledge is jus a kind of story, a text or a dialogue that associate together as an image that seem pleasing or useful to particular culture or some powerful members in the culture.

The postmodernist produce a healthy skepticism in the direction of any dominant theory by contributing new theory to oppose the theory of modernist and increasing the attention on the view of organisations with the way they write and speak about organisations (Hancock & Tyler 2001). Power, Control, Conflict In post modernist perspective, power means social phenomenon that shapes our senses of who we are and how we relate to other in an organisation or society, they believe in the freedom of individuals and that power is everywhere within an individual. According to Foucault (1991) cited in Rabinow (1991, p. 110) power is everywhere.

Post-modernist belief that there is no authority in power and that power doesn’t need to have authorization, therefore the implementation of hierarchy system is being in denial by the post modernist and that the level of management should be taken away because power derived from individual and not by the highest level of management. Post-modernist view of control is based on de-differentiation and de-centralization that reduce the gap between mangers and employees. Their approach towards control is based on surveillance and self-surveillance whereby organisations rely on mechanisms to control organisation members.

For instance using video surveillance to monitor employee’s movement and their working attitude will enable employees to be self-disciplined. The approach towards conflict is undetermined as individuals are responsible for their own action and therefore, they are responsible to resolve the conflict on their own basis unlike the modernist. Organisational Structure and Physical Structure The post-modernist oppose the concept of modernist organisational structure, instead of concentrating on bureaucracy that based on hierarchical structure with rules, standard procedures.

Post modernist adopted empowerment as they decentralize power and introduce self-managed teamwork that leads to more flexible structures instead of rigid hierarchies. Their belief is that structure acts as a tool to enhance authority over employees (Hawes 2004). The postmodernists have their own perspective on how physical structure of an organisation should be like. They believe that the physical structure of an organisation should be used to demonstrate authority over employees. For example, a superior’s room from a postmodernist organisation may have an executive suit attached to the room.

This symbolizes an authoritarianism effect to the impression of employees. In addition, the postmodernist would like their layout to be decentralized, as compared to the centralized layout of a modernist organisation. Organization culture The postmodernists do not believe in the existence of organisational culture. The view of organisational culture is ‘illusion’ because they do not think that shared beliefs or culture benefits the organisation, as the discovery of culture comes from the fractional and mutually dependent knowledge of individual entrapped in the process and produced out of the organisation work (Tierney 2008).

For example, Google do not provide a standard way of doing things as they change rapidly according to its environmental changes to get the best result. Conclusion Organisation has been changing rapidly over the years. Hence, the idea of organisation strategy allow us to further understand the concept of different perspective mentioned above that conclude the perspective applied by modernist and postmodernist. It provides an understanding on how each perspective sees orgnisation and how the management in an organisation is contracted base on their approach.


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