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Marshall Dimock’s deflective organizational theory

James A. Stever (Department of Political Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 December 1997


Marshall Dimock offers students of organizational theory a potpourri of concepts, approaches and arguments. His career began in the founding era of American public administration during President Roosevelt’s new deal administration. He initially supported the administrative state, but became disillusioned with problems inherent in large bureaucratic organizations. Dimock eventually embraced pre‐modern approaches to organization that relied upon strong leadership and personal ethics. He was particularly opposed to behavioural approaches to organization because they relied on management techniques rather than individual integrity. With the pre‐modern approach, Dimock swam against the current of modern organizational theory which depicted modern organization as an inherently powerful, superior institutional form. His latter works argued that organizations must conform to nature and that they wither if they do not take the natural qualities of people into account.



Stever, J.A. (1997), "Marshall Dimock’s deflective organizational theory", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 317-327.




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