The process approach to multi-level organizational behavior is based on the assumption that multi-level organizational behavior is processual in nature. This article…
The process approach to multi-level organizational behavior is based on the assumption that multi-level organizational behavior is processual in nature. This article defines group and organizational processes and their representation as process frameworks. Both functional and inclusional classes of levels exist, each of which has at least five categories of levels. All ten categories are special cases of process frameworks. This article provides examples of each category level, which it uses to illustrate new models of organizational work, extended models of interdependence, a new typology of theories based on their levels of processes, and a new tool for survey research called knobby analyses. After explaining the basic idea of knobby analysis, the article briefly describes the processual theory of the organizational hologram, the use of linear programming, and causal-chain analysis to provide multi-level explanations of employee opinion data. These ideas are embodied in conducting a strategic organizational diagnosis, which is the first stage of organizational design. Organizational design encompasses multiple stages, each of which itself involves multiple, multi-level phenomena and analyses. The basic point is that the processual nature of multi-level organizational phenomena gives more hope for improvements in theory building and their application if one uses the process approach rather than a variable approach.
The premise for this volume is that there is “a need to develop a Handbook that takes scholars and practitioners through the paradigm change going on in the field of…
The premise for this volume is that there is “a need to develop a Handbook that takes scholars and practitioners through the paradigm change going on in the field of management and organizational inquiry.” In their invitation to contributors, the editors suggested we should comment on this transition and inform readers of theoretical and philosophical changes that have occurred in recent times. In this chapter, we attempt to do this by revisiting the influential concept of paradigm from the philosophy of science (Kuhn, 1962, 1970) and explore its relation to recent contributions to postmodern social theory in organizational analysis. In particular, the influential paradigm model of Burrell and Morgan (1979) is revisited through meta-theoretical analysis of the major intellectual movement to emerge in organization theory in recent decades, post-structuralism and more broadly postmodernism. Proposing a retrospective paradigm for this movement we suggest that its research can be characterized as ontologically relativist, epistemologically relationist, and methodologically reflexive; this also represents research that can be termed deconstructionist in its view of human nature. Consequently we demonstrate not only that organizational knowledge stands on meta-theoretical grounds, but also how recent intellectual developments rest on a qualitatively different set of meta-theoretical assumptions than established traditions of agency and structure.
Scanning both the academic and popular business literature of the last 40 years puzzles the alert reader. The variety of prescriptions of how to be successful (effective, performing, etc.) 1 Organizational performance, organizational success and organizational effectiveness will be used interchangeably throughout this paper.1 in business is hardly comprehensible: “Being close to the customer,” Total Quality Management, corporate social responsibility, shareholder value maximization, efficient consumer response, management reward systems or employee involvement programs are but a few of the slogans introduced as means to increase organizational effectiveness. Management scholars have made little effort to integrate the various performance-enhancing strategies or to assess them in an orderly manner.
This study classifies organizational strategies by the importance each strategy attaches to different constituencies in the firm’s environment. A number of researchers divide an organization’s environment into various constituency groups and argue that these groups constitute – as providers and recipients of resources – the basis for organizational survival and well-being. Some theoretical schools argue for the foremost importance of responsiveness to certain constituencies while stakeholder theory calls for a – situation-contingent – balance in these responsiveness levels. Given that maximum responsiveness levels to different groups may be limited by an organization’s resource endowment or even counterbalanced, the need exists for a concurrent assessment of these competing claims by jointly evaluating the effect of the respective behaviors towards constituencies on performance. Thus, this study investigates the competing merits of implementing alternative business philosophies (e.g. balanced versus focused responsiveness to constituencies). Such a concurrent assessment provides a “critical test” of multiple, opposing theories rather than testing the merits of one theory (Carlsmith, Ellsworth & Aronson, 1976).
In the high tolerance level applied for this study (be among the top 80% of the industry) only a handful of organizations managed to sustain such a balanced strategy over the whole observation period. Continuously monitoring stakeholder demands and crafting suitable responsiveness strategies must therefore be a focus of successful business strategies. While such behavior may not be a sufficient explanation for organizational success, it certainly is a necessary one.
This article takes stock of interdisciplinary research on Multinational Corporations (MNCs) by elucidating paradigmatic shifts in the world of MNCs in the new millennium…
This article takes stock of interdisciplinary research on Multinational Corporations (MNCs) by elucidating paradigmatic shifts in the world of MNCs in the new millennium and analysing more recent developments in the disciplines of International Business (IB) and Organization Theory (OT). The article also introduces the altogether 14 individual contributions of this 49th volume of the Research in the Sociology of Organizations series. It closes by looking into the questions of where interdisciplinary OT/IB research on MNCs is now and where it is likely to go in the future.
It is doubtful whether Max Weber would have been appreciative of his current status as the father of organisation theory. Weber did not develop the concept of bureaucracy…
It is doubtful whether Max Weber would have been appreciative of his current status as the father of organisation theory. Weber did not develop the concept of bureaucracy as part of a quest to advance a science of organisations, or in order to do a microanalysis of the internal structure of particular organisational units. The concept of bureaucracy was an ideal-typical concept developed as a point of departure for comparisons across historical periods and geographic settings. Weber’s research was motivated by macroscopic and historical questions such as ‘why did capitalism develop in the West’ and, ‘how do persons in the West and other civilizations attach meaning to their activities?’ Unlike consultants and organisation theorists that make use of him today, it was not a major concern for Weber to develop criteria for the most efficient kinds of organisations. Rather, his concern was to identify variations in administrative and bureaucratic cultures and patterns by the means of the bureaucratic ideal type. It is maintained in modern textbooks in organisation theory that there has been a development from a closed and rationalistic paradigm towards an understanding of organisations as open and natural systems, and Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy is taken as a point of departure for this kind of narrative. This classification of Weber as an example of a rational and closed approach is highly questionable. The cross-societal and historical approach used so effectively by Weber, is put on a sidetrack in such mainstream narratives. It would be more in the spirit of Weber to focus on organising as an activity, bureaucracy as an ethos and to study organisations within their particular political and cultural contexts.
In recent years, organization scholars have engaged in several conversations about the process of theory development, and offered many proposals for building new theories…
In recent years, organization scholars have engaged in several conversations about the process of theory development, and offered many proposals for building new theories of organization. The purpose of this paper is to highlight a fundamental, fruitful and often neglected method for developing new theories of organization.
This paper draws on Peirce's typology of reasoning: deduction, induction and abduction. This typology helps in analyzing and categorizing the extant proposals for developing new theories of organization, and also makes it visible what approach has been most often missing.
This paper shows that the offered proposals can be categorized into the following two models: (1) armchair theorizing; (2) present capturing. This categorization also highlights a third model – change sensitizing – that is based on shifting organization theories by sensitizing ourselves to macro shifts of organizational reality.
Although the change sensitizing model is an unusual, marginal practice in today's organization research, it has historically been used to develop many of the renowned theories in social sciences. If taken as a serious agenda, it has the potential to generate a host of new, valuable theories of organization.
This paper aims to show how organisation theory can be used to understand the controversy between the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives. Rationalistic and open…
This paper aims to show how organisation theory can be used to understand the controversy between the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives. Rationalistic and open system theories may enhance research on corporate governance by offering well-defined concepts and by specifying core relationships.
This paper applies descriptions of the two perspectives in organisation theory as a “method” for illustrating how they are linked to and support the shareholder versus the stakeholder perspectives.
The controversy stems from the fact that the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives address different relationships. The shareholder perspective captures two relationships that accord with rationalistic organisation theory: shareholders are managing the managers and the organisation, and managers are managing the corporation on behalf of the owners. The stakeholder perspective focuses on three relationships that are not concordant with system theory: managers are managing the shareholders (i.e. the symbolic management of stockholders), managers are managing the corporation (i.e. general management theory) and managers are managing the stakeholders.
Organisation theory provides suggestions for more fruitful definitions of the often-used concepts of direction, control, administration and influence. These terms may be substituted with the well-defined concepts of management, power and control.
Proponents of organisation theory find it theoretically difficult to deal with the topic of corporate governance, if they do at all. When they do, they do it only perfunctorily.
Organisation theory may strengthen research on corporate governance if we insist on both theoretical clarifications of major relationships and on the use of more strictly defined concepts.
Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their…
Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their workforce – not even, in many cases, describing workers as assets! Describes many studies to back up this claim in theis work based on the 2002 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, in Cardiff, Wales.