Organization theory is presently dominated by theories of strategic choice and politics. Managers are seen as exercising a wide range of choices while maximizing their personal self-interest through complex power struggles. For Positivist Organization Theory challenges these views, arguing instead that managerial decisions are determined by the situation and serve the interests of the whole organization. Showing that all organizations follow the same universal laws across technologies and a variety of cultures, this intriguing volume rejects the model of organizational configurations and types. Author Lex Donaldson backs up his theory, offering a critical assessment of leading organization theorists such as Henry Mintzberg, John Child, Michael Hannan, and Danny Miller--along with the satirist Northcote Parkinson. This important book will provide stimulating reading for academics and graduate students in organization, management, and administrative studies.

For Determinism: Subjective Factors in Strategic Choice

For determinism: Subjective factors in strategic choice

In the previous chapter we defended the claim that contingencies objectively determine organizational structure. In this chapter we consider claims that subjective factors affect decision-making. We show that such work provides only limited support for strategic choice. Thus the discussion of subjective factors in this chapter supports the conclusion of the previous chapter, that strategic choice is a theory of only limited validity. Accordingly, this strengthens the position of deterministic structural contingency theory.

Strategic Choice and Free Will

As we saw in the previous chapter, contingency factors explain much of the variation in organizational structure. Nevertheless, contingency deterministic models do not at the present time provide complete explanations of organizational structure, though if other, ...

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