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 Functionalism: Against Politics and ‘Parkinson's Law’

For Functionalism: Against Politics and ‘Parkinson's Law’

For functionalism: Against politics and ‘parkinson's law’

The anti-positivist and anti-functionalist movements in modern organization theory come together strongly in political explanations of organizations. The political approach paints a dark and cloudy picture of the organization as shaped through the pursuit of self-interest of its managers, in complex swirling political processes that defy parsimonious scientific models. Fortunately, as we shall see, far simpler and more robust explanations are provided by positivist, functionalist organization theory. These reveal that elegant models have great explanatory power and apply very widely. They paint a far brighter picture of the organization and show how material factors propel it towards greater economies. They offer an interpretation of organizations without recourse to political theories.

Politics and Anti-Positivism, ...

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