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 Generalization of Organizational Size

For Generalization of Organizational Size

For generalization of organizational size

Positivist organization theory explains many aspects of organizational structure by the contingency of the size of the organization. However, the idea of a general concept of organizational size has been attacked. Once again, robust general statements are criticized in favour of a more cautious, specific approach (Hopkins, 1988; Lioukas and Xerokostas, 1982). Even the straightforward idea that we can meaningfully talk of a variable called ‘organizational size’ is called into question. Size is, so to speak, deconstructed into a morass. This assault on a pillar of positivism gives succour to the anti-positivist cause, yet it is done in a way that deploys positivist methods, making it more serious for positivism. In this chapter we consider this ...

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