Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century is a core text for the organization theory course that provides students with both theoretical grounding and practical application. The objective of the text is to expose students to post-traditional theory as well as to “operationalize” theory, showing clearly how it's been applied and with what impact. The book first covers the classical foundations of organization theory, beginning with rationalist approaches and the behavioral revolution, and then delving into the diversity of network theory, chaos and complexity, structural-functionalism, and transaction cost economics. The authors then demonstrate how these theories are operationalized; i.e. how they can be applied to various management and administrative functions, including managing individual behavior, affecting organizational change, understanding and shaping group dynamics, and managing organization/environment relations. The final section introduces students to post-traditional theory, links back to classical foundations, and demonstrates how these theories are being applied in organizations involved in governance. Austin and Parkes also discuss the implications and provide critiques of these theories. Valuable case studies bring the material to life; the authors identify both historical contexts and “current expressions,” or contemporary examples of these theories at work. Reflection questions throughout each chapter, end-of-chapter discussion questions, and bolded key concepts facilitate a deeper understanding of the material and prompt students to extrapolate what they've learned and engage in further analysis.
Chapter 5: Managing Individual Behavior
Managing Individual Behavior
The Management Attribute
Management is defined and described in a variety of ways—most of which typically include some combination of activities focused on directing processes, people, or things. While organizations are necessarily comprised of formal processes, policies, and technologies, the perspective we take here is that what fundamentally makes an organization an organization is people. Without people, organization is an abstraction. So one of the critical aspects of organizations and organization theory (OT) is understanding and adopting strategies to coordinate people— managing individual behavior toward organizational objectives.
There are at least two variations on managing individual behavior. The first has to do with ensuring compliance with requirements—laws, policies, and procedures. A second variation has to do with shaping employees’ behavior such ...