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.

Understanding and Shaping Group Dynamics

Understanding and shaping group dynamics

The Management Attribute

The focus of the last chapter was on the theories and techniques of managing or shaping individual behavior. One of the most interesting attributes of organizations is that they are simultaneously comprised of individuals who are capable of exercising agency or free will independent of one another, and at the same time, organizations are collective entities that behave in systematic or collective ways. In this chapter, the central focus is on exploring the functionality and management of groups, or the relationships between individuals and groups, and the notion that in some organizational circumstances, the needs of the group—be it the organization or the unit—do rise above the individual.

The current focus on groups over ...

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