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 7: Affecting Organization Change
Affecting Organization Change
The Management Attribute
Think about the following claim: “Every position exists to drive change.” How does our perspective about public or nonprofit organizations change when we view them through the lenses of change? There is a paradox, especially in the public sector, wherein organizations simultaneously stay the same yet change. Public organizations are expected to stay true to certain values and traditions, but organizational life is not motionless. Change happens, and healthy organizations are ones that can adapt to changes.
Confucius once said, “What I hear, I forget, what I see, I remember, what I do, I understand.” It is not enough to alter practice or action; we must alter behavior, which is action plus intention. To change an organization is ...