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.

Theories of Organization
Theories of organization

In an era when highly developed industrial production and global distribution efficiencies make high-quality, low-cost goods ubiquitous, it's difficult to imagine a time or a way of living in which we would have had to produce much of our own food, build our own tools, sew our own clothes, and even produce our own forms of entertainment. The benefits of indus-trialization for the quality of life in developed nations are so much a part of our experience that life without them is little more than an abstract thought experiment. With just a little reflection, however, it's not difficult to see that the confluence of factors that enabled the Industrial Revolution to occur is quite extraordinary in human experience.

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