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 2: Classical Foundations: The Historical Context of a New Field of Study
Classical Foundations: The Historical Context of a New Field of Study
Although various forms of organization existed for thousands of years prior to the emergence of classical management and organization theories, it was not until the end of the nineteenth century that the study of organizations became a more formalized discipline. In large part this emerging awareness and study can be understood as being tied to the second Industrial Revolution—that is, the shift away from dependence on water power that characterized early industrialization, to steam power, and the advent of mass produced and cheap steel. Simultaneously, there was a shift in economic power and productivity from Great Britain to the United States and Germany. ...