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 4: Life after Berger and Luckmann: A Theoretically Diverse World
Life after Berger and Luckmann: A Theoretically Diverse World
In this chapter we explore the growing diversity of thinking about organizations, and their place in society, that begins to emerge in the late twentieth century. We begin the chapter by giving a brief summary of the changing political, economic, and social conditions beginning in the 1960s as a way of showing how a broadening set of social dynamics parallels the emergence of a diverse set of organizational theories that respond to and aspire to comport with a widening set of organizational concerns. The chapter presents this diverse set of theories via the interpretive lens of social construction. Social construction is the idea that society—and the ...