Organisational Theory

Topics: Technology, Modernism, Postmodernism Pages: 7 (2466 words) Published: April 28, 2014
Organisational theory refers to the study of organisations and this includes the study on the way these organisations function, the roles they adopt and how the correlation and interaction between people and their work are put together so as to define their relations with the organisation. Thus, organisational theory allows organisations to increase their efficiency in the workforce through the reduction of unnecessary organisational problems.

The two theoretical perspectives that have been chosen in order to analyse and understand organizations are: Modernist Perspective and Post- Modernist Perspective.
The modernist perspective believes that the world is achieved through rational and logical means. One of the main feature of modernism is that through rationality and logical means, organisations can understand or discover the complete truth ( Bozdogan, 2001 ). Thus, by knowing the truth, these organisations can aim to achieve their organisational goals. The ontological assumptions underpinning the modernist perspective questions whether there is an objective reality or it is just a convenient ‘truth’ . It questions whether organisations can carry out their rights and if they are responsible for their actions. Ontology has two aspects namely, the objectivist and subjectivist. The subjectivist assumes that the social world exists only if one is able to give logical and practical reasonings ( Natoli & Hutcheon , 1993 ). The reality of the subjectivist is dependent on the knowledge of the ‘world’. However, the objectivist believes otherwise. Both of these subjective and objective assumptions in the ontology will enable one to understand how organisation works along with its counterparts such as employees and technology.

Epistemology allows organisations to acquire knowledge through proper testing of our logic against the reality assumed by the world. Epistemology consists of positive epistemology and interpretive epistemology. Positive epistemology discusses what actually goes on in the organisation through systematic classification. For example, by classifying organisations in terms of their management, technology or employees. Interpretive epistemology assumes that knowledge can only be attained through the reports and personal experiences of the people working in the organisation although these experiences can be considered to be biased to a certain extent. To sum it up, objectivist ontology and positivist epistemology form the typologies of technology through a deterministic perspective as different technologies types may suit different environment which in turn may require different social structures and this will undoubtedly affect human behaviour.

To add on, the modernist perspective helps one to understand how the organisation works with respect to technology, its management and employees. Modernists generally focuses on the ways or methods organisations use technology to convert raw or unprocessed materials into finished outputs regardless of whether the final results are products or services ( Misa et al. 2004 ). The modernist view organisations as the technology itself because the organisation is the one that moulds its employees and management into transforming inputs to outputs which will undoubtedly lead to purchases and revenue for the organisation. Technology is not the tool used by the organisation but in fact, the organisation is the technology.

Post modernist however, assumes that technology undermines hierarchy and that it paves the way for a more fair and democratic system of managing organisations. Post modernists challenges the modernists view of technology as it feels that modernists are able to tap into technology is due to the fact that they are able to hide how their management and employees’ are under surveillance ( Weckert, 2005 ). Post modernists challenges that the management and employees under the modernist perspective are strictly controlled by the higher powers right to the...
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