Organizational Paradigms and Theories Essay

Running head: ORGANIZATIONAL PARADIGMS AND THEORIES Organizational Paradigms and Theories Introduction Organization Development(OD) in the past has been define as a body of knowledge and practice that enhances organizational performance and individual development, viewing the organization as a complex system of systems that exist within a larger system, each of which has its own attributes and degrees of alignment. OD was originally applied to human problem in social systems (Gallos, 2006).

OD interventions in these systems are inclusive methodologies and approaches to organization design, leadership development, change management, performance management, coaching, diversity, and work/life balance (Nielsen, 1984 pp. 2-3). Today many experts would agree organization development is the attempt to influence the members of an organization to expand their candidness with each other about their views of the organization and their experience in it, and to take greater responsibility for their own actions as organization members (Nielsen, 1984 pp. 2-3).

Researchers have added a psychology component in studying organizations, thereby looking at the organizations as social systems that coordinate people’s behavior by means of roles, norms and values (Haslam, 2004 Pg1). Psychologists have identified several organizational theories of paradigms in order to closely look at organizations and their psychology. This paper will examined theoretical roots of paradigms in the study of psychology. A road-map to an effective organizational design, utilizing paradigms and OD theories will also be discussed. Theoretical roots of OD into Haslam’s paradigm

Social scientists and psychologist studies have learned that our paradigms have a powerful effect on how we interpret the world around us. As we examine Haslam’s paradigms (2004) we find that they have associations with theories of the past scholars. Their studies are consider classic and are widely discussed. For example, the economic paradigm is closely associated with Fredrick Taylor at the start of the twentieth century laid the grown work for scientific management principles also know as “Taylorism” which will be discussed later in this paper and its relationship to organization design.

Taylor believes that management and workers and their work were an exact science and that the job of a manager was to perfect and organizations should implement that science (Haslam, 2004 Pg3). In later years Munsterberg a student of psychology studied the individual difference paradigm in which he analyzed organization behavior. (p6) He is often identified as the founder of industrial psychology. Munsterberg was consistent with Taylorism” and augured researchers must look first, to develop precise analysis of requirements of any job and identify key psychological components of it (Haslam, 2004 Pg7).

He also concluded that researchers should devise test that could be reliable to reassure a person’s aptitude in important areas (Haslam, 2004 Pg7). Early paradigms appeared to be successful in studying organizations environments; however, some doubt they were appropriate. A research scholar name Elton Mayo, began to look at “Taylorisim” from a human relations perspective. Mayo analysis of a human relations paradigm concluded that organizational behavior shaped by group membership and group interest was the rule, not the exception and individuals act in terms of their personal interest only when social associates failed them.

Mayo and colleagues identified important limitations that existed within the paradigms and underlined the significance of the social dimensions to organizational life (Haslam, 2004 Pg10). Researchers continue to study pervious paradigms which led to theories of a cognitive paradigm drawn from a social cognition movement in social psychology. The theory concluded that peoples social behaviors is not simply determined by just environmental factors but is mediated by cognitive factors to their environment (Haslam, 2004 Pg11).

Researchers shaped studies of orginzations and their behavior and have brought forth theories that even today day help organizational transformation and design. Organizational Design-The Economic Paradigm Organization Design is the propose configuration all of the elements of an organization so they the fit with each other and contribute to the outcome of the organizations goals they want to achieve (Mohrman, 2006). The further examination of organization design and the economic paradigm concludes these theories have remained relevant in organizational psychology development today.

As mention earlier theories of organization begin with the “scientific management” theory, mostly pioneered by Frederick Taylor and as mention early closed associated with the economic paradigm. The article, Organization Design: The Right Way, (“Organization design: the,” 2001) examined Taylor’s principles of scientific management provided the cornerstone for work designed throughout the first half of the twentieth century (Morgan, 1997). Taylor used time and motion studies to analyze and standardize work activities.

To employ the scientific management approach, subject-matter experts perform detailed observations and measurements of even the most routine work to discover the ideal (optimum) mode of performance. Models of the scientific management approach are found throughout manufacturing, retail, and offices today and can be associated with the economic paradigms examined by Haslam, (2004). The article, Organization Design: The Right Way suggests some well-known and highly successful companies employing scientific management are McDonald’s and General Motors.

One has to look no further than the fast-food hamburger franchises and automotive manufacturing to see the economic paradigm thriving with the same principles as the scientific management theory. Any environment where production processes must be tightly controlled and monitored by computer technology lends itself to the following approach: (Borgatti, 1996, (“Organization design: the,” 2001). The five principles of scientific management depict the dehumanizing aspect of this approach. Morgan, (1997) summaries those principles: Shift all responsibility for the organization of work from the worker to the manager. ? Use the scientific management method to determine the most efficient way of doing work. ? Select the best person to perform the job designed. ? Train the worker to perform the work efficiently. ? Monitor the worker’s performance to ensure that appropriate work procedures are followed, and acceptable results are achieved. The fundamentals of scientific management advocate that managers secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for the employee.

Maximum prosperity in this case translates to render not only large dividends for the company, but the development of every branch of the business to its highest state of excellence, so that the prosperity may be permanent. Scientific management has for its very foundation the firm conviction that the true interests of the employer and employee are the same; that prosperity for the employer cannot exist for an extended period of time unless it is accompanied by prosperity for the employee. In practice, the worker input into design or process is nonexistent and as a result, workers become resistive.

For most, earning a wage is not the only need workers have (Morgan, 1997,”Organization design: the,” 2001) Conclusion A road-map to an effective organizational design, utilizing paradigms and OD theories was discussed. These complex and dynamic entities can make or break a company and should not be neglected. Organizations are groups of people striving to accomplish common goals. To have the best chance of achieving organizational goals, it makes sense to design the organization in a way most suited for achieving the goals. Goals of organizations vary and so do the theories with which organizations are designed.

Morgan (1997), states, “it is based on a very simple premise: that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images or metaphors that lead us to see, understand, and manage organizations in distinctive, yet partial ways(“Organization design: the,” 2001) From this, a conclusion can be drawn that no one organizational theory will suffice for all organizations. If organizations are designed to run like machines, the humanistic aspect is neglected; if organizations are designed totally for the people, then the importance of policies, processes, and meeting goals are ignored.

Therefore, it makes sense to use a varied approach for organizational design. Using points of view from various organization theories to design or redesign the perfect organization to meet the challenges of a dynamic and constantly changing environment (Drucker, 1999,”Organization design: the,” 2001). . References Borgatti, S. T. , (1996). Scientific Management. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www. analytictech. com/mb021/taylor. htm Drucker, Peter F. , (1999). Management challenges for the 21st century, New York: Harper Business Gallos, J. V. Ed. ). (2006). Organization development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Haslam, S. A. (2004). Psychology in organizations: The social identity approach. (2nd ed. ) LA: Sage Publications. Mohrman, S. Ph. D. (2006). Course DVD: “The OPD Professional”. Laureate Education, Inc. Morgan, G. , (1997). Images of organizations. (2nd sd. ). Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Nielsen, “Becoming an OD Practitioner”, Englewood Cliffs, CA: Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 2-3 Organization Design: The Right Way. (2001, May). Retrieved Dewcember15, from http://www. slashdoc. com/documents/76813