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Organization theory is deep in concepts built during the early Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Of import during that period was the research of German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920). Weber a German sociologist believed that bureaucratic societies, dominated by bureaucrats, presented the ideal organizational form. Weber based his idea of bureaucracy on absolute and legal authority, order and logic. Weber opined that idealized organizational structure, responsibilities for the human resource are uniquely defined and behavior is strictly controlled by policies, procedures and rules.
Weber's organizational theory, like others of his time, provided indicated an impersonal attitude toward the staff in the organization. Indeed, the man power, with its personal inadequacies and weaknesses, was observed as a potential damage to the efficiency of any system. Although his school of thoughts is now regarded mechanistic and time bared, Weber's views on bureaucracy provided essential insight into the time's conceptions of process efficiency, labour division, as well as authority.
Henry Fayol was another integral contributor to the organization theory in the early 1900s. Fayol is credited with strategic planning identification, recruitment of staff, man power motivation, and employee guidance (through rules, procedures and policies) as important unit of management functions in order to create and nourish a successful organization entity
Both theories (Weber's and Fayol's) were broadly applied in the early and mid 1900 partly because of the influences of Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915). In a 1911 a text with a title entitled Principles of Scientific Management; Taylor explained his theories and finally implemented them on American factory floors. He is appreciated in assisting to define the role of training, pay incentives, man power selection, and work standardization in the overall organizational out put.
Researchers started to appreciate a less mechanically oriented impression of organizations and concentrate on influence of human resource in the mid 1900s. This approach was motivated by many researches that gave light on the importance of human satisfaction in an organizational setting. The most reckoned among these was perhaps the so called Hawthorn Studies. The studies were conducted fundamentally under the leadership of Harvard University researcher Elton Mayo in the mid 1920 and 1930s at WEC (Western Electric Company) plant then known as Hawthorn Works. The major reason is that the company wanted to establish the level to which conditions of work affected the output of the human resource.
Interestingly, the research did not show any remarkable positive relationship between conditions of the workplace and output. The outcome of the research showed that innate forces of human behaviour may have a greater effect on organizational performance than the incentives imparted by mechanized systems.
In contrast to the organization theory, Douglas McGregor offered his famous Theory X and Y to prove the difference. Theory X encompassed the old view of workers, which held that employees preferred to be directed, wanted to avoid responsibility, and cherished financial security above all else.
McGregor believed that organizations that embraced Theory Y were generally more productive. This theory held that humans can learn to accept and seek responsibility; most people possess a high degree of imaginative and problem-solving ability; employees are capable of effective self-direction; and that self-actualization is among the most important rewards that organizations can provide its workers.
Historical overview of management
Organized responsibilities conducted and directed by individuals assigned for planning, organizing, leading, coordinating and even controlling events and activities are believed to have been in existence even before civilization responsible. The ancient features that stand to date to prove this school of thought include: The Pyramids of Egypt believed to be constructed in 2630 BCE-2611 BCE and the Great Wall of China. These features are just but a few that remain tangible evidence that projects of tremendous parameters, employing tens of thousands of human labour working as teams, were executed well before civilization. The pyramids are in particularly outstanding example. The construction of a single pyramid believed to have occupied more than 100,000 workers for a period of 20 years. The main questions we ask ourselves in minds are:
Who was controlling and telling each worker what to do?
Who was responsible for the planning, budgeting and ensuring the presence of enough materials at the scene and workers being kept active?
The answer to such questions is management and managers. What managers were referred to as at the time notwithstanding, an individual had to be responsible of planning all that needs to be done, the number of people required and the raw material needed. The person was also reponsible for leading the team directing and imposing the possible control measures to ensure all was done as required. It is not entirely difficult for anyone to imagine modern management techniques in the ancient time. True, we can find it humorous, imagining of revenue against costs sharing and other currently existing conditions present in the original land in the Nile, although the basic relationships of persons managing others must have possessed great identical aspects. In fact, majority of ancient literature have been reviewed to revealing that, as the time unfolded and the generations transformed, wherever individuals engaged in team work to accomplish their defined goals, many of the same phenomena have remained common. However most scholars, suggest that management, in its most basic makeup, had existed since the time when a person convinces another-whether with coerced persuaded to do something. Commonly, management is defined as the challenge of creating as an environment where people can coexist and exercise teamwork with a common agenda or goal. While this is easily applicable for managers in private businesses, states, governments and some other organizations it is still within our hopes that all those pursuing management, will be able to effectively apply the concepts of management to outwit the constantly dynamic challenges. For that purpose, management is thus defined as the ideas, processes and techniques that enable goals to be achieved efficiently and effectively.
What is an Organization
An organization can be defined as "an entity where two or more persons come together or engage in a common activity or event for a common purpose' Several organizations exist in our environment and in fact we visit several of them including Hospitals, Colleges, Factories, Farms and Government offices. It is worth noting that religious groups like churches and mosques among others are also examples of organizations. People attend to say prayers. Activities of praying are to achieve a certain goal probably spiritual contentment. Similarly, any firm or consortium in which two or more persons are working as a team for some uniquely defined reason is called an organization. If an organization does exist, then there must be the human resource commonly referred to as manpower who is highly regarded as they are the most treasured asset an organization posses at any particular moment in time. They work as a unit or team for a common purpose. Therefore, there must be a defined objective or purpose which is normally encompassed within the organization's mission and vision. When an entity or an organization lacks an objective or purpose, then it may not survive for long. To achieve the purposes by using the human resource, the processes are needed. It is the processes that provide a systematic approach required for the human resource to go step by step in an achievement of an objective without which, you may not achieve any type of purpose or goal. In trying to asses our lives, we shall discover that in one way or another each one has a goal or simply a purpose. In order to attain these goals at all levels we require a systematic procedure known as process. Therefore, such procedures are equally beneficial for any business entity or organization. The final essential element for any form of an organization is that it requires to take into account the main pillars of management commonly known by the term 'Posccob Analysis' which comprises of Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Controlling, Coordinating and Budgeting. In essence, these are known in management discipline as the management functions.
Who are Managers?
"A manager is individual working with and through others with a specific target of accomplishing organizational defined objectives." The dynamic nature of organizations and work has destabilized the clear cut lines of authority between managers and other employees. Many workers' jobs now include managerial aspects in them. Definitions used in the past may not be applicable any more. Thus, a member of an organization who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities with an intention of accomplishing organizational goals may be known as the manager.
Organizational Cultures and Design
Culture refers to the set of values, codes of practice and beliefs that make a specific community gain a unique identity. The self-image of community members, customs of society, the elements making them unique from other communities and societies, are its culture. Culture can also be a set of generic material artifacts or elements. They are the symbols and signs that the organization is identified with, but they can also be also the behaviour, people and behaviours that comprise culture. The medium of culture is inherently interaction, the network of communications that a community assumes. A shared language is particularly imperative in expressing and portraying or displaying a unique organizational culture.
'Organisation design is the series of decisions that align strategy (goals and purpose) of the organisation, its major tasks, its structure, its informal organisation, its decision and reward systems, and the people who will do the work' (Anderson 1988). It can also be defined as the process of creation of responsibilities, processes, procedures and chain of communication as well formal reporting relationships in an organization.
Traditional theories regarded organizations as closed systems that were autonomous and isolated from the outside world. In the 1960s, however, more holistic and humanistic ideologies emerged. Recognizing that traditional theory had failed to take into account many environmental influences that impacted the efficiency of organizations, most theorists and researchers embraced an open-systems view of organizations.
The term "open systems" reflected the newfound belief that all organizations are unique-in part because of the unique environment in which they operate-and that they should be structured to accommodate unique problems and opportunities. For example, research during the 1960s indicated that traditional bureaucratic organizations generally failed to succeed in environments where technologies or markets were rapidly changing. They also failed to realize the importance of regional cultural influences in motivating workers.
Environmental influences that affect open systems can be described as either specific or general. The specific environment refers to the network of suppliers, distributors, government agencies, and competitors with which a business enterprise inter-acts. The general environment encompasses four influences that emanate from the geographic area in which the organization operates. These are:
Cultural values, which shape views about ethics and determine the relative importance of various issues.
Economic conditions, which include economic upswings, recessions, regional unemployment, and many other regional factors that affect a company's ability to grow and prosper. Economic influences may also partially dictate an organization's role in the economy.
Legal/political environment, which effectively helps to allocate power within a society and to enforce laws. The legal and political systems in which an open system operates can play a key role in determining the long-term stability and security of the organization's future. These systems are responsible for creating a fertile environment for the business community, but they are also responsible for ensuring-via regulations pertaining to operation and taxation-that the needs of the larger community are addressed.
Quality of education, which is an important factor in high technology and other industries that require an educated work force. Businesses will be better able to fill such positions if they operate in geographic regions that feature a strong education system.
The open-systems theory also assumes that all large organizations are comprised of multiple subsystems, each of which receives inputs from other subsystems and turns them into outputs for use by other subsystems. The subsystems are not necessarily represented by departments in an organization, but might instead resemble patterns of activity.
An important distinction between open-systems theory and more traditional organization theories is that the former assumes a subsystem hierarchy, meaning that not all of the subsystems are equally essential. Furthermore, a failure in one subsystem will not necessarily thwart the entire system. By contrast, traditional mechanistic theories implied that a malfunction in any part of a system would have an equally debilitating impact.
The successes of the Open System Theory in relation to Coles Group
Some operational mechanisms are efficient and effective while others may not. The systems that have succeeded can be attributed to the techniques practiced in developing and designing the system and its quality management practiced during the operation. These systems that were successful were specific on the way they did their operations. They are associated with the following characteristics which Coles Group practiced.