Organizational and management theories

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"There will never be a full and generally acceptable body of organisational or managerial theory" (Watson, 1986). If not, why not?

"A theory is a generalization, applicable within stated boundaries, that specifies the relationships between factors. Thus, it is an attempt to make sense out of observations that in and of themselves do not contain any inherent and obvious logic (Dubin 1976)." (Miner, John 2006, p7).

As per Campbell (1990) "campbell defines theory as a collection of assertions, both verbal and symbolic, that identifies what variables are important for what reasons, specifies how they are interrelated and why, and identifies the conditions under which they should be related or not." (Campbell 1990, p4).

As correctly said by Seneca "Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." (Seneca (4 BCE-CE 65))

The managerial theories are found to be the basic back bone of the management funda and the way things are getting managed at different organizations and they are found to be highly important for the companies. There are different organizations which have achieved different benefits by implementing the management practices at their organizations and they have found the tangible benefits at their respective organizations as well. As said by Peter Drucker "The purpose of a business is to create customers". It can be understood from these words that the customers have to be found every time. SInce the market environment is very dynamic hence the companies need to keep them updated from the new theories and since the market changes every day due to n number of variable which are working in the market hence their requirement needs to be matched with the changes found in the market.

For a good management research and development is very important and same can be inferred from the sentence thrown by Santyanna in "Life of reason" where he said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (Lamond, David 2005). Hence this is very important for the manager's to understand what all activities have already been done by their counterparts and what is it which is very important which needs to be taken in the mind before they are managing some similar sort of business. Because unless that is known there are chances that manager's are going to repeat those mistakes which they have already committed. It is very important for the managers to understand the benefits of the different thinking(s) and get benefited from the empirical work done by the different pioneers in management. As quoted by David Lamond "Managers looking for the "next big thing", without being able to incorporate it effectively into their experience, and the experience of those who are long gone, are condemned to repeat not just the past, but also the mistakes of the past." (Rebecca Catherine 2004).

With the changing nature of business there are different paradigms which have been available at different times for the management thinkers but these paradigms have solely dependent upon the different requirements/ variables of business management which governs the business and if we compare the business environment around 1960 with today's business environment we can find a great change which has already happened and many changes have already come. Even if we go and see the old paradigm of business and we compare it with the new paradigms of business there are many changes which have already come and hence there is a strong requirement of a business theory which can substantiate them now.

Organizational and management theories are primarily intended to give an direction to the administrative managers to find a way in which they can manage the things. There are many things which are assumed to be ideal because of the dynamic nature of business, due to which there are many things which keep on working simultaneously and hence every thing can not be changed at once rather things are changed as per the overall requirement of the problem. E.g Six Sigma can be introduced in an organization, but it can work under extreme support from the leaders of the organization. If leaders are not in favor of Six Sigma induction than it can not work. ERP modules are in market and they are doing exceptionally well there are different kind of companies using it. There are companies which are using it and there are companies where people are in system since years and not aware about a program of this department. Hence theory can only be helpful if it is understood and than implemented. Understanding theory means understanding the overall variables which are associated with it.

It is important to understand why these managerial theories are required by the organizations there are different school of thoughts which share their ideas on it and it needs to be understood that manager's are the once who manages the things and hence they required things to be managed and they require the ways and means in which they can manage the business certain guidelines which cal allow them to manage the business. Hence the manager's are required to have a blueprint or a plan which can allow them to continue with the plan or methodology researched by the researcher. Every research work is passing through a rigorous process before they get published in the market.

Considering the discussion held on David Lamond we can conclude that there is a requirement of the management theories which can be helpful for the business managers in order to manage their regular affairs.

Management is all about planning, implementing and controlling. If we see the management from the perspective of social science than we can see that it would focus on the episemological and ontological assumptions, while ontological assumptions are externally from the individual or product. While epistemological assumptions focus on what all forms of the same knowledge can be availed, and how to distinguish truth from false.

Ontological assumptions are taken by the management several times when they are going for the implementations of any kind of new system in place which can be used for monitoring any product or any intended result it is basically the company which takes those assumptions which they get from the market analysis or the prior experience that they have primarily. E.g while implementing SAP in the organization there are many R & D which gets done from the market to understand how to use SAP on an optimum level because if that does not get done than product would not get fully utilized too.

Epistemological assumptions it helps in understanding different forms of knowledge which can be acquired by the organization and that also becomes a kind of problem primarily because in such a case the company needs to explore different theories which can be used by the company to reach to the required result because unless that is known it can not get substantiated and than there are many theories which needs to be studied to reach to a conclusion by the management. Each and every assumption has their own implications on the methods used.

There are different management paradigms which talks of these business theories and they talk of the different paradigms though we need to understand that all the paradigms are found to be seasonal which exists as long as 20 to 30 years. Moreover the economy and business and even technology remain till than hence it becomes a priority that things must change than. Marry Follett (1868-1933) has been one of the scholars who has put her efforts into development of management. Follett taught "use of conflict" to create better understanding among the employees.

The ontological model asks the questions ask the questions as in what is the nature of reality. Burrell and Morgan (1979) have got a believe that the ontological assumption is primarily related to the sense of matter which is under investigation. As per them "the basic ontological questions are whether the reality to be investigated is external to the individual-imposing itself on individual consciousness from without or the product of individual consciousness, whether reality is of an 'objective' nature or the product of individual cognition, whether reality is a given 'out there; in the world, or the product of one's mind." (Burrel G and Morgan G. (1979), p 422)

Natural science is pertaining to anything which is happening without help of an individual and it happens due to some reason which is not always clear to us or known to us either. This is what is happening with management theories too when there is a result which gets derived though there was not intentional effort put for it but when we are doing reverse engineering we get to know about that While with Social science it is onlt if some cause is there which results in something e.g. on triggering a button in crane it can lift up tones of materials from a construction site (

There has been an extension which has been given by Burrell and Morgan (1979) which gives four paradigms and as per them they are reflecting the basic assumptions and how we are taking them. As per them, these paradigms can be presented as 1. Functionalist Paradigm. 2. Interpretive Paradigm. 3. Radical Humanist Paradigm. 4. Radical Structuralist Paradigm. (

Functionalist Paradigm: - This paradigm is primarily to understand and study the organizational study and has an assumption that human being's action and believes can be understood through the hypothesis testing. E.g Before reaching to the conclusion companies do the if else analysis on the basis of formulation of some hypothesis and if result is in favour companies would go for the implementation of the same otherwise they will not implement it (

Interpretive Paradigm: - This paradigm looks at the behaviour from the angle of an individual human being. They observe things on an ongoing basis. This is an on going movement of process and a continuous improvement primarily for the better understanding. E.g This is a usual routine in an organization where HR keeps an eye on the employees behaviour so that if there is a scope of improvement it can be brought into the person through training and development (

Radical Humanist Paradigm: - Here theorists are primarily concerned and focused with removing the constraints which limits the growth of human being. Here the theorists have a view that the current theories are not covering all the aspects and drawing a line and stops them to understand "true selves". This is not only limited to the human being this can be organization wide also where companies eliminate the problematic areas for the development of the organization and save money by removing bottlenecks (

Radical Structuralist Paradigm: - On the basis of this paradigm, theorists look at the conflicts from the society and bring changes through many developments in the political and economic moves. This primarily helps the organization to remove the conflicts which exists among the employees or in social life any conflict with others (

Hussey and Hussey (1997) have discussed that the Epistemology is something which is related to the study of knowledge and something which gets accepted is the research and as per them "This involves the examination of the relationship between the researcher and that, which is being research." (Hussey J. and Hussey R. (1997), p 22)

The management theories are intended to a set of organized procedures which helps in order to develop the managerial skills of the organizations and increases the competency level of the management. One of the prime goal of management development is to increase the manager's competency by letting them know of what is expected of them and how can that be achieved (Bryman Bell 2007).

There are different models which are introduced to the market place by various researchers and all of them have some or other benefits which allow the manager's to deal with different situations.

There are reforms which has been taking place in the companies due to these management theories which has been giving strength to the decision making for managers (Patrinos, Harry 2009). These theories are the result of the research conducted by the researchers as well as the best of the class room learning which comes from the class room learning from the class room teachers and the text books they are referring to. This is true for all the managers and the best of the researchers too where in they improve the overall functioning. Hanushek and Woessmann (2007) say that basic and most of these learning/ skills that gets feeded in a person is through the text book learning which happens at the school level.

These days' managers are found to have a mixed reaction towards the different researches and at times it has been felt that initially they have a good craze for the theory which seems to be satisfying their requirement but gradually with passage of time or due to several unavailable reasons they stop using it also. People at times resist to go for any change also but if they get benefited due to it than in such a case their are chances that they start accepting the theory. This is all has happened due to the on going researches which have been taking place at a tremendous place which benefit organization(s) (Mailick, Sidney 1998).

These changes have occurred because the researches are being conducted at a tremendous pace and in these managers at times end up taking some decision which might be giving a result which might not be acceptable to management after some time and similarly it might also not bring the required output or return back to the organization (Mailick, Sidney 1998).

Basically changes have been found to be for the betterment of the system and it has been found that the companies are found to be getting benefited due to it. There are numerous benefits which companies get when they change the management theory and work accordingly. Mostly there are many theories which tries to effect few part of the system which might not be beneficial for the system because it does not help the management to answer all the requirement of the management which includes to fulfill the requirement associated with the Customer Satisfaction, winning back the lost customers, achieving the level of operational excellence and all the other associated parameters too.

Hence the implementation of any theory depends upon several factors which include that of the environmental factors and industrial factors because there are several things which are interrelated to each other and if the company does not get the required benefit from it. There are several reasons why companies do not get the required result from a theory which is basically depending upon the several factors which includes the Application of theory in management, if theory has to be implemented and management wants to get a result from it in such a case company needs to understand the complete concept. there are several things which are assumed to be constant because if the theory gets implemented without understanding the usage of it than it would not deliver the result for which it has been designed rather there are chances that it would be fetching the result which can leav a negative impact on the business. There are times when the model talks of bringing cultural change in the organization e.g. QFD diagram and Quality Control Circles if implemented in the organization require a tremendous effort as far as the resource management is concerned (Joseph M. Juran 1999).

Though it has been found that the companies are not ready to adapt the changes in the culture, in this regard Hofstede has done an extensive research and said that one of the ways by which cultures deal with the cultural problems is to have a "grand" theories this is the way by which the uncertainty can be removed or at least be reduced. Germany has been quoted to be one of very less uncertain country in world (Brodbeck, Frese, and Javidan, 2002). The management theories are needed to get the basic facts from the real world as quoted by Smith & Ken a company must look at all the variables associated with the theory because that gives the controlling grip into the hand of the management if that does not happen in such a case there are more chances that it would require many checkpoints to be maintained by the company and in case if they are unable to manage than they can face the consequences related to it.

So even a mild- range theory can be okay for the management if it is capable of taking care of the variables which have to be managed by the organization (Weick 1998). There are different theories including the Action Theory which talks of the negative feedbacks which are required into the system. Action theory is very important to give an understanding that these theories are always intended with the purpose of defining and designing best of the systems for the companies which can bring in best of the benefits for them (Miller, Galanter, and Pribram, 1960).

Management by objectives

The Austrian-American business writer, Peter Drucker, stressed the importance of the relationships between manager and staff. Like Fayol, he held that the better the relationships, the greater the organization's achievements.

Peter Drucker has emphasized on the relation between the staff and the manager. He held an opinion that the better relationships with workers would always result in better productivity in the organization. Though undoubtedly the scientific management had been doing well but due to the opportunities found where improvement could have been brought into the system there was a chance through which there were few improvements could have been brought into the system and hence the end result was that of the Management By Objective which has emphasized on the fact that the manager's job is to primarily manage and find the results by primarily translating the overall objective of corporate into the SBU wise objective and than to department's objective. Peter drucker's MBO focuses upon the management in a consistent way and also in the mean time while doing this it allows the consistent assessment of the overall managerial performance. MBO allows one to think of the new ideas and the innovations related by thinking on the different strategy possible which distinguishes them from the day to day activities and to manage the organization by the defined objective (P.Drucker 1993)

There were different observations which were made in the fourteen principles of management. There were many benefits associated with this model but at the same time there were different cons associated with this which were than able to get addressed by the different other theories including that of Management by Objective. During 1946 when Simon discussed that the principles of management by Fayol was very vague and different kind of contradictions were there too and this was found and thrown for the discussion in 1946. Than after a decade it was contingency theory which proved that structuring organizations primarily were based on the outside situations. Systematic management had to take a 'tabula rasa' method basically by ignoring the other contexts and human behaviour.


Considering the increasing pace of business and the dynamic nature of business the business managers must understand the change related to it and must devise their strategy according to it. The business researchers are looking at the management from various angles and hence the business managers must also keep an eye on the overall development so that when required they can learn from their past and do not commit the mistake which has already been committed by the manager's in past in order to manage the business successfully. The requirement of the business theory needs to be mapped with all the variables available and than they have to be mapped into the system else it would be very tough to map the requirement with the availability of the product(s).


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