Literature Review on Organization Theory Development
Theoretical Concepts and Constructs
Organization Theory Development
Organization theory gives is the approach to analysis of the organization which helps to evaluate and understand how the organization operates, and what are the phenomena of the organization. Organization theory basically deals with issues regarding how organizations function most efficiently and effectively. Different researchers have provided study report or researches to this discipline over time and this subject has also been evolving with the time. Organizational theory draws from various bodies of knowledge and disciplines. Some types of organizational theories include classical, neoclassical, contingency, systems and organizational structure. These variations on organizational theory draw from multiple perspectives, including modern and postmodern views CITATION Bac18 l 16393 (Bach, 2018). Organizations can be differ in terms of their activities, size and the environment that they operates in, the nature of ownership but they have one common prospects that is human beings. Organization theory basically deals with the members who integrate the organization and the relationship between them. Organization theory is a way of viewing and analysing organizations based on the patterns and regularities in their design and behaviour CITATION Dra13 l 16393 (Draft, 2013).
Like any other subject, organization theory has been evolving over the years. The area has seen new approach of thoughts which have progressed with new theories and perspectives. However, the manner in which the discipline has grown has not been viewed favorably by everyone. Though these issues have, to a degree, been debated in the literature, no satisfactory resolutions have emerged – nor is such resolution likely. The problem is that different schools of thought tend to focus only on single sides of issues and use such different logics and vocabularies that they do not speak to each other directly CITATION WGr83 l 16393 (Ven, 1983). Astley and Van de Ven (1983) have distinguished two different modes of analysis i.e. structural action and part-whole dialectics, as the reasons behind the debates and contradictions in the discipline. In his 1995 article, Willmott has looked into how organization theory has developed from an objectivist perspective to reflexive ways of thinking about an organization. The article has focused on Steward Clegg’s work and provided a critique of the new schools of thoughts that have emerged about organizing and organizations. On the other hand, McKinley (2007) has documented the changes in organization theory development from the 1960s to the early 2000s. He has argued that organization theory has undergone a major change in which the goals in the 1960s of building empirical validity of existing theories has been replaced by a goal of new theory development.
The transition of theory development from means to end is instrumentation and replication activities that were prominent in the streams of research represents the suggestion that these activities have assumed a subordinate status in organization theory today CITATION Mck07 l 16393 (Mckinley, 2007). McKinley suggests that the dominant status of theory and theory development in today’s organization theory is further supported by a sceptical attitude toward objectivity, a fundamental philosophical foundation of any project to develop empirically based consensus about theory validity or invalidity. To the extent that this type of argument is accepted by contemporary organization theorists, it removes much of the consensus to embark on validation exercises such as those undertaken by researchers attempting to reproduce the Aston Group’s results.
The basis of CITATION Hug95 l 16393 (Willmott, 1995) review is related with the works of Steward Clegg to validate his claim that new theories of organizing and organizations have been looked over how the knowledge was initiated in the first place. Willmott argues that Clegg embraces new ideas in his book Modern Organizations but while doing so, he forcibly rejects or neglects established ideas. This does not allow new theories to be comprehensive and integrative to the existing body of knowledge. Knowledge cannot be put into practice effectively if the politico-economic and situational context of its generation and reproduction is not taken into consideration.
Likewise, McKinley (2007) has also argued on the expansion of new theories in the discipline of Organization Theory. However, almost all of these theories have not gone through validity testing. McKinley refers to the first article in the Aston Group research program, the work of Pugh, Hickson, Hinings, Macdonald, Turner, ; Lupton in 1963 to represent the type of research that was being carried out in the 1960s and 1970s. This article determined organizations as multidimensional structures and various studies were carried out later on by Pugh and other researchers to create instruments to measure those dimensions and also replicate the research. The major objective then was to validate the theories that were proposed and also create a consensus. The efforts made to generate consensus has also been highlighted by making reference to the anomaly reported by Child in 1972 on Pugh’s findings and the subsequent effort by Mansfield and other researchers to resolve those findings. McKinley has made reference to studies by Hubbard, Vetter and Little and Neuliep and Crandall to highlight the growing tendency of management journals to develop a bias against replication studies. McKinley points out that the journals like the Academy of Management Review are intended to protect developers of new theories whereas the Academy of Management Journal removed the Research Notes section which had the objective of validating a pre-existing theory.
Most of the methodological approach used in organizational theory development is basically the review method where the authors have reviewed the existing theory and the transition of those theories over time. Willmott (1995) and McKinley (2007) both have reviewed the existing literature on the various thoughts of schools and prospects on organization theory to give justification of their arguments. The type of method used could be described as a narrative review as the authors have summarized different studies that were conducted earlier and have drawn their own conclusions based on that. Also, based on the objective, both Willmott and McKinley have followed the methodology of an integrative research review as they have critically evaluated published literature on the field of organization theory development.
Potential Research Issues in Nepali context
The development of organizational theory has passed its decades in western world but in country like Nepal which has different context in terms of structure, culture, organizational environment (external or internal) are following the same research aspect as in the developed country. Thus there is a need of research on organization theory that can be conducted in the Nepali context. As there has been very little research published on the structural and design issues that the Nepali organizations are facing, replication studies of research carried out in other countries could be carried out in Nepal as well. Some areas of potential research could be, political effect on the system (structure-process-outcome) of Nepali organizations where the effect of changing policies of the changing government can be analyzed and research can be conducted on that aspect. The sustainability of the organizations in the challenging context of federal government structure on Nepali organizations can also be the issues of research in Nepali context. The ethics related with the government organizations and the organization culture they are following can also be studied. How the organizations of Nepal are adaptable to the change of technology can also be an issue for research.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bach, L. (2018, january 22). bizfluent. Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-8120176-organizational-theories.html
Draft, R. L. (2013). Understanding the Theory & Degins of Organizations. Cengage Learning.
Mckinley, W. (2007). Organization Theory Development. Organization Studies.
MCKINLEY, W. (n.d.). ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY DEVELOPMENT: DISPLACEMENT OF ENDS?
Ven, W. G. (1983). Central Perspectives and Debates in Organization Theory. Administrative Science Quarterly.
Willmott, H. (1995). What has been happening in organization theory and does it matter? MCB University Press, 33-53.