THEORY & PRACTICE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION TOPIC: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE MODELS OF ORGANIZATION PRESENTED BY: LOUIE A. MEDINACELI
A theory . . . consists of a set of concepts and therelationships that tie them together into acoherent explanation or understanding of the phenomenon of interest
Cultural Studies Literary Theory Poststructural Philosophy Postmodern Architecture Linguistics Semiotics and Hermeneutics Folklore Studies Cultural Anthropology Social Psychology Biology-Ecology Political Science Sociology EngineeringEconomics SYMBOLIC- PREHISTORY MODERN POSTMODERN INTERPRETIVE 1900-1950’s 1960’s & 70’s 1990’s 1980’s Smith (1776) Von Bertalanffy (1950) Schutz (1932) Saussure (1959) Marx (1867) Trist & Bamforth (1951) Whyte (1943) Foucault (1972) Durkheim(1893) Boulding (1956) Selznick (1949) Bell (1973) Taylor (1911) March &Simon (1958) Goffman (1959) Jencks (1977) Follett (1918) Emery (1960) Gadamer (1960) Derrida (1978) Fayol (1919) Burns & Stalker (1961) Berger & Luckmann (1966) Lyotard (1979) Weber (1924) Woodward (1965) Weick (1969) Rorty (1980) Gulick (1937) Lawrence & Lorsch (1967) Geertz (1973) Lash & Urry (1987) Barnard (1938) Thompson (1967) Clifford & Marcus (1986) Baudrillard (1988)Fig 1.1 Sources of inspiration for organization theory
Theoretical Perspectives Theories linked by similar underlying assumptions, logics, and vocabularies.Research adopting similar approaches, methods, and ways of theorizing.
Theory(built from a selected set of concepts to explain, understand, criticize or create the phenomenon of interest) analysis and association Concepts (categories for sorting, organizing, storing information, formed from common features of specific instances) abstraction Phenomena of Interest (what is to be explained, understood, criticized or created by the theory)
AbstractionThe process of removing the unique details ofparticular examples so that only their common aspects remain.Enables us to process and communicate more information.
Abstract All Living Things Plant Animal Reptile Mammal Bird Dog Cat Fido Spot Phydough SpoughtConcrete
ParadigmsA set of assumptions and practices that define a scientific discipline (Kuhn).A way of seeing and thinking about the world.
Why Multiple Perspectives?1. Help better understand and manage the complexity of organizations.2. Become more aware of the assumptions underlying theory and practice and the reasons for doing or not doing things.3. Form a basis for determining pressures to act and their relationship to ethical, efficient, and socially responsible action.
OntologyOntology concerns our assumptions about realityand agency- is there an objective reality out there or is it subjective, existing only in our minds?- are our actions predetermined or do we have freewill?
EpistemologyEpistemology is concerned with knowledge: - how we generate knowledge - what constitutes ‘good’ knowledge - how we represent or describe reality
Comparing OntologiesObjectivism – the belief in an objective, external reality that exists independently of our knowledge of it.Subjectivism – the belief that knowledge of the world is subjective and that social reality only exists when we experience it and give it meaning.
Comparing EpistemologiesPositivism – we can discover Truth through the scientific measurement and validation of behavior & systems.Interpretivism – all knowledge is relative to the knower & can only be understood from the point of view of individuals who are directly involved; truth is socially constructed.
Modernist Perspective• Objectivist ontology• Positivist epistemology• Organizations are real, rational entities and systems• Organization theorists focus on finding universal laws governing system behavior, rational structures, & standardized procedures
Symbolic-Interpretive Perspective • Subjectivist ontology • Interpretivist epistemology • Organizations are communities, socially constructed in everyday interactions • Organization theorists study how people create and give meaning to their experience of organizational life
Postmodern Perspective• Ontology - the social world is created through language & discourse• Epistemology - there is no Truth; knowledge & power are interwoven• Organizations are texts - sites of power relations, marginalization, and play• Organization theorists deconstruct & destabilize ideologies & rational forms of organizing; encourage a reflexive questioning of taken for granted assumptions & practices
• I. The "Rational" or Formal Model (Metaphor: Machine, Army)• A. The rationality here is instrumental rationality.• 1. Reason seeks to adopt means solely in terms of the efficiency in promoting the end. 2. Ends are set outside the organization (profits, the market demand for a certain line of products)• B. The organization is likened to a machine. The individual is treated as a cog in the machine.• C. Other• 1. The organization has the formal pyramidal structure-- Commands move down, information moves up. 2. Individuals are glued to the organization through contracts.• D. Problems and paradoxes• 1. Voluntariness of the contract is contradicted by the lack of autonomy of a cog 2. Alienation of labor, job dissatisfaction, etc.
• II. The "Political" or "Factional" Model• A. The "rationality" is the "tit for tat" model of Polemarchus in Platos Republic• 1. We should help our friends and harm our enemies. 2. We may manipulate ("use") those who are not our friends for the sake of our faction. 3. The end is the increased power and satisfaction of ones faction.• B. The organization is conceived as a field of coalitions competing for scarce resources, power, etc.• C. Ethics is concerned with stating limits on permissible manipulation of others:• 1. The principle of promoting the total good. 2. The principle of respecting the rights of others. 3. The principle of treating others in accord with distributive justice.
• III. The Caring Model (Metaphor: Family)• A. The guiding principle is appropriate care:• 1. Care focuses on particular persons. 2. Care is undertaken as an end in itself. 3. Care involves individuals engrossed in caring for other particular individuals. 4. Care is growth-enhancing.• B. The organization is conceived as a network of connected selves.• C. Potential problems• 1. Excessive caring: invasion of privacy, favoritism (injustice) 2. Insufficient caring
• IV. The Civic Model. Metaphor: New England Town Meeting• A. At the heart of the civic model is deliberative rationality• 1. Goal is the common good 2. Fundamental equality and mutual respect among participants. 3. We can deliberate about what makes up the common good and about what promotes it, but not about whether we should promote the common good. 4. Good action is valuable in itself as well as in its results. (Undercuts alienation.)• B. Employees are to corporation as good citizen is to the community.• C. Ethical considerations• 1. Works best with long-term employees. 2. Great salary differentials between co-deliberators must be avoided. 3. Requires high level of integrity (good character) among the co-deliberators 4. Not all employees will be co-deliberators; one must still treat them with appropriate respect, caring, etc. 5. The pursuit of the organizational common good must be compatible with the common good of the larger community, with justice, and with respect for rights of those outside the organization.
When a man works he works. But when a manprays, GOD works.Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and yourplans will succeed - Proverbs 16:3DECISION-MAKING: Trust in the LORD with all ourheart and do not depend on your ownunderstanding; in all your ways acknowledge Himand he will crown your efforts with success-Proverbs 3:5-6Thank you and God bless.