Classical Organization Theory

                                          (1776 – 1930s)              Private
             ...
Early Public Administration Theory
                                           Regarding Public Organizations

            ...
The politics-administration dichotomy


                                                   Voters




                    ...
Early Public Admin. Views…

                                        Influenced by the scientific management
              ...
Classical Organization Theory

                                           (1776 – 1930s)
                                 ...
Chester Barnard’s 1937
                                        Functions of the Executive
                                ...
Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya




                                        Negatives
                              ...
Barnard’s Incentives
                                             Specific                   General
                     ...
If short on inducements,
                                             then need “persuasion”:
                            ...
Notice the change in tone:
                                        Less about structure & commands.
Bill Adams, FEA, Unive...
Selznick: Organization as an Organism
Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya




                                          ...
Selznick: Organization as an Organism


                                        Organizations develop…
                   ...
Selznick: Tactic of “Co-optation”


                                        As one response to
                           ...
Notice the change in tone:
                                        Less about structure & commands.

                     ...
Herbert Simon attacks the “Proverbs”


                                         Unity of    • Can conflict with specializa...
Herbert Simon: Satisficing


                                        “Satisfice” = satisfy + suffice
                     ...
Merton: Bureaucratic Dysfunction

                                                                   Devotion to rules
   ...
Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya




                                        Bureaucratic “Pecking Order”
Cyert & March


                                        Dilemma in org theory is between
                                 ...
Cyert & March: Coalitions


                                        Organizations may be viewed
                          ...
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UM 3 Neoclassical

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UM 3 Neoclassical

  1. 1. Classical Organization Theory (1776 – 1930s) Private Sector Mostly early 20th century Public Public Administration Sector Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Theory at the same time? Late 1800s but mostly early 20th century
  2. 2. Early Public Administration Theory Regarding Public Organizations Modern academic study of public administration began in Europe and the US in the late 1800s. Woodrow Wilson (1887) distiguished between Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya ● politics (the will of the state) and ● administration (execution of that will). Government could be neatly and simply divided into decision-making and execution.
  3. 3. The politics-administration dichotomy Voters Representatives Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Administration
  4. 4. Early Public Admin. Views… Influenced by the scientific management movement. Administration still an art more than a science, but ought to try to be more scientific. Greatly concerned with organization and control: Division of labor, span of control, organization Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya hierarchy, chain of command, reporting systems, development of standard operating rules. Control needed to assure both accountability and efficiency.
  5. 5. Classical Organization Theory (1776 – 1930s) Mostly early 20th Century Neoclassical Organization Theory Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Mostly 1940s and 1950s Extremely influential period!
  6. 6. Chester Barnard’s 1937 Functions of the Executive (Communication & Coöperation) Barnard emphasized the importance of strong effective organizational communications. But historically he is especially Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya famous for emphasizing the need for coöperation (not commands). Coöperation obtained by incentives and persuasion.
  7. 7. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Negatives Positives
  8. 8. Barnard’s Incentives Specific General Inducements Inducement Material (pay) Customary practices Nonmaterial Social compatibility (prestige, power) (attractive assoc.) Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Work setting Social solidarity (comfortable) (communion) Personal ideals (pride, Enlarged participation altruism, values) (having an impact)
  9. 9. If short on inducements, then need “persuasion”: ● Coercion (force) ● Promote “opportunity” ● Promote “motives” Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Personal ideals (pride, Enlarged participation altruism, values) (having an impact)
  10. 10. Notice the change in tone: Less about structure & commands. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Next to Selznick who draws heavily on Barnard’s idea of essential cooperation.
  11. 11. Selznick: Organization as an Organism Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya No formal organization chart (abstract rational design) can fully describe the “organic” whole.
  12. 12. Selznick: Organization as an Organism Organizations develop… ● unwritten laws, ● adaptive mechanisms for reacting to external environment Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya in self-defense for the maintenance of the system.
  13. 13. Selznick: Tactic of “Co-optation” As one response to threats, organizations often employ the tactic of “co-optation” as a way to Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya absorb or adjust to challenges.
  14. 14. Notice the change in tone: Less about structure & commands. Even bigger shift with Herbert Simon who blasts prior “principles” as highly ambiguous and contradictory Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya “proverbs” – and says organizational research needs to be greatly improved!
  15. 15. Herbert Simon attacks the “Proverbs” Unity of • Can conflict with specialization! Who is the boss of accountant at local school? Command The local boss or HQ accounting office? Span of • Can conflict with need to limit layers of hierarchy! And no clear criteria for the Control optimum span of five to a dozen. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Speciali- • But competing bases of specialization: zation purpose, process, clientele, location?
  16. 16. Herbert Simon: Satisficing “Satisfice” = satisfy + suffice A decision-making practice of accepting an adequate outcome, rather than a “perfect” outcome (fully optimized). Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya “Bounded rationality” = rational but humans have limits!
  17. 17. Merton: Bureaucratic Dysfunction Devotion to rules Bureaucracy becomes the goal demands reliable (not an response & rules instrument) Cannot adapt to So the things that Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya special conditions help efficiency not anticipated can cause by the usual rules dysfunction too Merton also notes the career pressures to reinforce the shared strict devotion to rules.
  18. 18. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Bureaucratic “Pecking Order”
  19. 19. Cyert & March Dilemma in org theory is between ● putting everything into the theory and making it unmanageable, or ● pruning it to a simple system and Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya making it unrealistic!
  20. 20. Cyert & March: Coalitions Organizations may be viewed as coalitions. The coalitions bargain about the organization’s objectives. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya The objectives may be vague!

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