Organizational Theory

Organizational Theory

  • Gazi Islam added an answer:
    Is there a difference between being "critical" and being "reflexive"?
    In the context of social theory generally, and critical theory more specifically. If so, how to best describe this difference?
    Gazi Islam · Grenoble École de Management

    Hello Katherine,

    Thank you for your comment - very useful!  I myself had been thinking of "critical" from the critical theory tradition, which does focus on issues of self-understanding, both in the sense of understanding the composition and limits of one's own thought (i.e. the Kantian tradition), and also the self-understandings of a society vis-a-vis its ideological and material composition.  Perhaps, from this point of view, I find it hard to see how it is possible to be critical without being reflexive, since "critique" in this sense tends to stress "internal" critique.

    I see, though, that if one takes critique to mean 'criticism', than this does not at all imply reflexivity, just opposition. 

    Perhaps a deeper question would be whether non-reflexive 'critique' (not criticism) is possible.  I suppose this would be the case of someone critiquing an system that is not one's own, so self-reflexivity would not be required to launch critique.  Yet even here, critique would imply being able to both understand the 'internal' point of view and see its limits, which would seem to require the critic to take up a reflexive position.

    At any rate, I think the two concepts should probably be seen as analytically distinct, but bound up with each other in a way that is quite intimate but not totally clear.

    Cheers, Gazi

  • Amer A. Al-Atwi added an answer:
    What is the impact of transformational leadership on organizational performance?

    How does transformational leadership affect organisational performance?

    Amer A. Al-Atwi · Al Muthanna University

    My dear transformed leader has positive impact on emotion and attitude of followers.

  • Abdalla Garguri added an answer:
    Which are the positive impacts of organizational structure in Managed Services?

    Can anyone provide recommendations or articles relating to organizational structure w.r.t managed services / outsourcing within the telecommunication sector.

    I really appreciate any assistance offered.

    Abdalla Garguri · University of Toledo


    Although this paper focuses on supply chain in general, it is a good starting point for your topic.
     The Impact of Organizational Structure on Internal and External Integration: An empirical, cross-regional assessment
    Xenophon Koufteros, Xiasong (David) Peng, Guanyi Lu, Richard Peters

  • Sneha Dohare added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest research papers on strategies managing of workforce diversity?
    see above
    Sneha Dohare · G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar

    I am highly obliged from all your response ,

    thank you very much

  • Subhash C. Kundu added an answer:
    What benefits accrue to firms when they choose to finance specific aspects of training rather than general ones?

    At least five answers will do.

    Subhash C. Kundu · Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology

    Training of specific aspects means specialized training. This is conducted for developing specialists for specific skilled jobs. Both specific and general training are beneficial as both specialists and generalists are needed by the organizations.

  • David Brunnen added an answer:
    Smart Cities: Are you an expert who is willing to participate in a delphi enquiry about 'smart people' required by 'smart cities'?

    While many aspects of the Smart City idea are being developed at great speed, there is not clarity about the smart people required in this endeavour.  We are keen to interact with thinkers and practitioners who work on Smart Cities to participate in an exploratory delphi enquiry.

    David Brunnen · Groupe Intellex

    Happy to participate.  Intelligent Communities (aka 'Smart Cities) are developed and sustained by far more than the application of technologies.  For many examples, I'd suggest reading Brain Gain - a book distilling years of experiences from studying local economic & societal development. 

    Over and above the essential enabler of digital infrastructure, much depends on local governmental policy freedoms to respond to local needs.  For a UK audience this local theme is expanded in 'Unleashing Municipal Enterprise' - a paper written for the recent NextGen 14 conference 'Fast Track to the Future'. 

  • Han Ping Fung added an answer:
    What is difference between theory and previous studies?
    For building hypotheses, do previous studies mean theory?
    Han Ping Fung · Hewlett-Packard

    Previous studies can refer to many materials inclusive articles, conference proceedings, theses, monographs, books etc being published in the similar domain you are studying right now.  These materials likely to contain research problem, research objectives, literature review on previous theoretical frameworks, hypotheses (if quantitative research), findings, discussions, conclusions etc.

    Theory refers to the theoretical frameworks, empirical tested models etc. that your current study is trying to underpin on.  Without them,the study is at risk and might not survive or staying afloat upon challenging / questioning by authority / scholars in the related domain.

    Hypotheses building are derived from your current conceptual framework / research model and not from previous studies nor theoretical frameworks etc.  However, your current conceptual framework or research model is adapted / derived / based on / underpinned on the previous theoretical frameworks etc.

  • Beata Stępień added an answer:
    Who creates value in the fashion luxury sector?

    Customers find value in rational, emotional or symbolic aspects of luxury items, but when asked very often refer to superior quality, outstanding materials and craftsmanship (which is a rational type of value). Do luxury fashion brands still reflect these values or are they just efficiently communicated?

    Who, in a luxury fashion value chain is responsible for value adding? Where does it lie? In production or in a communication sphere? Is it designed maybe for effective distribution?

    Beata Stępień · Poznan University of Economics


    sorry for late response, i was away and busy with exploring this luxury sector - but only as a researcher, not consumer, regretfully ;)

    thank you very much for touching another areas - buyers. Luxury buyers can be of different age. To me it depends of what of luxury products/ services we think - can we say that the bigger the price the older the buyer? Young generation is a very good marketing target since they are quite easy to manipulate, but they are mainly masstige products' buyers - what do you think?  They need certain icons to follow, but are these heros/ celebrities/ actors ect. value creators or the just help to recal the brand?

    I wonder what are your opinions

  • Why is the role of an external change management agent important during the change management process?


    I am looking for the latest insights about the role of the external change management agent. The findings should be based on researches. 



    khairul baharein bin mohd noor · Kolej Poly-Tech Mara Kuala Lumpur

    It seems that external change has implication leading to internal change process. This is called the state of "equilibrium". Fundamentally, organization change as the external forces change. There area several change tools. One common tool is Lewin's Three Step Model. Another famous one is Lawrence and Lorsch (Harvard scholars) who discovered the need for change resulting form environmental change.

  • Arup Barman added an answer:
    Can an ecosystem impact on resources of organization(HR)?, if yes then how can one link it with the resources(HR)?

    according to resource based view, resources is the source of creating competitive advantage then what about ecosystem(environmental changes).

    Arup Barman · Assam University, Silchar

    This is a vital aspect of question in regard to organisation and external element. Relationship between Eco-system and HRM/HRD  is very clear. Physical Ecosystem, Non Physical living eco-systems (environment) no doubt has a great impact on, structures, policy, incubation and adoptation, innovation, competions, compalcency, complesity, compliemtarities, cohesion and conflicts, and finally on character of organisational members.  

  • Jodeph Weissbrod added an answer:
    Does anyone have ideas on how to sort articles on boundary spanners theory?

    My work is about sorting articles. The subject of all the articles must be "Boundary Spanners".

    Any ideas for sorting them?

    Jodeph Weissbrod · University of Haifa

    Thanks Thomas for your answer

  • Domingo Alarcón Ortiz added an answer:
    How does one approach a misinterpreted labeling of operations without disrupting the synergy of the department?

    Through an operational leadership perspective, how does one approach a misinterpreted labeling of operations without disrupting the synergy of the department? Is there any supporting evidence of shifting operational labeling without hindering morale?

    Domingo Alarcón Ortiz · Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    The synergy of a Department will not be interrupted if the misunderstandings between staff of the Department are discussed and face in an atmosphere of maturity and responsibility.

  • Wendy Bodwell added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest studies that presents clear operational indicators of variables in balance of threat theory as well as organizational theory?

    I´m looking for a viable theoretical framework to explain alliances between terrorist groups. 

    Wendy Bodwell · Saint Francis University

    Hi Christian,

    There is a book that covers this that I would recommend. It talks about different organizational forms, and discusses terrorist cells and discusses it as a new type of organizational form.

    The book is "The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. Authors: Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom, published by the Penguin Group in 2006.

    It is really an excellent source.


    Wendy Bodwell PhD, MBA, MSN, RN, FACHE

    Assistant Professor, Business and Healthcare Administration

    University of Saint Francis

    Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46808, USA

  • Closed account added an answer:
    Survey of Organizations: A machine-scored standardized questionnaire instrument?
    Could someone please help in finding the specific questionnaire used in this book?
    Survey of Organizations: A machine-scored standardized questionnaire instrument , by Taylor & Bowers, 1970
    The link to the book can be found here:

    However, it does not contain the pages with the questionnaire and I still remain unable to obtain it. Would anyone be willing to help provide me the questionnaire?
    Deleted · University of Melbourne

    Try contacting the author/s or the publishers directly. 

  • Arnold Windeler added an answer:
    Is there any research on the implications of organizational network theory on sustainable entrepreneurship?

    Have you read any papers about the correlations among proximity, centrality and so on along with economic, social and environmental issues of a business or organizational network?

    Arnold Windeler · Technische Universität Berlin

    Dear all,

    An inspiring article in my view is:

    Ferrary, Michel/Granovetter, Mark (2009): The role of venture capital firms in Silicon Valley's complex innovation network. In: Economy and Society 38 (2), S. 326-359.

  • Krishnan Umachandran added an answer:
    Which steps are absolutely essential to establish a feeling of trust throughout existing departments of small and medium-sized businesses?
    Everyone is talking about lean management, team building, agile methods and in general about management 2.0. But often we have to face a crucial gap between different styles of management and workflow methods inside a company and in particular between several departments of a company. Thus leading to immense issues concerning communication, productivity and of course trust.

    Therefore I would like to point out the importance of trust as a solid groundwork for a company's successful workflow.
    Krishnan Umachandran · Professor

    Trust is both Intrinsic and Extrinsic

    It may take years to build the relationships and trust that lead to economic results, making the long-term relationships that local officials build is particularly important. Relationships are personal, and elected officials should be good at it. But what’s key is keeping and sustaining those relationships, because that is what is going to take you to the next level in order to accomplish your goals.” Sustained contact over time helps to build trust and keep your community on the minds of potential investors.

  • José Luis Arcos-Vega added an answer:
    What is the relationship among state, trait, attitude, and behavior?
    In organizational behavior, we need to know the relationship among these concepts.
    José Luis Arcos-Vega · Autonomous University of Baja California

    Well speak of behavior is a complex dimension, what is sought especially in instruments application in qualitative research is to associate some variables such as trait and attitude, however you have to take care not to rate the degree of perception of the actors involved certain opinions in the processes of inquiry, but the way the question as eleboramos and hypotheses that we set for these variables of interest.

  • Subhash C. Kundu added an answer:
    Is a budget of an organisation actually a policy statement that the organisation issues regarding its values and goals?
    What does it say about organizational structure and operations, values, direction, debt and debt servicing, where the organization is the weakest/strongest?
    Subhash C. Kundu · Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology

    Budget is an  organisational plan expressed in monetary terms for an operating period. Budget also reflects the priorities, goals, and values of the organisation. So, budget is also an policy statement with respect to goals and values. 

  • Keith Jackson added an answer:
    Does management science have its own paradigm?
    In some simplification, it can be assumed that the paradigm is a key scientific assertion that aims to explain the complexity of the real world, shared by all scholars. This theorem is of fundamental importance for the study and could be considered as the basis that helps to create other theorems.

    In Poland, theorists assume that management sciences is still not developed enough to create its own paradigm that would unite together all occurring trends, directions and schools.

    I'm interested in whether similar views are expressed by researchers in other countries.
    Is management science need a paradigm at all?
    Keith Jackson · School of Oriental and African Studies

    Hello All,

    When I teach classes on Research Methods, I continue to refer to management research as a sub-field of social scientific research. Exploring this sub-field is subject to similar social scientific expectations and principles: e.g. systematic and unbiased observation of human behaviours (= 'management behaviors' - it's all about people, really). In my view & experience, management research thus competes for recognition within paradigms established - and debated - across traditions of social research.

    Going back to Joanna's original question, are we keeping a clear enough distinction between 'scientific management' as a concept and 'management science' as (I suggest here) a sub-field of social scientific enquiry?

  • Alixandre Santana added an answer:
    Does anyone know any research/publications regarding positions and roles within multi-relational networks or multigraphs? 


    I am analyzing formal organizational structures as network of tasks. Tasks (nodes) result from the devision of labor and are put into relation by different coordination mechanisms (edges). As this network can be seen as multi-relational (due to the different types of coordination, e.g. hierarchy, work-flow) I am not sure how to analyze, for example, the centrality of a task which has a central position within the hierarchy but not in the work-flow.

    Any hints?

    Thanks in advance.

    Alixandre Santana · Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco

    Hey Tobias. Could you send me those paers about multi-layered analysis?

    Im also working with ORA.


  • Arnold Windeler added an answer:
    What is ambiguity in organizations? How can managers and organizations regulate ambiguity?
    I read James March's book and find the concept very interesting.
    Arnold Windeler · Technische Universität Berlin

    Dear Mian,

    If you mean by managing ambiguity in a positive way to get rid of ambiguity one has to disappoint you – following Jim March.

    For March all human actors – due to their bounded rationality – are faced with ambiguity in every situation – God might be the only exception. However, situations may differ to the degree of ambiguity they exhibit, they face, and to the degree agents are able to act in such situations in a competent way. Thus, there are three points of reference for thinking about managing ambiguity.
    1. The degree of ambiguity a situation exhibits or faces
    2. The degree of competence actors involved in the situations are able to produce, and
    3. The interplay of 1. and 2.
    Managing ambiguity thus could mean 1. reducing the ambiguity of the situation, e.g. by changing internal or external regulations. 2. It could mean to develop the competences of the actors involved or to acquire actors with competences which are able to handle the ambiguous situation more adequately. Or managing ambiguity could 3. mean to reflexively change regulations by defining conditions through which 1. and 2. are playing together in a different way. However, managing ambiguity does not mean that there will be no ambiguity further on. Managing ambiguity is by definition always some kind of shifting sand. This, however, does not mean that managing ambiguity is senseless. On the contrary, it is strategically highly important.

  • Donald Ibama Hamilton added an answer:
    What distinguished a functional, from a matrix or process organization?
    Some suggest that the matrix organization is the next level in organization development were some areas consist of traditional functional departments, such as IT, or HR, whereas other parts of the organization, such as sales and marketing, completely transformed into a process driven organization.
    Donald Ibama Hamilton · Rivers State University of Science and Technology

    THE MATRIX IS A HYBRID BETWEEN THE FUNCTIONAL AND PRODUCT STRUCTURES . It is a structure that allows a subordinate to report to two bosses(Product and functional bosses)

  • Beata Stępień added an answer:
    What are the terms: Public Choice, Transaction Cost and Principal-Agent Theories?
    What are Public Choice, Transaction Cost and Principal-Agent Theories, Public Administration or Governance?
    I have gone through some articles but have not been able to comprehend.
    All I need is brief explanation to understand what these are in 4-5 lines each.
    Beata Stępień · Poznan University of Economics

    TCT, (Transaction cost theory) broadly speaking, aims at answering the question of what kind of governance structure should be chosen in a particular environmental set in order to optimize economic actions. The two alternative models of governance are taken into account: the firm with its hierarchy system and the market with its price mechanism.However, the most interesting part, at least for  the authors of this  article, is the so called ’’„swallen middle” – hybrid relations, where the features of both price mechanism and hierarchy system are mixed.

    Each model (internal hierarchy, market or hybrid solution) can be chosen by an entity to manage any of its transactions, and the choice of this particular governance structure is the result of an assessment of certain traits in the environment and the nature of economic action. Choosing a model for governing transactions generates a different set of the intra- and inter- organisational relations. The basis for such an analysis is an adequate estimation of the value of a given operation subject to a prospective contract, cooperation or pooling. According to the newest body of knowledge in TCT field, cost calculation should be done using the value chain approach, which views value not in accounting terms but in terms of strategic importance of the operation for the entity and/or  the end user of a product or service.The result of this calculation is the certain model of governance with its typical relations:

    - when the hierarchy is chosen, one has to bear with the internal coordination costs and provide the set of managing rules which will minimize shirking,
    - when the market transactions are chosen, relations between the partners are highly formalised by contract rules,
    - when the results of calculation opt for hybrid solutions then the contract between the partners is a rather loose set of contract rules accompanied by a mixture of certain managing and coordinating tools.

    I hope it will help, regards


  • Dr. Marilyn B Field added an answer:
    How can I define "personal characteristics" in organizational research?
    I have found there is difference between personal characteristics and individual characteristics.
    Dr. Marilyn B Field · Give Me Back My Energy; Life Coach, LLC (
    Personal characteristics are usally assessed as part of the hiring process.There are many empirical studies indicating that personality assessments are a strong predictor of job performance. These days such assessments measure EQ and and can also demonstrate less potential for adverse impact than cognitive ability tests. The use of personality assessment for personnel selection is becoming increasingly popular among organizations.

    Cognitive ability tests assess a persons aptitude or potential to solve job-related problems by providing information about their mental abilities such as verbal or mathematical reasoning and perceptual abilities like speed in recognizing letters of the alphabet.

    Integrity tests assess attitudes and experiences related to a persons honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, and pro-social behavior.

    Great topic, Tareq:
  • Gustavo Concari added an answer:
    Which are the published Business Model frameworks or constructs that better include and address organizational design dimensions?
    I am looking for approaches to business model design that take into fair account the mutual influences between the business model itself and the organizational structure (both at a macro and a micro level).
    Gustavo Concari · Universidad Católica del Uruguay Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga
    Dear All:
    I find very interesting the discussion about business models. I teach management at a degree level faculty and find these tools very usefull. However, I ask myself if that is all. I mean: are there other "clients" for these ideas?, like for instant managers or entrepreuneurs. I ask myself if the models we teach to our students are useful or not for the persons that work inside organizations. What would you say?


    Gustavo Concari
  • Lars Taxén added an answer:
    Are there any contributions linking neuroscience research on coordination to coordination in organizations?
    Coordination is an elusive concept. I believe that coordination cannot be fully understood unless we can link our innate predispositions for coordinating our every-day actions, like walking or communicating, to coordination in social setting like organizations. Extant research contributions focusing on this link are, as far as I can tell, sparse. I want to find out more about such contributions.
    Lars Taxén · Linköping University
    Thanks all for your valuable comments and references. I have looked through the references, but I can’t really find what I’m looking for. Most are biased towards the neural realm, whereas my main interest is more how the neural and social realms are interrelated. Llinás (2001, p. 64) expressed this as follows: “The most important issue in brain research today is that of the internalization or embedding of the universals of the external world into an internal functional space”.

    My line of reasoning is very simple indeed. In order to survive, evolution has brought about certain capabilities for coordinating our actions towards achieving goals that benefit us. Whichever capabilities these are, we must employ them in every situation we encounter, be that making a cup of coffee or coordinating large telecom projects (which I have been deeply involved with). We can’t change our human nature when moving from one situation to another.

    So, which are these neural or cognitive coordinative capabilities? In my research I have suggested six different ones, which I believe are all necessary but most likely not sufficient. First, you have to be able to contextualize the situation where the action takes place; to identify relevant things and disregard the rest. Second, you must have the ability to direct your attention to the object in focus for the activity. Third, you must be able to orient yourself spatially in the context. You need to recognize how relevant things are in relation to each other, and what properties you confer upon them. Fourth, you must acquire a sense for the temporal and dynamic structure of the activity; to predict how actions should be carried out in a certain order for achieving the goal. Fifth, you need to routinize actions that are successful in a particular kind of situation. Finally, you must be able to shift attention from one focus to another. A brain lesion that affects any of these capabilities will efficiently arrest coordination. For example, if the superior colliculus is damaged, you cannot shift attention, which is detrimental for acting in the world. For the interested, more details about this approach can be found here:

    Thus, my reseach question can be broadly stated as "which are the neural correlates of these six capabilities, and how do they interact?"

    So, I guess what I’m looking for are works in a similar vein that bridge the neural and social realm on “equal footing” so to say. Any suggestions are most welcome.

    Llinás, R.R. (2001). I of the vortex: from neurons to self. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • Ramakrishnan Ramachandran added an answer:
    If I forgot to do the pilot study for my PhD research, is there any way to make up for that mistake?
    Unfortunately I have already collected all the data for my study and analyzed it.

    I am in trouble guys.
    Please if you have any experience with this, please share it

    Thank you
    Ramakrishnan Ramachandran · Classic Consultants Salem India
    Pilot study is undertaken to find out the validity of the questions in the questionnaire so that the questions can be added/ deleted or modified as the case may be. Since you have already done the full analysis. Still you can use the first 30 or 40 questionnaires collected as pilot study and analyze them separately and check it with the full analysis. In all probability there may not be much difference.
    Also see whether your findings are in tune with earlier research.
    If there is some difference you can go for further experiments on those portions to make the study more rigorous
    Wish you all the best
  • Robert Larsson added an answer:
    Does anybody know any references/articles/review articles about Lean thinking in the public sector
    Quite often people ask me if Lean thinking/management is a smart way of working in the public sector. It's a question about being effective and efficient as organisations in terms of performance. Also people are worried about effects of lean on well-being and motivation.
    Robert Larsson · Malardalen University
    An important issue and here are some additional suggestions. Another interesting paper by Radnor & Osborne (2013) is "Lean: A failed theory for public services?" in Public Management Review.
    Additionally, Peter Hasle has written about Lean and the work environment. For example, in the e-book "Prerequisites for Healthy Organizational Change"

About Organizational Theory

General organizational theory

Topic Followers (5755) See all