Modern Organisational Theory: An Appraisal

Principle & Practice of Management

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Modern Organisational Theory: An Appraisal

Appraisal Theory

The modern organisational Appraisal theory has made valuable contributions to the development of the organisational theories. The following are important:
1. The Appraisal theory has an empirical and analytical base and looks at the organisations in system perspective.
2. It seeks interrelationships and interconnections amongst various organisational parts and seeks an answer to the question arising out of such interdependence.
3. It takes a holistic view, i.e., a whole is not a sum of the parts. The system approach does not approve the separate study of different parts and then integrating them to make a whole. It opines that such integration is not possible and the total system should be studied as a whole and not in parts.
4. The concern of modern organisation Appraisal theory is to study the interrelationships between parts and to know how these parts respond to it. Thus, the system approach opened up vast possibilities for the analysis of innumerable parts and subsystems within an organisational system and its interaction with its environment.
5. Unlike the classical or the behavioural approaches, modern theory adopts a realistic view regarding the principles of the organisation. The theory suggests as the organisation is composed of several sub-systems, it is quite impossible to prescribe certain principles which are universally applicable or appropriate to all organisations. Such principles are
possible only when the system is stable, mechanistic, and effectively closed to intervening external variables. But once we take the organisation as an open system with interactive components, we can no longer think in simplistic and unidimensional terms.
6. The Appraisal theory presents an open, organic and probabilistic system of the organisation as opposed to traditional theory’s closed, mechanistic and deterministic view. The open system refers to an exchange relationship of the organisation with the environment and its serious dominating influence. Organisations are organic systems because they have adaptability and flexibility to adapt themselves to the environmental situation. Organisations are probabilistic systems because nothing is certain in an organisation, only a probability can be forecasted.
7. The classical approach followed a macro approach and the behaviourists, a micro approach but the modern organisation theory attempts a macro-micro-macro approach of the organisation. Besides, this attempt to comprehend the impact on the organisation to changes in the environment has proved a new paradigm which is not merely an extension of old, rather it constitutes a real revolution in theory. It helps us understand the interrelationships between the major components of an organisation—its goals, technology, structure and culture.
Though the modern Appraisal theory has contributed a lot to the organisation, yet it is not free from criticisms. Notwithstanding its contribution to modern thinking, it has not lived up to the expectations, it raised at the beginning. It promised to provide an adequate and comprehensive explanation of the organisation, but this promise does not seem to be fulfilled. It was initially received enthusiastically but the initial enthusiasm could not be sustained for long. It remains fragmented because isolated attempts have been made in this direction and no integration of techniques and concepts into a high level of abstraction was attempted. Its concepts are still evolving. Though critics regard it as an important theory of organisation, but undoubtedly it has not yet developed sufficiently as a theory of explanation in the realm of human behaviour. There is no such transformation in the theory that can eliminate the old and substitute the new.