Mordern Organisation Theory is Fundamental in Nature
Mordern Organisation Theory is Fundamental
Mordern organisation theory has its evolution from the General Systems Theory whose inventor and the chief architect was Bertalanffy. General system theory presents an integration of different levels of the system. It provides a macro view from which we may look at all types of systems.
The mordern organisation theory is of recent origin having developed in the sixties, and flourished in seventies. The mordern organisation theory presents the answers of several questions remained unheeded to by the earlier theories. The mordern organisation theory has an analytical base and has sufficiently relied on empirical research. The mordern organisation theory is a fundamental one, though it presents a new paradigm. It is not simply an extension of the old theories like the classical or the neoclassical theories. Its premises are based upon a conception of organisations as an open, organic and probabilistic system. It gives answers to many complex questions ignored by the classical or the neoclassical theorists as pointed out by Scott and Michell:
1. What are the various parts of the system?
2. What is the nature of their interdependence?
3. What are the processes which link the various parts of the system and facilitate their adjustment to each other?
4. What are the goals of the system?
We shall now discuss how these questions as answered by the modern theorists:
The Various Parts of the System
As every system has several parts, so the organisation being treated as a system, must also have several parts. The parts of organisation system may be classified. 1. Individual: Individual is an important part of an organisation and provides energy to matter and information—the organisational inputs. Individuals in an organisation come together with varied backgrounds, attitudes, motives and sentiments, they interact and influence each other and things in their environment and are also influenced by them. 2. Formal Organisation: Every system is formal because it lays down certain principles, rules, regulations, procedures, and norms of conduct for its proper functioning. Such rules, etc. may be oral or written. There are also hierarchical levels through which communication flows downward and upward. Organisational charts and manuals also constitute important parts of the formal system. 3. Informal Organisation: In a formal system, people come together and interact with each other which causes the development of certain relations and sentiments—positive, negative or indifferent. These relations and developments steadily result in the spontaneous development of informal groups, groups so formed satisfy many of the social needs that remained uncared for by the formal organisation.
4. Status and Roles: Every organisation has hierarchical levels. It is like a pyramid consisting of layers and every layer has functional segmentation. The number of segments gets reduced with the increasing level of the layer in the organisation and at the top, only one layer remains that ultimately envelops the entire organisation. Every level and every individual at that level is assigned a role which is played by everybody in relation to those having role relationships. Accordingly, an individual gets certain privileges and prerogatives over others. 5. Physical Environment of the Work Situation:The technical equipment, technology employed design of machines, arrangement of jobs, etc. constitute the physical environment of the work situation. It provides, implies or embraces the physical conditions under which a person is to perform the work and it affects skills, motivations and perceptions of people ultimately leading to a particular efficiency level.
Nature of their Mutual Interdependency
The above parts of a system of an organisation work unitedly for the attainment of a common goal. While performing their individual roles, they hardly work independently and to prove themselves productive, they work cooperatively and in
collaboration with each other. Thus, these parts interact within and between themselves and such interaction may be inter-part interactions and intra-part interactions. 1. Inter-part interactions: Each part of the organisation interact with all other parts. Individuals interact with informal organisations to get their social needs satisfied which formal organisation fails to satisfy. It makes modifications in individuals and expectations of the organisations. The individual may mould the group according to his point of view and by convincing the group, they can put their viewpoint before the organisation. Thus, each part interacts affecting each other and resulting in mutual modification of expectancies. Consequently, demands and expectations of individual
reconcile for harmonious relationships. The same may happen with organisations. 2. Intra-part interactions: Individual performs a very minute part of the total job and even for that limited task he is to seek assistance from others such as mechanic for removing the defects of a machine or for oiling the machine, etc. Thus, the individual’s job may be a part of the series of processes involved, i.e., one may be a supplier for raw material for a job while the other depends on raw materials on others. In this way, no part can complete his job without the assistance of others and thus their actions affect each other.
As we have mentioned earlier no one part works in isolation. They are interdependent and interrelated. The linking processes are decision, communication, action and balance. The interrelationship between the parts affects decisions which conversely explains the relationship through the decision processes. This shows the flow of significant decisions and how decisions are arrived at through socio-metric authority, power, functional communication, etc. processes. All parts make a decision and most
of them especially the important ones are the product of joint efforts of various parts. Thus, the decision process links the various parts. Through communication process, various parts are able to get, store, retrieve and feed information to the action centres and such centres implement the decisions. So, through action process, decisions are implemented. Different units are controlled, integrated and balanced in order to be sure that no one part dominates the other parts.
Goals of a System
Every system including the organisational system has certain goals. Leaving apart certain specific goals meant for a specific organisation or part, every organisation or system works towards the attainment of common goals which necessitates interaction, ability, adaptability and growth. Interaction takes place because parts are interdependent and interconnected. Stability is the objective of every system. However, static structure and the simple dynamic of every system do not seek adaptability and growth. The cybernetic system seeks adaptability but adaptability and growth are the objectives or characteristics of all open living systems.