Four Organizational Theory perspectives, namely Modernist, Critical theorist, Symbolic Interpretivist and Postmodernist, produce different narratives about inequality in organisations.
Choose two Organisational Theory perspectives. Based on your selected perspectives, identify and draw out the two readings out of the given list that match your chosen perspectives.
Critically analyse the two readings and evaluate how their ontological and epistemological positions result in a different understanding and narrative of inequality within organisations.
Organisational theory is depending upon four perspectives such as modernist, critical theorist, symbolic interpretivist and the post-modernist. Each of the perspectives has several approaches. According to March (2013), it can be mentioned that modernists mainly aimed to the reality of knowledge and this is depending upon the conceptualisation and also on the theorization. Therefore, it can be stated that the managers of the organisations would be able to take right decisions by investing the money, thus, with the help of modernist theoretical perspectives, the organisation would be able to earn higher profitability. On the other hand, the critical theorists focused to identify the shortcomings and the company would mitigate difficulties, which have been suffering from the organisations. Therefore, the organisational performance would be improved.
This study would highlight the concept of modernist and the post modernist theory. On the other hand, symbolic interpretive theory aims to the five senses such as intuition and emotion. These are important to improve the organisational culture of the companies, which would increase the satisfaction level of the employees. Lastly, post-modernist theory is helpful to reflect the self-managed, self-controlled behaviour of a company. In the opinion of Miner (2015), it can be stated that organisational structure reflects the organisational operation in two manners. Firstly, these structures would be benefitted to provide the foundation, so that the companies can control their organisational performance through standard operating procedures. Secondly, it identifies which individuals would be eligible to participate in the organisational decision making procedure.
Theoretical organisational perspectives
Modernist theoretical organisational aspect:
It is known that Meta theoretical of perspectives can be differentiated into four aspects. In this section, the theoretical organisational perspectives would be measured with the help of modernist approach and also with the help of post-modernist theory. In case of modernist theory, empirical reality can be achieved with the help of five senses and also with the help of replicating the process. Therefore, in this context, it can be stated that an employee would be eligible to work when he or she is physically present in the working region. Modernism theory is helpful to control, improve and transform the company. In the words of Shafritz, Ott and Jang (2015), it can be mentioned that as per the modernist theory, an organisation can perform their organisational operational independently and the organisations are objectives entity and also considers a positive entity in order to generate organisational knowledge. On the other hand, modernism perspective mainly aimed to the power of the leaders and also aimed to understand the organisational culture and how the company can be effective.
It is known that gender inequality is the most important concept of modernism theoretical aspect. In this concept, it can be mentioned that this inequality make a negative impact on the women. Sometimes they are deprived and getting less opportunity compared to the men within the organisation. Sometimes the women are not eligible to participate in the decision making process. Therefore, they feel reluctant to improve their performance. As a result, the overall productivity of the organisation would be decreased. In addition, the emotions, feelings of the women’s would be affected. As per the modernism, complex deployment of gender is not only associated with modernism, but also an ambivalence of the radical cultural changing is also connected with modernism. In order to mitigate the gender discrimination within the organisation, the managers require to recruit the female employees likewise the male employees. The managers also require to give chances to the female employees, so that they can take part in the decision making process and do not feel deprived.
The modernists assume that the employees need to develop an organisational structure, which would be helpful to complete business goals. On the contrary, DiPaola and Tschannen-Moran (2014) argued that external factors are also helpful to improve the performance of the organisation and these factors are mainly used when the employees of the company tried to adapt new transformation. Modernists consider the rationalisation practice of the organisation. Modernists are willing to deal with the outcomes or with the organisational conditions compared to the complex social practices. Modernists aim to train the employees of an organisation in order to improve the organisational performance. The productivity of the company would be increased. In addition, Pinder (2014) mentioned that as per the modernism theory, individual performance of the employees is determined by the values, beliefs and by attitudes.
On the other hand, it can be stated that the main principle of modernist theory is to follow and adapt Taylorism and it’s practices. According to the theory of Taylorism, an organisation needs to manage several duties and functions during the production procedure. In this context, it can be mentioned that the management requires to reach and follow the division of labour within the organisation. In addition, Taylor also mentioned that working activity is required to bed organised and regulated with the help of scientific analysis and each of the activities of the employees is not depending upon the experience or on institution. Payment of the employees is the important factor to increase the motivation level of the employees (Haslamet al. 2014). More specifically, it can be mentioned that works would be getting completed with the help of qualified labours who would be paid well.
Another modernist theory is bureaucracy approach, which is propounded by Max Weber. As per this approach, it can be mentioned that the responsibilities would be incorporated to form a hierarchic system. There are different principles in order to control the organisational performance. Firstly, Montano and Kasprzyk (2015) pointed that in each of the steps, the authorities and the duties are determined with the help of pre-determined law as well as administrative regulations. Secondly, the specialised staff members differentiate the employees into several divisions. Thirdly, the processes in each of the steps are completed in the writing formation. Fourthly, every employee follows the order, which is based on the legal authority. Lastly, authority and the organisational operations are needed for each of the organisational functionality. Borman and Motowidlo (2014) argued that Bureaucracy approach is superior to the organisational forms in terms of continuity, reliability and punctuality.
Postmodernism theory diverges from the two other aspects and this would reflect the unwillingness to seek Truth or to derive permanent ontological commitments. As per the statement of Waldman and Jensen (2016), it can be mentioned that postmodernists supposed to flit among the philosophical positions. However, Altman, Valenzi and Hodgetts (2013) criticised that modernists theory aimed to the scepticism whereas the post-modernist criticised the unchallenged assumptions along with the modernists approach. Post-modernist theory is associated with the organisational culture studies of disciplines. In this connection, it can be mentioned that post modernists theory influence two concepts and they are ‘organisation’ and ‘culture’, which are connected with the linguistic constructs. Attention to discourage refers that if the researchers, who have interest regarding the organisational culture, would not appear to have very much in common. Watson (2013) criticised that two major influences on the post-modernist theory are White and Foucault. As per the concept of white, stream in postmodernism is informed by a programmatic. Post-modernism has shifted the illustration from the archival research towards the conventions and customs, which constitute the craft of history. Post-modernism seeks to reproach the notion, which considers the ‘social progress’ and ‘rationalisation’.
Likewise, the modernism organisational philosophy, the post modernism theory also deals with the inequality. It can be observed that ethnic diversity within the labour market would increase with the passage of time. Therefore, the under qualified employees are feeling deprived compared to the over qualified workers. As a result, the diversification and inequality within the organisation would be increased. In order to mitigate the inequality, the organisation advocates a spatial measurement to equalise the situation. In this context, the management can develop a stronger set of HRM practices in order to address the inequality. This would satisfy the employees and they would like to take the organisational challenges and also willing to work in the organisation.
Post-modernism theory is highly related with the philosophical movement as it is a learning theory and it is impossible to describe the movement without discussing the adapted philosophy. Post modernism is different from most of the approaches to learn in two fundamental methods. In this context, it can be mentioned that rationality and logic are not essential to achieve the knowledge. Secondly, DuBrin (2013) cited that knowledge would be contradictory. Due to the contextual characteristics of knowledge, each of the subordinates within an organisation can hold two complete incongruent views of one subject.
On the other hand, Wagner and Hollenbeck (2014) mentioned that post-modernist theory is related with the post industrialism. The post-modernism theory is depending upon several assertions of knowledge. Firstly, it can be stated that knowledge is tentative, fragmented but not rational. Secondly, organisational knowledge is related with the social construction, which would be measured in the eyes of the knower. Thirdly, organisational knowledge is contextual rather than “out there” discovery.
In this section, critical analysis of modernism and the post-modernism analysis would be discussed with the help of the following table:
Post modernism theory
· With the help of the modernist theory, organisation can achieve short-term profitability goals.
· Modernist organisational theory aims to the mass production.
· According to Borkowski (2015), it can be mentioned that labours of an organisation are considered as the cost.
· Modernist theory aimed to follow vertical planning.
· Miner (2015) opined that modernist theory planning leads to the order.
· Post-modernist theory aimed to achieve the long-term profitability business goals.
· Production is flexible as per the post-modernist organisational aspect.
· In the opinion of March (2013), it can be stated that under the post-modernist theory, labours of an organisations are assumed as the investment.
· Post-modernist theory follows the horizontal planning approach. In addition, it can be added that post-modernist theory also considered the internal and the external consumers.
· Planning leads to the confusion and also disorder.
· In this context, it can be mentioned that modernist theory considered one man, one job and also the de-skilled jobs under the organising principles.
· Modernists follow the labour management confrontation.
· On the other hand, it can be mentioned that homogeneity is the main principle in case of modernism organisational theory. Nonetheless, Shafritz, Ott and Jang (2015) criticised that post-modernism theory would not follow the homogeneity in the business.
· In the opinion of Pinder (2014), organisational efficiency would be increased with the specialisation and the formation and also with the division of labour.
· Under the post-modernism theory, the organisation would focus to the team work and also on the multi-skilled labours.
· On the other hand, although modernists follow labour management confrontation, post-modernism theory focuses to the labour management cooperation.
· In the words of DiPaola and Tschannen-Moran (2014), post-modernism theory is also differentiated from the modernism theory as post-modernism theory aimed to adapt organisational diversification within the business.
· On the contrary, it can be mentioned that the organisational effectiveness would be decreased with the specialisation, formation and also with the division of labour.
· As per the modernism theory, the organisation follows the extrinsic reward program in order to improve the performance and the productivity of the organisation.
· The organisation follows the autocratic leadership style.
· The organisations are usually centralised with many layers as well as several rules.
· Montano and Kasprzyk (2015) opined that with the help of this modernism theory, the organisations would like to follow either the theory X or Y.
· As per the post modernism theory, the organisations follow the democratic leadership style. Therefore, the employees would get the chance to involve in the decision making process, whereas modernism theory only considers the management views in the decision making process.
· On the other hand, the authority of the organisations would follow the intrinsic and the ownership over the working process.
· Post-modernism theory follows the theory S or the servant leadership model.
· Moreover, the organisational structure is decentralised along with few layers.
· Modernism theory mainly aims to the individual incentives.
· On the other hand, Borman and Motowidlo (2014) argued in order to improve the performance of the organisation; the company has faith on the team incentives as per the post modernism theory.
· In the point of Waldman and Jensen (2016), modernist organisational theory leads to follow the centralised control.
· The management control on the organisational performance can be identified as the fear based.
· Lastly, the management of the organisations aimed to focus to the measurement of result criteria.
· Nevertheless, Watson (2013) criticised that post-modernism aims to follow the decentralised control within the organisation.
· The management of the organisations, which follow the post-modernism theory is self-control based.
· However, the management of the organisations measure the overall operational process criteria.
This study has highlighted the modernism and the post-modernism organisational theory. It can be observed that there are four types of organisational theory such as modernist, critical theorist, symbolic interpretivist and the post-modernist theory. In order to identify the essence of the study, then differences between the modernist and the post-modernist theory approach have discussed in this context. After the analysis, it can be observed that the modernist theory support the rationalisation of the organisational practices, whereas post-modernist theory is concerned regarding the de-differentiation, de-centralisation and also de-construction. On the other hand, theories and the concepts used differently in order to explore the determinants from cultural and the organisational structure. In this context, it can be mentioned that the modernist theory used to pay more attention on the rational-emotion, whereas the post-modernists are aware on the professional manual. Therefore, it is highly complex to define the perspective as the organisational culture and structure would change over time.
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