Organization Theory and Behavior Research Proposal

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Organization Theory and Behavior - the MOVE Situation

In order to properly analyze the MOVE case, its evolution, and the

factors that influenced the development and finalization of the case, it is

necessary to briefly summarize the MOVE situation as it took place. The

MOVE group began its history in the early 1970s in West Philadelphia. The

group's headquarters were located in the Powelton Village Section.

This group was favored by its location in the vicinity of two

important college campuses. The tolerance of the community in which the

group activated favored the development of MOVE. In the beginning of the

group's history, MOVE was characterized by quarrels with landlords, as the

group members did not pay their bills. Their lifestyle had started to

become a threat for the members of the community in which MOVE was located.

However, things did not remain this peaceful for a long time. MOVE

members started to be linked with gun traffic and possession and other

related crimes. This led to tense relationships between MOVE members and

the Philadelphia police. MOVE members were often arrested and harassed by

the police.

The case study under discussion presents the final part of the

conflict between the Philadelphia police and MOVE members. Unfortunately,

this conflict was ended by a fire in which some MOVE members, both adults

and children, lost their life.

The MOVE case will be further analyzed with the following areas ofDownload full Download Microsoft Word File
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organization theory:

. Organization structures and dynamics

. Decision-making

. Motivation

Regarding decision-making, there are several theories and models of

organizational studies:

. Mintzberg's managerial roles theory

. Rational decision-making model

. Scientific model

In the case of the MOVE situation, it is probably more useful to

analyze the case from the Mintzberg's theory's point of view. Henry

Mintzberg is well-known for his contribution regarding management

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Organization Theory and Behavior Assignment

strategies, by accomplishing complex, innovating classifications.

Strategies can be divided into static and dynamic. Static strategies

are characterized by a conservative vision on the development of the

organization, by paying special attention to maintaining the organization's

current position, focusing on qualitative aspects. Dynamic strategies have

very different contents, their essence relying on providing rapid changes

in the organization or in major activities.

In Mintzberg's opinion there are five types of organization:

. Simple structure

. Machine bureaucracy

. Professional bureaucracy

. Divisionalized form

. Adhocracy

The greatest part of public administration is probably characterized

by bureaucracy. This situation is applied all over the world, at all levels

of the administration. However, in public administration, bureaucracy is

not applied in the ideal way in which Mintzberg intended it. In the ideal

organizational structure, bureaucracy would be used in order to facilitate

processes, to reduce the time required for developing certain activities.

However, in real life, bureaucracy hardens any process in public

administration.

The principles that characterize Mintzberg's theory are: mutual

adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes,

standardization of outputs, standardization of skills, and standardization

of norms (Wikipedia, 2008). Mutual adjustment consists in reaching a

certain degree of coordination by using informal communication. In the MOVE

situation it is obvious that such a mutual adjustment, or coordination

level, was not attained. One can say that there was no communication

whatsoever, formal or informal, given the mayor's lack of action in the

first phases of the situation.

Direct supervision also aims at achieving coordination, by issuing

orders or instructions. In this case, the orders and instructions were

supposed to be issued by the mayor to its subordinates. But for a very long

period of time in the development of this case, there were practically no

orders issued, no measures taken. The case study brings under discussion

the mayor's extremely late intervention.

Henry Mintzberg's theory relies on coordination. Each principle of the

theory aims at attaining this coordination. However, as mentioned above,

this level of coordination was not attained in the case of the MOVE

situation. The actions that were finally taken by the mayor came at a very

late moment. This can only mean two things: either the mayor was completely

irresponsible, or he was simply incompetent.

By not taking any measures from the beginning, the mayor showed that

he did not care a great deal about the MOVE group situation. Or maybe he

just had other priorities that required his attention more. Such a variant

is out of the question, since the mayor of any community must be present at

all times in all the areas that present problems that must be taken care

of.

The explanation of the mayor's delayed action probably resides in the

fact that the mayor did not take the situation seriously enough from the

beginning. The situation should have been analyzed since the first signs of

trouble emerged. When the community started having certain difficulties

with MOVE members, the mayor should have ordered an audit on the situation.

But he probably underestimated the situation and at some point things

started to get out of control, sort of speak, because it seems things were

never under control. This is how MOVE members easily became involved in gun

traffic and possession, leading to other related crimes. Given the

circumstances, it was only a matter of time until a tragedy like the fire

discussed in the case study would emerge.

The mayor's reaction to the entire situation, the delayed measures,

the underestimation of the situation, denote that the mayor acted

incompetently regarding this matter. One cannot make any suppositions

regarding the mayor's activity aside from this case, as it is not

recommended to generalize.

However, the situation regarding MOVE situation was not only the

mayor's responsibility. Any mayors govern their communities with the help

of a team. In this case, the team was practically non-existent.

Regarding organization structures and dynamics, the most important

theories and models include:

. Bureaucracy

. Contingency theory

. Informal organization theory

. Institutional theory

Of the above mentioned theories, the most suitable for this case seems

to be the Contingency theory. Such theories are defined through correlative

approaches of management motivation, the organization, and its exogenous

environment. It is worth mentioning that contingency theories do not focus

strictly on motivation. Usually, motivation is treated as a major component

in management, correlated with the organization and its environment.

Contingency theory principles consist in identifying one or more sets

of variables that reflect the state and evolution of the organization, of

the external environment, and of the management system, by revealing the

manner in which they influence personnel motivation and feedback. The main

conclusion of this approach consists in the approach towards motivation,

particularized on each organization and managerial situation, based on a

thorough analysis of the variables under discussion.

The most suitable model is the contingency model proposed by Fred

Fiedler. Basically, Fiedler's contingency model assumes that there is not

just one best leadership model. In his opinion, "the leader's effectiveness

is based on situational contingency that is the result of interaction of

two factors, known as leadership style and situational favorableness"

(Wikipedia, 2008).

Furthermore, in Fiedler's opinion, the leadership style is influenced

by each leader's personality, and personality cannot usually be modified.

In addition to this, the leader can be human relations oriented or task

oriented. In our case, the leader, the mayor, does not seem to be a part of

any of the two categories. As one may deduct from the case, mayor's human

qualities are not found particularly positive by his subordinates, which

might lead us to the assumption that in this case, we are dealing with a

task oriented leader.

However, it is a proven fact that task oriented leaders are more

effective, their activities have a significantly higher rate of success. In

the MOVE case, one cannot talk about a success, but about a total failure.

Besides, the mayor's actions were taken extremely late. Even more, one may

admit the fact that the mayor managed the situation in a completely wrong

manner that was definitely not suitable for the situation in case.

Regarding motivation theories, the most important include:

. Attribution theory

. Equity theory

. Maslow's hierarchy of needs

. Incentive theory

As leaders are concerned, there is a very interesting connection

between motivation and power that must be brought under discussion. The

central element, which significantly determines the contents and the

results of motivation consists in the power that any organization's

managers and subordinates own. Although invisible, power is a major

ingredient of personnel motivation.

There are several definitions on power: Finkelstein, Hickson, Lee, and

Schneck define power as someone's ability to impose their will. Robey,

Salanick, and Pfeffer define power as the quality or ability to determine

the accomplishment of certain elements in a manner that someone wants these

objectives to be attained. To sum up, power is someone's ability to

influence decision-making, action-taking, and behaviors of other members of

the organization in accordance with that person's will.

A leader's power is directly proportional with its influence, imposing

its own vision and will on a superior level. There are two categories of

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