Organizational Theory the Theoretical and Practical Issues Term Paper

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Organizational Theory

The theoretical and practical issues that continue to lead the discourse of organizational theories are presented in this analysis, concentrating on how the forces of compliance, offshoring and outsourcing, the pervasive influence of the Internet on transparency and speed of communications, and the lack of trust between managers, subordinates and throughout organizations all are influencing the development and use of organizational theories. Underscoring all these factors is the need for organizations to abandon their hierarchical and by definition, inflexible structures for more agile organizational structures based on solid theory. The intent of this paper is to evaluate and analyze these factors from the perspective of why organizations need to be transformed from their hierarchical, inflexible structures into more agile organizations capable of responding more quickly to market dynamics.

Analyzing the Theoretical and Practical Issues Driving Change

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Organizations today live in an era that has greater levels of compliance and transparency required than ever before. The passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley, 2002) brought a higher level of accountability and transparency to publicly-held corporations than ever before. As a result, there continues to be a significant impact on organizational theories, specifically in the areas of trust, globalization and its impact on financial reporting and compliance across multiple nations a company operates in, and the need for stabilizing organizational structure and practices even to outsourcing partners. The increase in current discourse of Organizational Theory regarding trust is being driven by the needs of companies to expand globally yet also stay in compliance with a multitude of regulations in their native nations as well.

Term Paper on Organizational Theory the Theoretical and Practical Issues Assignment

The influence of the Internet as an operating platform for global organizations is also having a significant impact on organizational theories as well. From the one-way communication of the Internet through the use of websites as the world's new newspapers, through interactive communication using blogs, to advanced technologies used for making distributed order management systems viable and secure over the Internet, all phases of these developments are having a significant effect on organizational theory. The immediate effect is forcing a much higher level of agility and market-driven organizational structures, as change occurs much more rapidly due to the increased speed of information sharing. From research on the influence of the Internet in general and the increased speed of communication and transactions specifically on organization theory, it has been found that over the last seven years organizational structures have in fact significantly changed in structure, scope and ability to respond (Tassabehji, Wallace, Cornelius. (2007). Agility in organizational structures is having a significant impact on organizational theories, with an area of best practices research emerging from work done this year, showing the effectiveness of managers who rely on the most appropriate communication applications and tools on the Internet having the most significant influence on and ability to persuasively lead subordinates for the highest levels of achievement. These leaders who were interviewed and evaluated as part of an empirically-based study on the topic of achieving best practices in leadership and performance by combining organizational theories on the one hand and the advantages of the Internet as a communication medium on the other (Major, Davis, Germano, Fletcher, et al. 2007).

The third major theoretical and practical area that is influencing organizational theory is the trend in many organizations to rely on outsourcing in conjunction with project management to accomplish their product, service and ultimately revenue objectives. Taken together these factors are including an entirely new set of complexities into the field of organization theory, with trust, agility of the organizations' structure, and has been mentioned, transparency, all combining to force an entirely new set of dynamics into organizations. Of these theoretical and practical factors, the most influential on organization theory is trust (Kadefors, 2004; pp. 176-181).

Compliance, transparency, offshoring and outsourcing, the influence of the Internet, increasingly reliance on project-driven business models and the resulting impact on trust are significant forces on organization theory. There are many other factors yet these mentioned have had the most far-reaching global implications concurrently through organization theory and organizational structures. The remainder of this analysis concentrates on how these factors are impacting the areas of organization theory specifically related to individual and managerial performance, how they are changing the concepts of organization power topologies, and lastly, the dynamic influence on trust.

Organization Theory Concepts on Managing for Optimal Performance

As organizations become more attuned to becoming agile and abandoning their hierarchical and often inflexible structures, organization theorists are concentrating on managing for optimal performance. The best managers realize that the most effective scenario for associates to excel is in structuring their jobs so the employees' passions and interest intersect the requirements of the job, and when a position is structured that way, exceptional performance can occur. The greatest competitive advantage, as has been shown by many management theorists including Dr. Michael Porter in his extensive work on competitive dynamics, point to productivity as the lasting competitive advantage for both nations, their industries and their enterprises. Porter (1985) saw competitive advantage as growing "fundamentally out of the value a firm is able to create for its buyers" (p. 3). The greatest challenge in the 21st century will be ensuring that managers are working to ensure employees are aligned with the right positions for their skill sets and interests so that maximum performance can result.

The insight necessary to align the best possible associates with the best possible jobs takes managerial skill.

The implications of managing employees to accomplish this level performance also require that the employee value proposition (EVP) be clearly defined (Brian K. Heger 2007, pp. 121-132). The essence of this EVP is to isolate the innate strengths of a given employee and ensure they are put into a position that maximizes their abilities and interests while at the same time creating significant value for the organization and its customers. This is the most critical task any manager must undertake, as it is the alignment of personnel with the unmet productivity needs of an organization.

What makes this particularly challenging is that in highly fluid or turbulent market segments, the need to continually ensure alignment of associates' core strengths with the rapidly changing needs of an organization is made more difficult by conflicting priorities as well. For the manager relying on traditional theories and tasks of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, the rapidity of change and the need for aligning individuals' strengths to strategic needs is critical. Relying on Herzberg's two factor theories specifically applies to the managing of personnel in an area of turbulent change, as this specific model concentrates on motivating vs. sustaining factors. The need for creating a series of management strategies that concentrates on sustaining hygiene factors yet increasing motivational performance becomes more critical in rapidly changing industries. Leadership is often illustrated when this specific skill set is exhibited in leaders and managers (Phornprapha, Seebungkerd. 2007. pp. 190-213).

Realigning Power Topologies for Higher Effectiveness

The theoretical and practical factors mentioned in the beginning of this paper are also serving to re-align power topologies in organizations. This is primarily due to the shift in how trust is gained, kept, and shared throughout organizational structures in addition to the exponential increase in the speed of communications and transactions. Power topologies are undergoing a fundamental change in many industries that had once prized stability, lack of change and predictability as their core values. This is especially true in the area of banking and finance. The shift to concentrating more on market agility and customer targeting are re-aligning the power topology in that industry to concentrate on market-based knowledge and technology expertise, which taken together defines expert-level knowledge.

Researchers (French and Raven, 1959; pp. 150-167) in conjunction with insights gain in the course and from readings illustrate the important of understanding the various forms of power topologies present in organizations and their implications on the being able to sustain agility in the face of significant change. French and Raven's conclusions (pp. 166-167) suggest that while superiors or managers have control over legitimate, reward, and coercive power, the workers themselves give power to those managers and co-workers who have referent, expert, informational and connectional power. French and Raven are then defining a complex relationship of power, where the subordinate has a choice at times to accept the power a superior has over them or not.

The topology that has emerged from French and Raven when applied to property and construction management is particularly useful, as the industry's culture relies on traditional and information power. Legitimate power inside the most hierarchical and least accepting of change organizations, where the need for managing departments and divisions for high levels of control is necessary is the last to change even when external market factors force the change. Referent power within many industries is tied closely to titles and positions a manager is hired in for, as the social structure of the company quickly enforces the value of project as both legitimate and expert power. In terms of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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