Organization Theory - University of Ruhuna

Organization Theory
Dr. Upul Abeyrathne
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of Economics, University of Ruhuna,
Notion of Organization
• Everybody has some idea of organization and
neither is able to offer a satisfactory answer or
• To overcome this situation, one can use the
model approach to explain it.
• A model is a tentative definition that fits the
data available about a particular object.
Notion of Organization
• A model is not a definition of an object.
• It does not represent an attempt to express
the basic, irreducible nature of the object.
• It is freer approach that can be adapted to
situation as needed.
Basic Characteristics of Organization
• It is purposeful, complex human collectivity.
• Is characterized by secondary or impersonal
• Has specialised or limited
• Is sustained by cooperative activity
• Is integrated within larger social systems
• Provides goods and services to the
environment and dependent on environment.
Typologies of Organizations
• The scholars stressing different features of
the above characteristics have produced vast
literature and can be group into three broad
Closed Modelist, Open modelist and newer
The Closed Model
1. Bureaucratic Theory (Max Weber)
2. Scientif Management (Taylor, the Gilbreths)
3. Administrative or generic Management
(Mooney and Reiley, Gulick and Urwick, Fayol
and Follett)
Open Model
• Human Relations (Roethisberger and Dickson,
Maslow, Mayo and Herzberg)
• Organization Development (Lewin, Mcgreggor,
• The organization as a unit of its environment
(Barnard, Selznick)
Bureaucratic Model
• It is an ideal type. An ideal type is what an
organization tries to be. When we know what
something wants to become, we can predict
the bahviour with some accuracy.
• The proponent of this theory was Max Weber.
Basic Features of Bureaucracy
Office, division of labor
Promotion based on professional merit and skills,
Development of a career service
Reliance on and use of rules and regulations
Impersonal relationships among career
professionals in the bureaucracy and with their
• Subordination to political leadership
• Following this model was thought of as
something that could achieve economy,
efficiency and effectiveness.
• He thought that this is the surest way to fulfill
public interests in the face of politically
fragmented Germany and arrogant Junker
• This model is inhumane.
• The principles of bureaucracy produced waste
and inefficiency. They are contradictory
Food for Thought
• What is the validity of Bureaucratic model in a
globalized and communicatively developed
• What would be the impact on office under
communication revolution?
• What would be the impact on division of labor?
• What would be the impact on hierarchy?
• What would be the impact on Impersonal order?
Utility of This model in comparative
Public Administration
• It provides us a framework to compare and
contrast different administrative systems of
the world
Changed Context of Society
• Globalization : Financial impact
• Cultural Globalization : de-territorialization
and re-territorialization.
• Transport Facility cum Communication
through Cyber Space.
Impact of these global processes on
National Bureaucracies.
• Transnational Communities are in need of
transnational bureaucracies to implement
public policies. This process make it extremely
difficult to decide “Public Interests”
• The importance of international bureaucracies
within nation states is increasing.
Communication Revolution on
• Fate of the Office
• Traditional model of bureacracy requires a space
for the office to be located accommodating a
large number of offices. The communication
revolution has made such office spaces
• Division of Labour: It has to do only where paper
works are involved. It is a difficult task. Doing
things in earlier stages has to be manual.
• Computer has made doing things easy and
easily accessible. At present, organizations
requires people with multiple skills. What is
the Implication? It has made division of labor
or works or functions is irrelevant.
• Hierarchy: The Hierarchies are been made
irrelevant and team works have gained
increasing importance.
What is the impact on Impersonal
• The communication revolution has made boss
to believe in members of the group. That is
the force of trust. Mere Law is not sufficient.
Prediction Regarding the Future of
Bureaucratic Organization
• There would be new method of working. i.e.
distance working.
• Office will become a thin and small space
intended to coordinate distance working.
• In most of the cases, work load assignment
would be a possibility.
• Career system of civil service will come to an
Thank you