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Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century

Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century

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August 2014 | 352 pages | CQ Press

Exposing students to post-traditional theory as well as to “operationalize” theory, this book clearly shows how they’ve been applied and with what impact. The book first covers the classical foundations of organization theory, beginning with rationalist approaches and the behavioural revolution, and then delving into the diversity of network theory, chaos and complexity, structural-functionalism, and transaction cost economics. The authors then demonstrate how these theories are operationalized; i.e. how they can be applied to various management and administrative functions, including managing individual behaviour, affecting organizational change, understanding and shaping group dynamics, and managing organization/environment relations. The final section introduces students to post-traditional theory, links back to classical foundations, and demonstrates how these theories are being applied in organizations involved in governance.  Austin and Parkes also discuss the implications and provide critiques of these theories.

Valuable case studies bring the material to life; the authors identify both historical contexts and “current expressions,” or contemporary examples of these theories at work. Reflection questions throughout each chapter, end-of-chapter discussion questions, and bolded key concepts facilitate a deeper understanding of the material and prompt students to extrapolate what they’ve learned and engage in further analysis.

Chapter 1: An Introduction and Orientation to Organization Theory
The Complex World of Public Organizations: A Primer  
Sociology of Knowledge:Ways of Knowing about Organizations  
Influential theories and paradigms in the social sciences  
Levels of analysis  
The Book's Approach  
Organization and Content of the Book  
Diving In  
Part I: Theories of Organization
Chapter 2: Classical Foundations: The Historical Context of a New Field of Study
Max Weber – Authority and Bureaucracy  
Henri Fayol  
Frederick Winslow Taylor  
Luther Gulick  
Woodrow Wilson  
Other Voices  
Case 2.1 The President's Committee on Administrative Management (The Brownlow Committee and Report)  
Summary and Commentary  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 3: Behavioral Revolution
Historical Context – Pre-War Hints and Post-War Proliferation  
Chester Barnard  
Elton Mayo, Fritz Rothlisburger and the Hawthorne Experiments  
Systems Theory  
Human Relations Theory  
Empirical Work – Kurt Lewin & Rensis Likert  
Conceptual Work – Abraham Maslow  
Douglas McGregor  
Chris Argyris  
Robert Merton  
Herbert Simon  
Other Voices: Dwight Waldo  
Case 3.1 The New York Department of Sanitation – Bureau of Motor Equipment  
Summary and Commentary  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 4: Life after Berger and Luckman: A Theoretically Diverse World
Social and Historical Climate – Things get more complicated  
Economic Theories of Organization – Transaction Costs Economics and Agency Theory  
Network Theory  
Contingency Theory  
Chaos and Complexity Theories  
Structural-Functionalism & Structuration Theory  
Cognitive and Psychological Models - Sensemaking  
Case 4.1 The Tennessee Valley Authority: An examination of parallel theories  
Summary and Commentary  
Discussion Questions  
Part II: Issues, Strategies and Tactics
Chapter 5: Managing Individual Behavior
The Management Attribute  
Classical and Rationalist Approaches  
Case 5.1 Current Expressions: Classical and Rationalist Approaches at the Department of Homeland Security  
Hawthorne Reprised: From Rationalism to Behavioralism  
Case 5.2 Current Expressions: Behaviorist Alternatives  
Foreshadows of Postmodernism  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 6: Understanding and Shaping Group Dynamics
The Management Attribute  
Human and Group Relations Theories  
Case 6.1 Current Expressions : Control and Expanding the Area Under the Curve at St. John’s Health System  
Systems Theories  
Case 6.2 Current Expressions : TQM and Local Government  
Organization Culture  
Case 6.3 Current Expressions: Organizational Culture and Management at Continental Airlines  
Foreshadows of Postmodernism  
Summary and Commentary  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 7: Affecting Organization Change
The Management Attribute  
Key Theories of Change  
Business Process Reengineering  
Case 7.1 Current Expressions: Business Process Reengineering at the Jefferson County Alabama  
The Burke-Litwin Change Model  
Case 7.2 Current Expressions: Burke-Litwin in Texas Public Schools  
Organization Development  
Case 7.3 Current Expressions: OD in the Montana State University Research Library  
New Sciences and Organizations  
Chaos and Complexity theories  
Foreshadows of postmodernism  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 8: Managing Organization – Environment Relations
The Management Attribute  
Resource Dependence Theory  
Case 8.1 Current Expressions: Resource Dependence Theory at Brigham Young University  
Network Theory  
Case 8.2 Current Expressions: Networks and Municipal Housing in the Phoenix-Mesa Area  
Case 8.3 Current Expressions: Isomorphic and Governance Organizations  
Links to Post-traditionalism/Postmodernism  
Summary and Commentary  
Discussion Questions  
Part III: Towards Post-Positivist Organizations
Chapter 9: Escaping the Void: History of Post-Positivism
History and Genealogy  
Intellectual development  
Post-positive Concepts appearing in the social sciences  
Summary and Conclusions  
Chapter 10: Learning to Fly: Applying Post-Traditional Theory
Organizational Activities  
Chapter 11: Conclusion: This is the Beginning
Top 10 Things You’re Tired of Reading (but should remember anyway)  
Historical and Conceptual Review  
Organizations and Theory Competence  
Governance Redux  

“This book provides a breath of fresh air when discussing organizational theory and practice, and one that students will appreciate. The inclusion of organizational ethics is not only topical and relevant in today’s society, it also promotes and reinforces ‘ethics across the curriculum,’ a vital component of any public administration program. The material in Chapter 7, Affecting Organization Change: The Management Attribute, provides an excellent foundation for students, practitioners, and elected officials alike in the topic of change, an area that few people have received education or training in, yet is such a significant part of organizations and our lives. In fact, the material in this chapter was so impressive I found myself wanting to share it with the non-profit organization I volunteer with in light of their current situation and interaction with the city. Being able to relate real-life scenarios to material in the text, and wanting to use this material to better understand and improve these scenarios is powerful.”

Marcie Delmotte
Northern Arizona University

Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century provides an accessible discussion of a wide range of organizational theories and illustrates how these different perspectives enhance our understanding of the complex management and governance challenges in modern public organizations.  The book will make an exciting new addition to the book shelf of students and scholars alike.”

Mark T. Imperial
Department of Public and International Affairs, University of North Carolina Wilmington

“While there are many fine texts on organization theory, Pershing and Austin's Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century stands out among them. The authors provide the standard overview of the various theories of organization and treat them in enough detail to be useful. Where they shine is in their excellent discussion of Berger and Luckmann's social construction as well as subsequent diverse theories in Chapter 4 that offer a solid contextual framework for the overall subject. Going beyond theory, in Part II the writers delve into more practical action-oriented material that both current and future practitioners can benefit immensely from. Overall, this is a superb textbook that exceeds expectations and can be easily used for undergraduate, graduate, or professional venues.”

Shawn Schooley
Auburn University

The book is essentially designed to address important understanding about organisations and their importance in society. It introduces most of the dynamics for operations and developing effective groups. It is therefore important for Public Administration Students to understand Organisational functionalities, in particular those in the public sphere.

November 5, 2015

Theorotical Frame is well established

Professor ERHAN ATAY
Business Administration , Suleyman Sah University
September 15, 2015

Excelent book!

Professor Pedro Correia
Public Administration, University of Lisbon
December 17, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 7

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Sandra J. Parkes Pershing

Dr. Sandra Parkes Pershing is the Assistant Vice President of Engagement, and a professor in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Utah. Her work focuses on organizational behavior, leadership, and change. Dr. Pershing also works as an organizational consultant and trainer to public and non-profit organizations, and has co-edited Classic Readings in Organizational Behavior (2008) with J. Steven Ott and Richard Simpson, and Classics in Public Administration (2003) with Jay Shafritz and Albert Hyde.  More About Author

Eric K. Austin

Dr. Eric K. Austin is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Master of Public Administration program at Montana State University, where he teaches organization theory, public management, administrative ethics and other courses. His research focuses on inter-and intra-organizational processes of decision-making in contentious environments, and his work has appeared in Public Administration and Management, Administrative Theory and Praxis, The Journal of Public Affairs Education and elsewhere. Dr. Austin has managed program units in both public and non-profit organizations, and continues to work as a trainer and... More About Author

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