Organizational Theory Multiple Perspectives Essay

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Pages: 7


In order to have a better understanding of organization theory, organizational phenomena should be studied in different ways. Different ways of thinking produce different perspectives which come to different concepts and theories. In this essay, multiple perspectives which are modern, symbolic-interpretive and post-modern will be defined. By examine the assumptions, which are ontology and epistemology underlying each of these perspectives, they can be compared. Also, how these perspectives contribute to different ways to think about organizational culture will be discussed in this essay.

Modern, Symbolic-interpretive and Post-modern perspectives

Modernists are objectivists who focus on reality of knowledge which is
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This is supported by the ‘strong belief’ among ethnographers.
“that it is possible to analyze groups from an ahistorical perspective. The history that counts is, according to this view, embedded in the daily practices and symbolic life of the group studied and hence will be taken into account naturally.” (Van Maanen 1988: 72)
Organizational symbolists have much in common with those sociologists who start from the position that problems of meaning and understanding in history are best overcome by ‘indepth, qualitative interviewing’. For example, stories within organizations can lead to an understanding of culture (Liam, 1989, p.3). Through story-telling, symbolic-interpretivist believes that people can be energized to create success or be more alert with the problem they are facing. This can be done through promoting a manager who has great achievement to inspire the rest of the staff. Social constructionist uses qualitative data gathering methods where observation will be carried out to narrow their perspective to investigate organization culture. They will examine through having interview with their focus group.

Unlike modernism and symbolic-interpretive, post-modernist stress that organization culture is not real. They actually have ideological opinions towards cultural and serve it as an illusion. They advocate power and maintain power to make themselves privilege compares to the others within the organization. Both modern and symbolic-interpretive does