By Paul B. Thompson, David McHugh
Acting as a serious advent to association experiences, this ebook discusses a number of matters important to that topic. those variety from the classical theories and bureaucratisation of construction, to studying administration as a labour process.
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Extra resources for Work Organisations: A critical introduction
The starting-point is the identification of a system and the subsequent questions asked are very much the same: what are the objectives and strategic parts of the system under review and how are these parts interrelated and interdependent? One result is that those concerned with the study of organisation are beginning to develop a common language, on whatever discipline their work 1s based. (Quoted in Eldridge and Crombie, 1974: 93) A crucial development, however, has been the acceptance of the importance of interaction with the environment; for the survival of an organisation depends on its capacity to adapt to markets, technologies and other situations.
Weber's theory went beyond economic life. Rationalisation was held to encompass processes as diverse as law, politics, religion and scientific method itself. All were becoming governed by impersonal objectives, procedures and knowledge, embodied in structures and processes which 'confront individuals as something external to them' (Brubaker, 1984: 9). However, rationalisation was acknowledged to be a morally and politically problematic development. Weber makes an important distinction between formal and substantive rationality.
Technical rationality is based on the instrumental pursuit of taken-for-granted goals such as 32 Work Organisations 'efficiency'. In contrast, practical rationality emphasises conscious and enlightened reflection which would clarify alternative goals and action based on the widest communication and political dialogue. A further guiding principle is the necessity to be historical and contextual. Organisational theory and practice can only be understood as something in process, otherwise the search for general propositions and instant prescriptions becomes disconnected from reality as it has done in conventional ahistorical approaches (Littler, 1980: 15 7).
Work Organisations: A critical introduction by Paul B. Thompson, David McHugh