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Knowledge Objectives. Describe the four characteristics common to all organizations. Explain dynamic equilibrium and equifinality in open-systems models. Explain the ways in which organizations learn and decline (fail to learn). What is an Organization?.

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knowledge objectives
Knowledge Objectives
  • Describe the four characteristics common to all organizations.
  • Explain dynamic equilibrium and equifinality in open-systems models.
  • Explain the ways in which organizations learn and decline (fail to learn)
what is an organization
What is an Organization?
  • Common Characteristics of Organizations
    • Coordination of effort: multiplying individual contributions to achieve results greater than those possible by individuals working alone.
    • Common goal or purpose: having a focus to strive for something of mutual interest.
    • Division of labor: dividing tasks into specialized jobs that use human resources efficiently.
    • Hierarchy of authority: using a chain of command to control and direct the actions of others.
  • Max Weber’s Bureaucracy
    • The most rationally efficient form of organization
      • Division of labor
      • Hierarchy of authority
      • Framework of rules
      • Impersonal management
    • Problems with overly “bureaucratic” organizations
      • Slow
      • Insensitive
      • Inefficient
  • Open systems perspective
    • The organization’s principal goal is survival in an uncertain environment.
    • The organization is an open-system interacting with its environment.
    • The organization’s surrounding environment is composed of variables that are difficult to predict or control.
  • Characteristics of Open Systems
    • Interaction with the external environment through permeable boundaries.
    • Dynamic equilibrium in maintaining internal balances with help from the external environment.
    • Equifinality in achieving similar ends through different means.
    • Management of the Technical Core & Boundary Spanning units
extending the systems model learning organizations
Extending the Systems Model: Learning Organizations
  • Learning Organization
    • An organization that is skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.
  • Stages of Organization Learning
    • Cognition (learning new concepts)
    • Behavior (developing new skills and abilities)
    • Performance (actually getting something done)
learning organizations
Learning Organizations
  • Five Critical Learning Skills
    • Solving problems.
    • Experimenting.
    • Learning from organizational experience/history.
    • Learning from others.
    • Transferring and implementing.
  • Organizational Decline
    • The weakening of an organization by resource restrictions and/or mismanagement.
    • Sources of decline
      • Complacency/Simplification
      • Unsteady macroeconomic environment
      • Resource shortages
      • Global competition
    • Reactions to decline
      • Downsizing, demassing, reengineering
  • Characteristics of Organizational Decline
    • Decline Dilemmas
      • Exit of leaders from the organization.
      • Control that suppresses participation and morale.
      • Preference for short-term thinking and risk avoidance.
      • Intense conflict, preventing teamwork.
      • Strong resistance to change.
    • Counteracting Organizational Decline
      • Kaizen: the philosophy of continuous improvement.