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Perspectives on Organisational Change - Essay Example

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This essay will attempt to briefly analyze each of the Four Perspective of Organisational Change, weigh them, classify them as to their specific strengths and weaknesses, provide the reader with an understanding of which of the Four Perspectives of Organisational Change is most aptly suited for use by management currently…
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Perspectives on Organisational Change
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Perspectives on Organisational Change

Structural/Functional Perspective:
Firstly, the structural/functional perspective grew from the age of industrialism. This was a time of modernism where defined inputs equalled to defined outputs. The total was the sum of the parts. Cause was based on effect; measurement was a rigid and mathematical science that was believed could properly define every level of an organisation. During this period of modernism, the ideas of people such as Henry Ford and others helped to further regiment the organisation and labour processes that helped to define them. As Grieves states, “(Functionalism) was able to look at an organisation as a control mechanism: that is to say, to understand the important structural components and to articulate the functional interrelationships between he parts...because it is a model for controlling operations, this model is therefore mechanistic. It tends to ignore the motivations, behaviours, attitudes, and values that contribute to effective performance” (Grieves, 2010). As such, this approach, born out of rationalism, defined the unit as a sum of its component parts. This extremely scientific and methodical approach tended to miss the mark with regards to who and what actually made up the backbone of an organisation. Such thinking is doubtless one of the causal factors that made institutions such as the League of Nations such short-lived experiments.
Doubtless, there is a distinct need for exactness and measurability when analyzing the inner workings of industry. ...
It tends to ignore the motivations, behaviours, attitudes, and values that contribute to effective performance” (Grieves, 2010). As such, this approach, born out of rationalism, defined the unit as a sum of its component parts. This extremely scientific and methodical approach tended to miss the mark with regards to who and what actually made up the backbone of an organisation. Such thinking is doubtless one of the causal factors that made institutions such as the League of Nations such short-lived experiments. Doubtless, there is a distinct need for exactness and measurability when analyzing the inner workings of industry. This is not to say that there is no place for such regimentation and cold precision; however, this type of analysis is dangerous in that it does not take into account the human factor at any level whatsoever. At its core, any organisation, any unit, any work group is comprised of people; as such, it only stands to reason that by completely ignoring the effects that the individual will have on any process or change dynamic, one is in danger of oversimplifying the organisation as a sum of its mechanistic parts (Kotter, 2012). As such, sole use of the functional/structural perspective will likely lead to an oversimplification of the organisation and will result in faulty and/or incomplete information being relayed back to the management. Indeed, the text states the following concerning the functional/structural perspective: “Structural theory assumes that organisations are amenable to change – because organisations are rational and should seek to better themselves and achieve their objectives” (Grieves, 2010). Due to the very nature of change, the known effects of culture, the very real threat of resistance to change within an organisation, ... Read More
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