In the past half century, as organizations and administration have become increasingly pervasive, social scientists have devoted their time to develop theoretical frameworks to define how organizations function and how to make them easier to manage, navigate, and understand. Several frameworks have emerged and evolved in an attempt to help administrators and managers negotiate the complexities of their jobs and the organizations for which they work. The first reading outlines those frameworks. There are supplemental readings you can take a look at that examine the history and role of management. Those selections are classics in the fields of management and organizational behavior.
- Scott, Richard & Davis, Gerald. Organizations and Organizing, ch. 1.
- Treadway Tire case study – The case describes a problem with front-line supervisors in a classic mass production facility. Read the case study in preparation for an activity in next week’s class.
- Identify the three organizational frameworks that Scott & Davis describe. What are the main conceptual components of each framework? What are the advantages of each one in diagnosing and solving problems of management practice?
- Why is it important for management to understand organizational structure in order to be more effective managers?
Be sure to look over the scoring checklist (on the class slides) so that you know what is expected in your responses.
- Taylor, Frederick. The Principles of Scientific Management, ch. 2 pp: 1-7 – This piece from a century ago revolutionized management and set the tone of management practices for most of the 20th century.
- Drucker, Peter. Why Management. in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices – This reading is from 1954, summarizing the argument for the central role of the managerial hierarchy.
- Walton, R.E. From Control to Commitment. – This piece from the 1980s was important in questioning the premises of Scientific Management and was influential in inspiring a new approach to management based on employee involvement and team-based efforts. This new model has become central to work organization in the 21st century.