Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century
- Sandi Parkes Pershing - University of Utah, USA
- Eric K. Austin - Montana State University, USA
Exposing students to post-traditional theory as well as to “operationalize” theory, this book clearly shows how they’ve been applied and with what impact. The book first covers the classical foundations of organization theory, beginning with rationalist approaches and the behavioural revolution, and then delving into the diversity of network theory, chaos and complexity, structural-functionalism, and transaction cost economics. The authors then demonstrate how these theories are operationalized; i.e. how they can be applied to various management and administrative functions, including managing individual behaviour, affecting organizational change, understanding and shaping group dynamics, and managing organization/environment relations. The final section introduces students to post-traditional theory, links back to classical foundations, and demonstrates how these theories are being applied in organizations involved in governance. Austin and Parkes also discuss the implications and provide critiques of these theories.
Valuable case studies bring the material to life; the authors identify both historical contexts and “current expressions,” or contemporary examples of these theories at work. Reflection questions throughout each chapter, end-of-chapter discussion questions, and bolded key concepts facilitate a deeper understanding of the material and prompt students to extrapolate what they’ve learned and engage in further analysis.
“This book provides a breath of fresh air when discussing organizational theory and practice, and one that students will appreciate. The inclusion of organizational ethics is not only topical and relevant in today’s society, it also promotes and reinforces ‘ethics across the curriculum,’ a vital component of any public administration program. The material in Chapter 7, Affecting Organization Change: The Management Attribute, provides an excellent foundation for students, practitioners, and elected officials alike in the topic of change, an area that few people have received education or training in, yet is such a significant part of organizations and our lives. In fact, the material in this chapter was so impressive I found myself wanting to share it with the non-profit organization I volunteer with in light of their current situation and interaction with the city. Being able to relate real-life scenarios to material in the text, and wanting to use this material to better understand and improve these scenarios is powerful.”
“Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century provides an accessible discussion of a wide range of organizational theories and illustrates how these different perspectives enhance our understanding of the complex management and governance challenges in modern public organizations. The book will make an exciting new addition to the book shelf of students and scholars alike.”
“While there are many fine texts on organization theory, Pershing and Austin's Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century stands out among them. The authors provide the standard overview of the various theories of organization and treat them in enough detail to be useful. Where they shine is in their excellent discussion of Berger and Luckmann's social construction as well as subsequent diverse theories in Chapter 4 that offer a solid contextual framework for the overall subject. Going beyond theory, in Part II the writers delve into more practical action-oriented material that both current and future practitioners can benefit immensely from. Overall, this is a superb textbook that exceeds expectations and can be easily used for undergraduate, graduate, or professional venues.”
The book is essentially designed to address important understanding about organisations and their importance in society. It introduces most of the dynamics for operations and developing effective groups. It is therefore important for Public Administration Students to understand Organisational functionalities, in particular those in the public sphere.
Theorotical Frame is well established