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Week 7 : Emerging Organizational Paradigms Postbureaucracy – connections with culture and learning/knowledge Features and illustrations of the postbureaucratic.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 7 : Emerging Organizational Paradigms Postbureaucracy – connections with culture and learning/knowledge Features and illustrations of the postbureaucratic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 7 : Emerging Organizational Paradigms Postbureaucracy – connections with culture and learning/knowledge Features and illustrations of the postbureaucratic Change in the public sector Resistance to change from management This chapter serves to consolidate and integrate material presented elsewhere in the book that addresses issues of bureaucracy and postbureaucracy. It is particularly relevant for contemporary debates about `new organizational forms’ and the significance of new information and communication technologies in facilitating `networked’ /`organic’ intra and inter-organizational relations

2 Postbureaucratic form (Heckscher) Consensus through dialogue rather than compliance with rules Information sharing rather than hoarding Mutual trust rather than departmental self interest Continuous change rather than set procedures Identity and Power

3 Example of Oticon Holding (from the company website – www.oticon.com)www.oticon.com Our philosophy - people first! We believe that it takes more than technology to create the best hearing care solution. That's why we put the individual needs and wishes of the hard-of- hearing first in our development of new hearing care solutions. Because hearing care professionals are the key to ensuring that the optimum solution reaches those who need it, they are also the key to our success. This uncompromising focus on the needs of the hard-of-hearing forms the basis of everything we do at Oticon. Whether it's hearing instruments or fitting systems, audiology or technology, or our relations with hearing care professionals, our starting point remains the same: We put people first Some of the biggest changes in the history of Oticon happen in the 1990’s. The company’s new headquarters in Copenhagen is designed as an open, ‘paperless’ office environment, and Oticon wins worldwide recognition as the ‘Spaghetti-organization’

4 Example of Oticon Holding (2) Global leader in production of hearing aids Mobile offices – caddies containing bare essentials Work unit was the project –office `parked’ for duration of project Organizational roles emerge through interaction of team members Parallel rather than serial work processing (relay rugby) No partitions, walls or secretaries Group software systems `Control is generated through collective peer pressure and obligations stemming from team membership. In the postbureaucratic organization, social and functional integration takes precedence over differentiation and specialization’ (Jaffee, p. 162)

5 Example of Steelcase, Inc Office furniture manufacturer Rugby style model of product development to break down divisions between depts and disciplines : Multiple work areas for private, project and shared purposes “Mixed neighbourhoods” Senior management located in centre of building for easy access “Activity generators” e.g. water coolers, break areas Movable furniture and walls to configure space for impromptu meetings etc “Functionally inconvenient” meeting rooms and labs to require employees to walk through different areas to come into contact with “organizational strangers”

6 Example of “Reinventing Government `Old’ public admin Public interest. Impartiality Efficiency Compliance with rules Function and structure Justify costs `New’ Public Admin Citizens’ value Quality Adherence to norms Mission and service Meet targets Inequality and Power

7 Strong Cultures ` The shared rules governing cognitive and affective aspects of membership in an organization, and the means whereby they are shaped and expressed…the shared meanings, assumptions, norms and values that govern work-related behaviour; the symbolic, textual, and narrative structures in which they are encoded’ (Kunda) ` Strong cultures are based on intense emotional attachment and the internalization of “clearly enunciated company values” that often replace formal structures and therefore no longer require strict and rigid external control. Instead, productive work is the result of a combination of self-direction, initiative, and emotional attachment, and ultimately combines the organizational interest in productivity with the employee’s personal interest in growth and maturity’ (Kunda) Identity, Insecurity, Power

8 “The Learning Organization” Organizing and learning are antithetical (?) To organize is to forget/reduce variety To learn is to increase variety Concept of `the learning organization’ invites `disorganization’ Generative v adaptive learning Systems thinking – interdependence and collaboration to reach improved functioning Insecurity, Inequality

9 Management Resistance Increased responsibility improved motivation higher expectations of advancement and reward unfulfilled aspirations demotivation `Workers believe that most managements do not want to share power or permit workers much independence in decision-making.Worker requests and pressures for greater decision-making and power are assessed and evaluated by management in light of its interests, and either resisted or opposed. The workplace attitudes of the managers surveyed in the study confirm the perceived intransigence’ (Jaffee, p. 183 referring to study by (Freeman and Rogers, 1999) Identity, Inequality

10 In Praise of Bureaucracy ` Weber insists that the bureau must be assessed in its own right as a particular moral institution and that the ethical attributes of the bureaucrat be viewed as the contingent and often fragile achievements of that socially organized sphere of moral existence. The ethical attributes of the “good” bureaucrat – adherence to procedure, acceptance of sub and super-ordination, commitment to the purposes of the office and so forth – do not therefore represent an incompetent subtraction from a “complete” or “all-round” conception of personhood. Rather they should be regarded as a positive moral and ethical achievement in their own right’. Paul du Gay, In Praise of Bureaucracy, London, Sage, 2000, p. 4`

11 Summary / Take-Away The rational-bureaucratic `model’ of organization remains dominant Espoused theory v. theory-in-use New forms of organization are emergent but can they be sustained? Claims of `paradigm shifts’ are overblown Recurrent pressures to intensify and flexibilise work Moral dimensions/foundations of action in organizations remain significant


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