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ORGANISATIONAL

ANALYSIS:
Notes and essays
for the workshop to be held
on 15th - 16th Novemeber 2007
at
The Marriot Hotel
Slough
Berkshire
SL3 8PT

Dr. Lesley Prince, C.Psychol., AFBPsS


University of Birmingham
November 2007

© Dr. Lesley Prince 2007.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page i


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CONTENTS

Introduction to the Workshop 1


Topics And Themes 2
The Nature and Scope of Organisation Theory 3
Levels of Analysis 3
The Metaphorical Approach 3
Organising Processes 4
Understanding Change 4
Conflict, Negotiation, and the Politics of Change 4
Group and Team Working 4
'Cultures' and 'Leaders' as Cultural Agents 5
Trust 5
Linking the Themes 5

Introductory Notes on Organisational Analysis 7


Understanding Organisations 10
The Limits of Rationalism 10
Levels of Analysis: The SOGI Model 13
Limitations of the SOGI Model 13
The Individual Level 14
The Group Level 15
The Organisation Level 16
The Society Level 16
Interactions between the Levels 17
Morgan’s Metaphors 18
The Metaphors in Brief 20
The Machine Metaphor 20
The Organic Metaphor 20
The Brain Metaphor 21
Cultural (Anthropological) Metaphor 21
The Political Metaphor 21
The Psychic Prison Metaphor 22
Flux and Transformation 22
The Dominance Metaphor 23
Using the Metaphors 23
References and bibliography 24
Workshop Aims 28
Workshop Objectives 28

Reading Lists 30
Core Texts 30

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page iii


Supplementary Texts 31
Extended Reading List 32
Directed Readings 48
Frameworks of Reality: Prediction & Control, and the
SOGI Model 48
Making Sense of Organisations: Metaphorical
knowledge. 49
Traditional Management: Mechanism, Rationality and
Bureaucracy. 49
Modified Bureaucracy: The Human Relations Movement
and Job Design. 50
Organisational Culture: Real and imagined. 51
Why Work?: The motivation to get out of bed in the
morning. 52
The Politics of Organising: Goals? Whose Goals? 53
Power and Conflict in Organisations: Pathology or
Normality? 54
Leadership and Management: The gentle art of being in
charge? 57
Negotiation and Influence: What does it take to work
together? 58
Technological Imperatives: IT, the politics of
transformation and futures. 59

Notes on Writing a Case Analysis 60


Structuring a Case Analysis 60
General notes on the Medical Model 61
The Organisation is not well 61
Structure of the Medical Model 62
Description 62
Analysis/Diagnosis 63
Options 64
Prescription/Recommendation 64
Action 65
Concluding theoretical commentaries 65
Abstract 66
References 66
Presenting a Case Report 66

Important Notes for Writing Your Own Case Study 68

Space for Doodles, Marginal Notes, Aimless Scribblings, Love Letters and
Shopping Lists 69

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Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page v
Organisational Theory

Introduction to the Workshop


This workshop is not primarily about management of organisations, but about
organisations and people. There is actually no such thing as ‘management
theory’ in terms of a separable area of study, and what normally goes under that
rubric is really an ideological stance vis-à-vis more general consideration of
organisational and human phenomena. Most of the main elements are taken
from the field called ‘Organisation Theory’, which, despite its name, is not a
single unified body of knowledge, but a ‘secondary’ subject area built on
material taken from other more distinct disciplines. This is both its strength and
its weakness - conferring considerable breadth to the subject, but in general not
a lot of depth. It is, by its nature, a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary
subject area, and this allows for a broad analysis of organisational phenomena,
but unfortunately in-depth analysis is more difficult, because it is subject to
considerable influence from local conditions and knowledge that nearly always
modify the force of generalised prediction. Furthermore, many of its key ideas
are simply borrowed from other areas and applied to organisations 1 .
Nevertheless, Organisation Theory has its main roots in the social sciences -
specifically psychology and sociology, with some elements taken more broadly
from areas such as anthropology and ethnography, as well as occasional
incursions from economics, political ‘science’, and industrial relations. There
are also some elements taken from the arts and humanities such as philosophy,
history and (very controversially) literary and art criticism.
It is, then, a broad field which, to add to the confusion, also goes under
several different names, some of which you will encounter when reading texts
on the subject. The two main areas are generally called Human Resource
Management (HRM) and Organisational Behaviour (OB), but the field is also
sometimes called Organisational Analysis (OA), Behaviour in Organisations
(BinO), Organisation Studies (OS), and a host of other names, including the
practitioner area called Organisational Development (OD). There are, in fact,
subtle nuances and variations in emphasis denoted by the different labels. OB
and HRM, for example, are both concerned generally with "people at work",
although they focus on different levels of analysis. Roughly speaking, HRM is
mostly concerned with individual and group issues, drawing principally, but not
exclusively, from psychology, whereas OB tends to focus on organisational
factors such as structure, design and culture, having its main theoretical base in

1
A recent example is Chaos Theory, taken from mathematics and physics and
simply grafted into organizational theory, often uncritically and frequently without
any real understanding of what the theory is about.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 1


sociology and social psychology. A further distinction is that HRM on the
whole deals with ‘techniques’ - for recruitment, evaluation, negotiation etc -
whereas OB tends to be more concerned with a broad understanding of
organisations as complex systems or constructions. Nevertheless, there is a
substantial overlap between the two areas, and in practice it is impossible to
maintain a clear distinction between them. And the same is true for the other
areas mentioned as well. Theoretically, and in terms of the issues raised and
examined by the different areas, there is considerable complementarity; OB and
HRM in particular complement one another, and should therefore be regarded
as examining interrelated themes. This workshop is mainly focussed on OB, but
some material specifically related to HRM is also considered where this seems
to illuminate specific issues, especially those related to individuals and groups.
For your purposes you simply need to be aware that these differences in
terminology exist so that they don’t confuse you when you come across them.
In practice, in the context of this workshop, the differences between HRM and
OB (and OA, BinO, and the rest) will largely be ignored.
The aim of this workshop is to generate understanding about
organisations and the part that people play in them, by building bridges
between theory and practice. The session(s) will take the form of an interactive
‘lecture’; that is participants will be encouraged to enter into debate and
comment as the session(s) proceed. An important component throughout is that
you will be encouraged wherever possible to consider the material covered
during the sessions in the light of your own experiences to ground the theory in
practice. There will be considerable, although not exclusive, emphasis on the
practical implications of theory.

Topics And Themes


As the workshop progresses it will cover a number of themes which link and
relate to different topics. The difference between themes and topics is
important, and is best understood through an example. Leadership is a topic
covered in the workshop. But in considering different theories of leadership,
several themes are implicit. These include, for example, issues of structure,
culture, influence, power, trust, politics, and so on. There are other themes as
well, which you should try to identify for yourself. To get the most out of the
workshop you should realise that you really need to try from the outset to link
across topics by identifying the underlying themes. This will give you a good
basis to understand the complexity of organisation theory and how the different
topics complement, contribute to and modify each other.
You should also appreciate that while Organisation Theory is, broadly
speaking, a social science, it does not have the advantages of (some of) the
natural sciences because its objects of study are complex, ‘living’, self aware,
and legally and morally protected. One is seldom able to conduct experiments
with all the dependent and independent variables neatly controlled for repeat
measures. Apart from fundamental epistemic considerations there are also
ethical restrictions on what social scientists can and cannot do (and for this you

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should be extremely grateful!) 2 .
Below is a broad outline of the main themes underlying the workshop. It
does not represent a any kind of timetable but is intended purely as a guide
to help direct your thinking and reading. On page 48 there are also some
‘structured readings’ related to the broad topic areas of the workshop which
should help you to identify those areas to which you need, or want, to direct
more concentrated effort.

The Nature and Scope of Organisation Theory


This is the background to the entire workshop covering inter alia the tensions
between Prediction and Control versus Understanding; the Nature and
Status of 'Facts'; the importance of Analytical Frameworks for developing
systematic approaches to organisational phenomena; the Problem of
Knowledge in the Social Sciences; the Nature of Social Processes, their
relation to Emergent Properties and the implications these have for prediction
and control.

Levels of Analysis
The most fundamental of the frameworks used in the workshop shows the four
major levels at which organisational analysis operates, and how they interrelate.
By identifying distinct themes relevant to Society, Organisations, Groups and
Individuals (SOGI) this model highlights the importance of recognising the
distinct contributions of Psychology, Social Psychology and Sociology, and
how these different approaches complement one another. Furthermore, by
considering how the different levels interact in practice, the SOGI model can be
used to illustrate and categorise complexity within organisations. This links
directly to the next topic area.

The Metaphorical Approach


This approach, derived from the work of Gareth Morgan, highlights the
metaphorical nature of knowledge about people and organisations, and the
implications of adopting different metaphors about people, organisations and
organisational change. This relates to the importance of understanding the
nature of diversity within organisations, how this impacts on expectations, and
therefore on individual, group and organisational performance. In particular this
theme highlights the important practical impact of assumptions which are
largely taken for granted and therefore seldom questioned.
Below, on page 7, there are some notes explaining how the SOGI model

2
The same is also true of some areas of the biological sciences, but, rightly or
wrongly, society has deemed it acceptable to do things to, say, rats, that it does not
condone when done to people. For example, unless you work for a very shadowy
government organisation you will not be allowed to wire someone up to the mains and
throw the switch ‘just to see what happens’.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 3


coupled with the metaphorical approach of Morgan underlie, and can help
systematise, our understandings about organisations.

Organising Processes
This is a central theme of the workshop, contrasting the kind of knowledge
developed through sensitivity to social and social psychological processes with
static structurally focussed organisational analyses. It highlights the importance
of cognitive, social, political and emotional processes, in conjunction with
insights developed through phenomenological approaches to human
interactions, and contrasts the ‘organisation-of-production’ with the ‘produc-
tion-of-organisation’, emphasising the importance of understanding how
organisations are created and maintained through organising processes which
are fundamentally related to the expectations, values and interests of all
organisation members. Related to this, as a major theme of the workshop, is a
consideration of the importance of understanding organisational politics and
its role in maintaining organisations.

Understanding Change
Change and change processes are fundamental to many aspects of
organisations, and, indeed, life itself. We will consider the appearance of
change; social psychological approaches to change; macro models of change
processes; strategies of change; and associated Models of the Human Actor.

Conflict, Negotiation, and the Politics of


Change
Conflict is an important topic and theme in organisational analysis. Some
argue, from a ‘rationalist’ perspective, that it is a pathological condition that
must be ‘cured’. But viewed through the perspective of organisational
dynamics and political process, which highlight the diversity of aims and
objectives, values and interests, within organisations conflict is seen to be not
only structurally and socially endemic and inevitable, and therefore a necessary
concomitant of organisational life, but also as an important aspect of other
processes such as creativity and development. Here we address the question by
considering the importance of the analysis of points-of-view; actor-issue
analysis; contextual factors; social power analysis; and the processes
underlying mutiny, dissent and resistance to change.

Group and Team Working


Groups are an important aspect of all organisations, and whether as formal
aspects of structure or as part of the processes within organisations, group
processes are implicit and explicit in almost all organisational dynamics. This
aspect of the workshop will consider analyses of psychological and social
psychological dimensions of groups, including role analysis, and factors

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affecting 'effective' team performance such as skills development and
sensitivity to structural emergence.

'Cultures' and 'Leaders' as Cultural Agents


Culture was identified in the 1980s as an important feature of organisations,
and a developed theme was the attempt to ‘manage’ culture as an aspect of
management prerogative. This is best known through the work of those that
Thompson & McHugh (1990) called ‘the culture merchants’ such as Tom
Peters and Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Although the work of these so-called ‘gurus’
will not be examined directly, their continuing influence will be addressed
critically through consideration of this and the other themes. For example, the
enduring temptation of the culture management approach, with its promise of
easy answers, continues today with a renewed interest in leadership, as well as
infamous (and ill-conceived) systems such as ‘business process re-engineering’.
These issues will be examined through the following themes: Cultures and their
appreciation; cultural emergence; cultural 'management' and the role of
'leaders'; static versus dynamic views of leadership; leadership contrasted with
formal position; emergent leadership; leadership and motivation, and trust.

Trust
Trust is not addressed directly as a single topic in the workshop, but as a
fundamental theme uniting many of the other topics. When considering change
processes, for example, or leadership, trust is implicit, although seldom
examined directly in the literatures. If you are looking for a good handle to
unite the whole workshop this theme is probably one of the best. Consideration
of what generates or undermines trust can help you to generate your own
critiques of the literatures and theories of organisation. If taken seriously, an
understanding of trust, what underlies it, its nature, and, most importantly, what
undermines it, can help generate important insights and understanding of other
topics, and the limitations of their conceptualisation in the literatures, especially
change, motivation, power, leadership, and control.

Linking the Themes


Although for practical reasons many of the themes identified above will be
considered as separate topics, or as implicit aspects of other topics, it is
important for you to realise that they interrelate and interact in many, often
complex and unpredictable, ways. To get the most out of the subject matter you
really need to engage actively with the material, developing your own analyses
and critiques, and, above all, making links between the topics as they appear to
you. For example, although ‘motivation’ will be treated as a topic, it will really
make very little sense in real-world terms unless you are able to link it with
other topics such as ‘leadership’, ‘organisational politics’ or ‘organisational
culture’. Some of these links will be identified for you, but you will also need to
do a lot of this work for yourself. This is not the kind of subject in which

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 5


understanding can be achieved simply by learning ‘facts’ and ‘figures’ parrot
fashion. You will be expected to provide evidence of having thought about the
material, of which cross-linking is the most obvious.
The rationale for this is that to understand organisational phenomena
fully, it is necessary to appreciate that separate topics cannot be considered in
isolation, but need to be seen as integrated elements in a broad pattern - an
approach sometimes referred to as ‘holism’. Considerable emphasis, therefore,
will be placed on the integration of material, both in the workshop itself and (if
appropriate) for assessment.
While this might imply considerable extra effort on your part, in practice
it will have the ironic effect of making the subject easier to assimilate. It is
important to realise that OB is a subject which is, or ought to be, directed
towards real practice, and we do not, generally, experience the world as discrete
bits and pieces.
It is my hope that as you progress through the material, you will see
ways in which it relates to your own experiences, and that you will begin to see
ways of exploring it that will allow you to investigate issues and topics of
particular interest to you. To this end I have tried to build in sufficient
flexibility to give you ample scope for personal exploration and development of
the material into topics that interest you personally.
The subject matter is not easy, but it can be interesting, it can be useful,
and it can even (sometimes) be fun. I also believe that it is fundamentally useful
if approached in the right way and used with sensitivity and imagination. As the
programme develops I hope you can discover this for yourself.

Dr. Lesley Prince


University of Birmingham
12 November 2007

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Introductory Notes on
Organisational Analysis
Dr. Lesley Prince

Organisational analysis is about organisations and people. This covers issues of


structure and formality. But it also encompasses issues of process and, in a very
fundamental way, change. The subject matter can be very abstract, and is drawn
from literatures concerned with organisations in general rather than any specific
sector. That said, much of the material is based on a private sector model, although
at its most general the issues it covers, especially those underlying change and
organisational dynamics, are common, to a great degree, to all organisations
whatever sector they occupy.
Local government has been fond, in recent years, of complaining that the
nature and context of their work is changing, creating, so it is claimed, specific
difficulties. But the same is true for all organisations, whatever sector they are
located in. More generally the nature of work and working life is also changing.
All organisations have been subject to fundamental pressures over the past 20 or so
years, and the situation is unlikely to alter for the foreseeable future. Much of this,
of course, has been stimulated by continuing developments in information
technology, and the increasing globalization that has resulted. These developments
are challenging ‘traditional’ ways of working and organising. Indeed, pressures
from this quarter affect every aspect of life both at work and home, and the jury is
still out on the eventual direction that this will take us all. But information
technology is only one aspect of the changes we all face. Changes in legislation
and political priorities, whilst obviously important in public sector organisations,
also impact on the private sector. Changing social values and priorities, perhaps
best exemplified in the West by concerns about the roles of men and women and
environmental issues, affect everyone fundamentally, and have certainly changed
the shape of work, and, importantly, expectations.
At another level, it has been argued that all of organisational life, indeed all
of life, can, in one way or another, be characterised in terms of perpetual change -
that it is endemic, whether recognised or not. As the Presocratic philosopher
Heraclitus of Ephesus (circa 480 BCE) observed, everything is in a state of flux -
‘even the unchanging hills change, but more slowly than most other things’
(Speake, 1979: 135. See also Honderich, 1995; Hussey, 1982; Kahn, 1979; Kirk,
1962).
Thus, large scale social and political changes are affecting all organisations
without exception. Within organisations this has resulted in changes in the ways

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 7


that people work, staffing levels, the breakdown of specialisms, moves towards
‘flexible working’, and so on. Generally this situation has been conceptualised as a
problem of strategic management - the problem of how management can
implement or impose the changes it wants in relation to the objectives that it itself
has set, whether in response to outside pressures or opportunistically for other
motives. As a result change has been seen simply as a technical problem for
management, with the expectation that once the dynamics of change have been
understood, effecting any change within an organisation will be a straightforward
matter of making the appropriate technical arrangements. But the pressures of
change also generate considerable anxieties as well, even amongst those who
advocate change, and as established patterns change so people become
apprehensive, and often cynical, about the future (Adams, 1996; Bales, 1958;
Blackwell & Seabrook, 1993; Moore, 1997; Selbourne, 1996).
In keeping with the military metaphor encompassed by the phrase ‘strategic
management’, indeed driven by it to some extent, there has been a general
expectation that what management wants it ought to get, regardless of the
consequences (“management’s right to
manage”). ‘The organisation’ is
conceived as being in a state of war with
its competitors (and the environment
generally) - hence the exhortations to
achieve ‘competitive advantage’ or
‘competitive edge’, the pressure to
focus on ‘aims’ and ‘objectives’, to
mount ‘strategic offensives’, and so on.
The stakes are, within this metaphor, no
less than complete victory over the
‘enemy’ or personal annihilation
(Victory or Death!). The result has
been, in many organisations, the
Figure 1: A cavalry cornet carried by Captaine
imposition of a ‘wartime austerity’
Brown’s Parliamentarian Troop of Horse during mentality, with the further expectation
the English Civil War, 1642 - 49. The sentiments that ‘everyone ought to pull together’ as
expressed by the images are possibly appropriate they would in wartime. But the whole
for a military unit engaged in active combat, but
are they really appropriate for civilian
thing is based on a metaphor, and a
organisations in peacetime? partial one at that, although it is
Source: Turmile MS, f 54. frequently described as ‘realism’ as if
that is the inevitable state of the world.
First it is based on a false and shallow understanding of warfare, indeed of
competition in general3, ignoring, inter alia, the indisputable co-operative basis of

3
Keegan (1993) gives a useful, although controversial, discussion of the
nature of warfare, drawing attention to the sometimes ironic co-
operative aspects. Clausewitz is the classic Western source on the
subject (Rapoport, 1968; Howard & Paret, 1993), but it is also
illuminating to read what Machiavelli has to say (Wood, 1965). It is
currently somewhat fashionable to talk about Sun Tsu, who wrote the

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social endeavours. It is also based on a false, and somewhat envious, belief that
within the military whatever those in command order to happen does happen,
without question (see Ereira, 1981, for at least one dramatic example showing the
latter to be mistaken).
The focus on management prerogative, to the exclusion of other issues, has
led to the characterisation of resistance to change, and other impediments to
achieving the ‘objective’, as something that necessarily must be overcome.
Resistance to change, in other words, becomes simply another technical problem
to be solved rationally. Yet it requires no formal research or expertise to realise
that changes at work pose a threat, real or imagined, to everyone involved. At the
very least change increases uncertainty, and therefore generates as well as
highlighting fundamental insecurity.
The threat of change, obviously, undermines the status quo, and people’s
sense of place. It also generates fears for the future (Toffler, 1971; 1981; 1991),
threatening power bases, established expertise, and so on. In other words, far from
being simply a technical matter, amenable to simple solutions, the threat of change
is also a social and political issue, with considerable emotional undertones. It is in
this arena that so-called ‘wounds of change’ are inflicted, and these ‘wounds’ have
a corrosive tendency to undermine trust. It is for this reason that there has been a
growing cynicism about change - ‘jokes’ about ‘delayering’, ‘alternative career
opportunities’, ‘restructuring’, etc - and some reluctance to take proposals for
change at their face value (see, for examples, Mangham, 1979, 1985; Moore,
1997; Thomson & McHugh, 19904).
At the heart of many problems associated with change is the precisely the
insistence on regarding the matter as a purely technical one, to the exclusion of
important emotional factors. This relates to ideas about what organisations are, and
what can or cannot be said about them, particularly in relation to concepts of

classic Eastern texts on warfare, and there are some interesting editions
of his major work (Cleary, 1996; Griffith, 1963; Wing, 1988). It is also
worthwhile having a look at the work of the Japanese writers
Miyamoto Musashi and Yagyu Munerori (Cleary, 1993). Lao Tsu’s
classic the Tao Te Ching, sometimes called a ‘manual of leadership’
(although this description rather misses the point) is worth a look,
although don’t expect a ‘how to do it’ manual (Feng & English, 1973;
Le Guin, 1997; Wu, 1990). On competition, Burnstein (1969), Deutsch
(1968), and Gibb (1969, a, & b), although quite old are all worth
looking at for their comments. Handy (1985) is also worth a look,
although he does get his conceptual knickers in a bit of a twist in
places. Recent work on trust also covers important ground in the
discussion of competition and co-operation (Coulson, 1997, 1998;
Gambetta, 1988; Kramer & Tyler, 1996; Misztal, 1996), as does the
work on co-operation itself (Axelrod, 1984; Baker, 1996; Nowak, May
& Sigmund, 1995).
4
Although intended to be funny, Scott Adams (1996) The Dilbert
Principle is also worth a look for its acute observations about the
experience of change at low levels in an organisational hierarchy.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 9


prediction and control, and, by implication, the ability of social science to deliver
simple messages about complex issues5.
In other words, when change is viewed as a technical problem, there is an
expectation that, like all technical problems, it can be brought into a framework in
which prediction and control is possible. Because organisations fall within the
remit of social science, this therefore translates into the expectation that social
science can supply the necessary tools. Unfortunately it is a false expectation -
although one perhaps encouraged by the ‘Heathrow Airport’ School of
Management texts.

Understanding Organisations
It is conventional to regard organisations as ‘things’, as given objects much like
any other object, such as a table . That is, as independent, morally and politically
neutral, objects in the social environment, that can be treated apart from the people
within it, and, to some extent, apart from the environment without. Objects with
their own dynamics, goals, and so on. This is, of course, very convenient for those
running organisations, because it lets them off the ethical hook. Such a view,
called an ‘entitative model’ (because it treats organisations as ‘things’) tends to
foster the rationalistic approach mentioned above and discussed below - an
approach that leaves little room for the messier aspects of organisational life. But it
is not a view that is sustainable. Organisations are social and political phenomena
of extreme complexity. They are the products of human action, which in turn also
help shape human action. When viewed dispassionately, they can appear to be
complex, paradoxical, and frequently contradictory (Morgan, 1997). When
experienced from within, they can appear to be messy, disorganised, directionless,
and frustrating, and managing them can seem at times to be mere ‘muddling
through’ (Lindblom, 1959). In short, organisations are not easy to understand.
One response to such situations is to simplify. But the problem is to
simplify without making simplistic. To this end it is essential to use models which
can help describe without hijacking the process of understanding. One such model,
describing the levels or ‘layers’ of organisations is the SOGI model6 (see figure 1
below). But before considering this model in some detail, it is important to explain
why rationalistic models can be misleading.

The Limits of Rationalism


Rationality is seldom defined by those who write or talk about organisations. It
tends to be used in the vaguest possible sense to mean something like ‘sensible’, or
‘scientific’ or ‘reasonable’ or ‘grown up’ or ‘objective’ or ‘systematic’ In fact
there are at least three different models of rationality alluded to, but often muddled
and confused with one another: logical rationality; statistical rationality and, very
controversially, economic rationality. Logical rationality is based on the

5
The ‘quick fix’ summarised in five bullet points.
6
Or Soggy Model, if you prefer. The name itself should alert you to the
dangers of taking it as the final word on organisations.

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application of ‘rules of inference’ and is intended to allow valid inference from
assumptions to conclusions. Statistical rationality is based on the premiss that
(speaking crudely) with accurate information and probability estimates one can
draw valid inferences from empirical data. Economic rationality is based on the
incorrect (and quite risible) suggestion that all people operate at all times to
maximise their ‘utilities’ (usually conceived in terms of money or advantage). At
least in the first two the aim is to arrive at a set of rules and procedures which
allow for the exclusion of avoidable bias in decision making (crudely speaking).
That is to say they are attempts at ‘pure’ objectivity (a project for which there is
considerable well founded scepticism as to its eventual achievement).
The ideal rational model is one that is simple, complete and internally
consistent. As a rule such models aspire to be both descriptive (explaining the
world as it is) and prescriptive (detailing how the world ought to be). The latter
aspect is, however, frequently disguised, although it is important to emphasise that
this is not really as a result of dishonesty - it is actually rather difficult sometimes
to distinguish the two. Nevertheless the distinction is fundamentally important -
whether models are viewed one way or the other can have a major impact on
events and people, both positive and negative.
It should be noted that rationalism per se is not being criticised here. On the
contrary, rational thought is as fundamental to the social scientific enterprise as
other programmes for understanding our world. The problem is, however, that
rational models are both very seductive - and ultimately misleading. They are
seductive because of their simplicity. In general if it is possible to view a complex
phenomenon through the lens of a rationally constructed model, it gives the
impression that the complexity is merely an illusion. It also encourages the
expectation that all complex issues can be resolved into simple technical matters.
Both responses are mistaken - complexity is sometimes precisely what we are
faced with.
The real problem is that ‘rational’ models all assume perfect or perfectible
knowledge, information and understanding. But as psychologists and others have
demonstrated, human cognitive ability is severely limited, what Simon calls
‘bounded rationality’ (Newall & Simon, 1972). More seriously, by their very
nature rational models exclude important, but non-rational, aspects of life, such as
emotional factors. That this is an important omission has been argued by, amongst
others, neurologist Antonio Damasio (1994, 1995). Damasio, who might have
been expected to argue otherwise, asserted that, in his view emotionality, although
itself non-rational (or even, by some views, irrational) contributes importantly to
what we recognise as human rationality:

Emotion may well be the support system without which the edifice of
reason cannot function properly and may even collapse.

In general, however, ‘rational’ models applied to organisational analysis


leave no room whatsoever for the irrational and non-rational - emotionality is
never considered except as an impediment (Burrell, 1997; Burrell & Hearn, 1989).
Unfortunately, the success of the ultimate rational model - mathematics - continues
to fuel the belief that such models are possible for all phenomena, and that once
they are established prediction and control will be possible for all complex social

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 11


situations 7. In some ways this, coupled with the limitations on human information
processing ability, is what has fuelled the growth of information technology based
systems for decision-making - expert systems and the like.
Consideration of mathematics itself, however, undermines these
expectations. For those who are interested, the mathematician Kurt Gödel
demonstrated that even mathematics does not completely fulfill the expectations of
a rational system - while being internally consistent it is not complete (Nagel &
Newman, 1958; Sokal & Bricmont, 1997; Speake, 1979). In other words, there are
problems that can be posed within a particular system of mathematics but cannot
be solved within that system.
A similar problem attends that other model of rationality - formal logic.
Indeed in this case it has been shown that the basis for logic is not itself logical but
intuitive - quite the antithesis of logic, in fact (Haack, 1978).
More recently the advent of ‘Chaos Theory’ has lent weight to arguments
about the difficulties of prediction and control, even in simple rational systems
(Cohen & Stewart, 1994; Gleik, 1987; Stewart, 1990; Stewart & Golubitsky,
1992).
Many people are now aware of the so-called ‘butterfly effect’ in which a
small event becomes amplified through a series of intervening effects until the
outcome is catastrophic. This is a bit of a parody, but it is a useful thought
experiment. Imagine that the beat of a butterfly’s wing, in creating a very slight
disturbance in air currents, begins a chain of events, each increasing the effects of
the preceding one until it results in a hurricane somewhere else in the world. This
has two primary features, for our purposes: the unpredictability of systems once
minute changes are introduced into the starting parameters; and a different, but
clearly related, phenomenon, of amplifying systems. Such amplifying systems are
well known, and have received extensive discussion (e.g. Waddington, 1977). In
terms of organisational analysis, the implications of an amplifying system are clear
- small changes in one aspect of an organisation (such as changing the technology)
can have far reaching and unpredictable results elsewhere (e.g. staff turnover). In
addition, each change will interact with other features of the organisation, or
system, whether already existing or brought about by the change itself. These
interactions can cancel out effects - much like the interference caused by out of
phase radio waves; additive, which means that the separate effects simply
accumulate; or synergistic - effects joined together out of which emergent
properties, not inherent in the parts, begin to appear Cadbury, 1997). This last type
of interaction is very important because consideration of the parts does not give
any basis for predicting what will emerge from the interaction. More significant
for present purposes, however, is what Chaos Theory has shown in relation to the
unpredictability of simple systems.
Mathematicians have studied what happens when a system based on very
simple rules is run through many thousands of iterations (Poundstone, 1985;
Stewart, 1990). They conclude that even very simple systems behave
unpredictably - that the outcome of the iterations cannot be predicted in advance

7
And that social scientists are merely being evasive, or lazy, or both, in
denying the possibility.

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unless the system has been run through previously. Furthermore, if the system is
rerun with even tiny variations in the initial values, the resultant behaviour may be
completely different from previous runs.
Of course Chaos Theory is a formal mathematical model of deterministic
chaos. No-one really knows if organisations are truly chaotic systems in this sense,
because no-one has ever derived the necessary equations. It is not even clear if
such equations are possible, even in principle, but what has emerged from Chaos
Theory is certainly very suggestive, and the implications for very complex
systems, such as organisations, are quite profound - demolishing the expectation
that prediction and control is easily achievable. This conclusion is reinforced when
one considers the different (interactive) levels of analysis involved in
organisational theory - the SOGI Model.

Levels of Analysis: The SOGI Model


This SOGI model is perhaps one of the simplest descriptions of what is involved in
trying to understand organisations. In essence all it does is describe the different
levels which need to be taken into account to get a detailed picture of an
organisation: Society; Organisation; Group; Individual. But, simple though it is,
the model summarises some of the complexity of organisations, and can also be
used analytically to conceptualise organisational issues.
At the individual level, organisational analysis encompasses psychology;
the societal level is clearly sociological. But, for completeness, it would be
necessary to draw from all the social sciences, including anthropology and
political science. The problem for anyone trying to understand organisations is to
try and integrate these levels, which is clearly impossible in any definitive way
because there is simply too much to take into account. Furthermore, each of the
levels presents its own complexity, and each is the subject of specialist
understanding. Before discussing these, however, some consideration of the
limitations of the model is necessary.

Limitations of the SOGI Model


The SOGI Model only deals with the political and social world - the world of
human interactions. What it does not include is the physical world, which
nevertheless might be important. The weather, for example, can have a major
impact on people and their activities - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD);
temperatures that are too high or too low; levels of ozone; light levels; wind. If one
is to believe some of the theories being propounded, a supernova in the remotest
corner of the galaxy will, sooner or, probably, later have an effect on people living
on Earth (I suppose you could call this the cosmic level of analysis). Closer to
home, it has often been claimed that the phases of the Moon can have an impact on
people’s behaviour, and it is well known that Sunspot activity plays havoc with
electronic equipment.
A more obvious limitation, from the point of view of social science, is that
the SOGI Model begins arbitrarily with whole individual human beings, and ends
with a vague catch-all category called ‘Society’. The latter is discussed below, but
the former is worth considering here.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 13


Starting with whole human beings is
very convenient, and the model has to stop
somewhere simply for practicality, but for
some purposes it might be important to take
into account factors below this level.
Physiological and even genetic processes, for
example, are often implicated in cases of stress
and depression (see, for example, Nemeroff,
1998) - both issues of concern for some
organisations, not least because of their relation
to human motivation. These can be affected by
the physical conditions in which people work,
Figure 1 The SOGI M odel: This simple
model details the different levels of both positively and negatively (light levels, for
analysis used within Organisation example), and, medically at least, interventions
Theory, and also their interrelations. might be made at this level (the ‘happy pill’,
Prozac, is a good example).
Issues at this level are already becoming important for some organisations,
and are likely to become more so. For example, the defence industry in the United
States is currently facing a crisis because of a shortage of experienced and skilled
software engineers. Unfortunately for the organisations concerned these people
tend, for some reason, to be ‘acid heads’ - a category of people specifically banned
from working on defence projects, and who, in general, are not very sympathetic
to defence work anyway (Rushkoff, 1994). Their creativity and LSD habits,
however, seem to be inextricably linked (see for example Schaef & Fassel, 1988).
Another aspect which is likely to generate further interest in the near future
is the advent of ‘smart drugs’. These substances are said to enhance cognitive
abilities, such as memory and mental performance. They work by introducing into
the body precursors for various brain chemicals such as endorphin. At the moment
their use is restricted to the fringes (allegedly), and they are not yet illegal. But, it
has been confidently predicted that in the next few years if the pace of change
keeps up, they will become a necessity for anyone wanting to survive in the
workplace (Dean & Morgenthaler, 1991; Pelton, 1998; Rushkoff, 1994).
Of course one could move the levels of analysis further down, until perhaps
we are forced to examine the behaviour of subatomic particles in order to
understand organisations, but that would be silly8. For most purposes starting with
whole individuals is both convenient and sufficient, but it is important to note that
some issues cannot be fully understood at this level.

The Individual Level


That organisations are composed of people is obvious, although perhaps too often
overlooked. Therefore, at a very fundamental level to understand organisations we
need to understand people - all people, not just managers - a very complex matter,
as anyone who is a person will agree.
The issue of predictability is immediately thrown into high relief when it is

8
Or would it?

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considered how difficult it is to predict human behaviour. Mike Harding used to
say of his father that he had a problem with his legs: ‘They wouldn’t walk past
pubs’, and most of us are familiar with people who say they find it difficult to
resist their particular vice (such as chocolate) even when they have resolved to do
so. This perhaps captures something of the issues involved.
We have, in the philosophers’ jargon, some measure of privileged access to
our own mental states, motives and behaviour, but how many are in a position to
predict even their own behaviour with any accuracy? One suspects very few, if
any. This rather makes the predictability of other people’s behaviour seem a little
unrealistic, except perhaps in the very crudest sense9.
An individual’s behaviour will be the result of a complex series of
processes involving emotions, knowledge, perceptions, values, interests, mood,
and so on. In addition it will be affected, perhaps effected, by the circumstances
surrounding that individual, including particular incidents and events, the
behaviour of other people, the weather, and so forth.

The Group Level


The situation is further complicated when people form groups. There are aspects to
groups which only appear as group phenomena, such as power relations,
affectional ties and group norms. In addition, people change their behaviour in
groups, sometimes very subtly, sometimes dramatically. This is an aspect of
experience that is easily recognisable: the hell-raising youth, swearing and
drinking in the company of peers, but very prim and proper at home; the shy
retiring individual who becomes the model of urbane wit in the right company; the
company accountant who is also a member of a swingers’ club.
An excellent account of this process appears in the introduction to the
Science Fiction novel Speaker for the Dead (Orson Scott Card, 1986):

Most novels get by with showing the relationships between two or,
at the most, three characters. This is because the difficulty of
creating a character increases with each new major character that
is added to the tale. Characters, as most writers understand, are
truly developed through their relationships with others. If there are
only two then there is only one relationship to be explored. If there
are three characters, ... there are four relationships: Between A nd
B, between B and C, between C and A, and finally the relationship
when all three are together. ... So when a storyteller has to create
three characters, each different relationship requires that each
character in it must be transformed, however subtly, depending on
how the relationship is shaping his or her present identity. Thus, in
a three-character story, a storyteller who wishes to convince us of
the reality of these characters really has to come up with a dozen

9
For example, if one were to pull out a gun in a public place, the
reaction of others is likely to be fairly predictable - although not with
any precision.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 15


different personas, four for each of them (pp xix - xxi).

As a description of the subtleties that occur when people congregate in


groups this is very good. Of course it does not cover every aspect of group life that
may be important, such as group cohesiveness, conformity, the emergence of
structure in interactions, and other group phenomena, but it does nevertheless
show why prediction and control in a group setting is likely to be very difficult,
and certainly impossible with precision. It also illustrates the principle that one can
never fully know or understand another person, especially if that person’s
relationships are ignored.

The Organisation Level


At the organisational level of analysis, factors such as organisational size, age,
and structure need to be taken into account. So much is familiar from much of the
management literature. But other, more sociological and anthropological aspects
are also important - issues such as organisational culture, internal political
processes, alliances, interest groups, co-operation and conflict between specialist
departments, the available technology, and so on. Such factors interact in complex
ways with those already highlighted under the other levels of analysis, and further
reduce the likelihood of accurate prediction and control in anything other than a
fairly superficial way.

The Society Level


In broad terms, ‘Society’ is a label that refers to anything and everything ‘outside’
the organisation. It is a bucket category, which perhaps is better labelled
‘environment’ (but EOGI doesn’t make the joke quite as well as SOGI).
The point is that organisations are not independent entities sitting in stately
isolation from the rest of the world; to paraphrase John Donne: ‘No organisation is
an island’. Quite clearly they are embedded within, and part of, society at large. In
some ways this is little more than a platitude, but the activities of some large
organisations in catapulting large numbers of their workforces onto the job market
would suggest that it is not, perhaps, platitudinous enough. Writers such as Tom
Peters blithely talk about ‘downsizing’ (or other euphemisms for sacking people),
with no consideration whatsoever for the burden that this potentially causes
elsewhere. Certainly one does not get the impression from authors like Peters that
those who are ‘downsized’ matter in any important way to the organisation that is
getting rid of them (see Moore, 1997; Peters, 1992).
Nevertheless, the societal level is important when trying to understand
organisations and how they work. For the public sector in Great Britain this has
been painfully obvious in recent years - changing legislation; the impact of
changing social and political values, pressures to become more ‘businesslike’, and
so on, not to mention the impact of unemployment on the economic and social
fabric of society at large.
But the impact of ‘outside’ is further reaching than simply the influence of
a domestic social context. It includes, for example, other organisations, whether
competitors, suppliers, clients, or simply other organisations. Their activities can,

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obviously, have an impact on the affairs of any organisation. To take an extreme
example, the efforts of a terrorist group can quite clearly disrupt the smooth
functioning of a merchant bank if it becomes involved, even accidentally. And, at
the end of the twentieth century, the span of influence may well be global. The
advent of easy worldwide communications, and the growth of supranational
corporations, means that organisations, and the people who work in them, are now
subject to pressures and influences from some very remote sources indeed. What
happens in Europe, the United States or Far East can now have a direct and non-
trivial impact on all organisations, whatever their size. And, it must be
emphasised, the activities of organisations also have a major impact on the outside.
What happens inside organisations impinges on others outside the organisation;
there are no purely technical matters that affect the organisation internally alone.

Interactions between the Levels


The levels of analysis identified within the SOGI Model are not, of course,
discrete and mutually exclusive. Nor are they independent of one another. On the
contrary they can and do interact. For example, when considering groups of
people, some of the issues are to do with the impact of individuals on the group. A
particularly talkative or imaginative individual can have a pronounced effect on
group dynamics. On the other hand, a group can, and usually does, have an impact
on those that comprise it. Group norms, for instance, can affect people’s behaviour
significantly, even to the extent of publicly denying the evidence of their own
perceptions (Asch, 1951, 1958; Milgram, 1974).
Similarly, groups within organisations can and do have an impact on those
organisations. For example small oligarchies - especially those Child (1984) calls
the dominant coalition - can often have a direct and disproportionate effect on the
activities of an organisation directed to their own ends rather than those recognised
as legitimately those of the organisation. In turn, organisations can have a
profound impact on the behaviour of groups within it - for example the
modification of professional standards in
favour of those enforced by the
organisation.
Interactions of these kinds can be
tracked through all the levels of
analysis, and are shown in figure 1 by
the arrows on the diagram. As should be
apparent by now, however, predicting
the direction and form of these
interactions is not possible with
precision, and will require considerable
local detail even to allow crude
predictions.
All told then, the chance of
developing easy methods for precise
prediction and control within
Figure 2 Prof. Igor Schadenfreude’s organisations, and therefore for the
Patent Motivation Machine management of change, is unlikely, to

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 17


say the least. The sheer complexity of the dynamics involved, from individuals
through to the impact of society, make it a project with a high implausibility
quotient.
This, of course, might not sound a particularly positive conclusion, and
indeed it is not if one’s sole intention is simply to control the behaviour of other
people. But it takes only a moment’s reflection to realise that the impossibility of
such precise control is actually very positive - if one can learn how to manipulate
others, then they can learn to manipulate you - a dystopian nightmare subverting
creativity, democracy, and all the other things that we tend to value most about
life. Only a thoroughgoing authoritarian despot could find any comfort in such a
fantasy. Thankfully it is a very remote possibility indeed - one hopes an
impossibility. But this begs the question of what social science can contribute to
our knowledge about organisations. The answer is understanding of the issues
involved. How this can be achieved is discussed below.

Morgan’s Metaphors
What we assume, what we take for granted, constrains and directs what we see,
and therefore what we conclude. The answer to a problem is constrained by the
questions we ask and the tools we use to derive the answer. As noted above, when
confronted by complex and paradoxical phenomena, we need models to aid
understanding. But whatever models we use can become a problem, rather than an
aid, if we forget they are simply models and start regarding them as ‘The Truth’
(complete with capital letters). Unfortunately this is all too easy to do.
When considering organisations we generally have such a model in mind,
but too frequently one that is taken for granted, and seldom questioned. And yet,
whichever model we use has important implications for what we see, and don’t
see, in an organisation. For example, if we view organisations as machines, then
we tend to see the machinelike qualities and ignore other aspects. Management,
when organisations are seen as machines, then becomes analogous to machine
minding.
A machine minder has responsibility for turning the machine on, and off,
for ensuring that it is properly lubricated, that the motive force (electricity or
whatever) is available as necessary, that the parts are properly calibrated and in
good working order. When things go wrong it is the machine minder’s
responsibility to set them right - replacing old, worn out or damaged parts,
recalibrating parts that have become misaligned, and so on.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how this model becomes
translated into management practice. Indeed it is a good description of one of the
most dominant and pervasive models of management practice, summarised by
Koontz & O’Donnell (1955) as:
v PLAN
v ORGANISE
v MOTIVATE
v CONTROL
In other words, by this view it is management’s task to take on responsibility for
all aspects of other people’s work, including their motivation. In the final analysis,
if the machine breaks down and no other response works, there is always recourse

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to what has been called a Birmingham Screwdriver (a hammer), which translates
into human terms as the ‘Kick In The Pants’ (KITA) model of motivation (Wilson
& Rosenfeld, 1990). If that doesn’t work, and the machine part is irretrievably
broken, the final line of action is always replacement - the Fit In or Go Somewhere
Else (FioFO) model.
There are, however, other ways of ‘seeing’ an organisation. It is possible,
for example, to see it as a growing thing, perhaps a plant or tree, or even a whole
garden. This is not as fatuous as it might appear. When viewed this way,
management becomes analogous to gardening. Gardeners do not, of course, turn
their plants on and off. Indeed a good gardener will not intervene too much with
the plants at all. Instead the focus is on the environment in which the plants grow,
and the gardener’s attention will be focussed on the provision of compost and
manure to ensure that the soil is fertile, will make sure the plants are situated in a
congenial place in the garden, without too much or too little light, and will ensure
that the plants are properly fed and watered. Of course gardeners also pleach and
prune upon occasion, in the right season, but essentially they are concerned with
the provision of the right environment for the plants to grow.
This is a quite different model from the machine metaphor of how to view
an organisation, and it generates a quite different model of management. In
contrast to the controller of the machine model, this one presents more an image of
a custodian.
The point here is not to argue that one of these images is correct and the
other mistaken. It is to draw attention to the principle that each is a different way
of ‘seeing’ organisations - and is simultaneously a way of not seeing. That is, the
models we use direct our attention towards some aspects of organisations and
blind us to other sometimes more important aspects.
Both of these images can be regarded as ‘correct’ to some extent. They are
also both misleading. Organisations are clearly not neither machines nor gardens.
But, in order to understand them at all, because they are complex, we tend to think
in terms of analogy or metaphor - we think of organisations as if they were a
machine or a garden. In either case we are thereby able to generate insights to help
us understand what we see or experience. But the cost of this is that the metaphors
we use also blind us to other, equally important, features of organisations that are
not encompassed by the metaphor.
This is the basis for the approach to organisational analysis developed by
Morgan (1997). He points out that if we use only limited metaphors in trying to
understand organisations, then our insights are correspondingly limited, and so,
therefore, is our ability to deal with problems that we may encounter. His book is
an elaboration of this theme.
Morgan identifies eight different metaphors current within organisational
analysis. It is unlikely that this list is exhaustive, but his analysis is nevertheless
interesting, and his exploration of the different metaphors highlights the ways in
which they generate different insights into organisational dynamics, thus making
what he writes useful as well as interesting. Taking the list from the contents page
of Images of Organization, the metaphors identified by Morgan are:

v Organizations as Machines
v Organizations as Organisms

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 19


v Organizations as Brains
v Organizations as Cultures
v Organizations as Political Systems
v Organizations as Psychic Prisons
v Organization as Flux and Transformation
v Organizations as Instruments of Domination

Each of these different metaphors generates it own way of seeing, and not seeing,
organisations. They draw attention to different aspects of organisational dynamics,
and therefore highlight different issues, problems, and solutions. Each also
highlights different ideologies of organisation and organising, and therefore
immediately links organisational analysis to areas such as political theory.
One particularly important aspect of the metaphors is the way in which they
generate different conceptualisations of a ‘problem’. For example, a ‘problem
employee’ who regularly refuses to do overtime, would be conceptualised within a
mechanistic model as a ‘broken or misaligned part’ of the machine, and therefore
needing replacement or recalibration. Viewed within a political model, however,
which takes into account people’s values and interests apart from those enacted (or
imposed) at work, such a person may be regarded as someone who is exercising
their ability to pursue life beyond the work place - perhaps it is a parent wanting to
ensure adequate time with his or her children.

The Metaphors in Brief


Taking each metaphor very briefly, they highlight the following aspects of
organisations.

The Machine Metaphor, which is the dominant mode of thinking about


organisations, highlights the formal, structured aspects of organisations.
This is the metaphor that highlights those bureaucratic elements of an
organisation, the rules, procedures, roles, hierarchies, and so on.
Management initiatives, such as ‘Performance Related Pay’, ‘Management
by Objectives’, and so on, are based on this way of thinking.

The Organic Metaphor, which is also very popular, highlights the organic or
‘living’ aspects of organisations, such as ‘environmental fit’ and ‘life
cycle’. In some ways this last feature has generated some surprises. For
example, most of us tend to think of the organisations we know about as
fixed and relatively permanent features of the environment. But, viewed in
terms of life cycles - birth, growth, development, decay, and death - which
are natural aspects of living systems, draws attention to the similar aspects
of organisations. When looked at this way, changes imposed upon
organisations which might be viewed as a threat to the very rationale of the
organisation (e.g. the assault on ‘public service values’), - itself a response
drawn from the cultural, or political, metaphor - it might be concluded that
the changes are simply part of the evolution of the organisation, its
environment, or even part of the evolution of the species to which the
organisation belongs.

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The Brain Metaphor is a complex one, simply because the brain itself is so
complex that we can only understand it metaphorically. No-one really
understands how the brain works, and the general approach is to take
metaphors from the dominant technology of the day (steam engine;
telephone exchange; computer CPU, and so on). Thus, as a metaphor for
organisations it is really a metaphor nested within a metaphor.
Nevertheless, there are aspects of the metaphor which are useful and
interesting. In one sense it is a reiteration of the machine metaphor (when
the dominant technology is steam), and draws attention to the hierarchical
relations of brain to other parts of the body (especially the peripheral
nervous system). However, there are aspects of the brain which do not fit
this model, such as its marvellous ability for self organisation, and this
feature is beginning to find its way into organisational thought.
One other aspect which may possibly find new emphasis in
organisational thought is the way in which the brain encompasses massive
redundancy. Much of the brain is not used. Until recently this was a
complete puzzle, but some now argue that it is the redundancy that allows
the brain to function for a lifetime. Brain cells die throughout life, and they
are not replaced. A ‘store’ of unused brain cells therefore allows the brain
to continue functioning despite its degrading architecture. Furthermore, if
the brain suffers a massive insult, particularly in youth, it is now known
that the functions carried out in that part of the brain may be transferred to
another part.
In organisational terms, this raises all sorts of questions about
‘appropriate staffing levels’. While an auditor may argue, for example, that
a health service ought to be run ‘efficiently’ with ‘just enough staff’ for its
functions, one may counter that on the contrary it ought to be ‘over’ staffed
to some extent, to allow it to continue functioning in the event of crisis - as
recent experiences in the National Health Service have demonstrated.

Cultural (Anthropological) Metaphor. There has been much talk since the early
1980s about organisational culture. This has generally been of the ‘we must
impose a can-do culture’ kind of talk, with culture viewed simply as yet
another resource at the disposal of management. But, when viewed
anthropologically culture is not a tool of management, but an important
aspect of social life, emerging and being shaped by those who are
embedded within it. This metaphor draws attention to aspects of
organisational life coded in rituals, values, norms, beliefs, and so on.
Culture by this view is something of a lens through which people evaluate
the world, and a ‘blueprint’ by which they guide and evaluate their own and
other people’s behaviour. Viewed from the outside, cultural ‘artefacts’ can
appear bizarre - such as some of the formal rituals enacted by the military -
but they function importantly as part of the ‘metaphysical glue’ which
binds the organisation together. Tradition, in this sense, becomes something
to be understood as an aspect to organisational functioning that allows it to
function at all, and not necessarily as an impediment to ‘progress’.

The Political Metaphor. This metaphor draws attention to issues surrounding

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 21


people’s values and interests. In a mechanistic model of organisation there
really is no place for ‘politics’, which is viewed simply as ‘illegitimate
politicking’ - an aspect of organisation which is part of the ‘irrational’, and
therefore excluded from ‘rational’10 models, and generally regarded as
somehow pathological - a disease to be cured. When taken seriously,
however, organisational politics is really about those features of
organisational life which are affected and effected by important elements of
human life. For example, within a mechanistic model, ‘organisational’
goals are the only legitimate focus of attention within the organisation;
within a political model, it can be countered that there are other, and
perhaps more important, goals pursued by the people within the
organisation. A good example is the question of why particular people do
they job they do. Quite clearly they may be committed to the job as an end
in itself (as, perhaps, with some doctors or lawyers or printers). They may,
however, be enacting some broader values, of which the job is merely a
part. Or, they may simply see the job as a means to an end - paying the
mortgage and ensuring their family is well fed, well housed, and able to
pay the bills.
This metaphor takes such issues seriously, and highlights aspects of
organisational life such as power, competition and conflict, but not
necessarily as pathological conditions to be cured - often simply as endemic
features of organisational life.

The Psychic Prison Metaphor. One aspect of the socialisation or acculturation


process is that as individuals become fully part of an organisation, they also
internalise the favoured ways of doing and thinking within that
organisation: ‘It’s the way we do things around here’. This metaphor draws
attention to this feature of organisational life, and highlights the point that
frequently the ‘favoured’ ways of doing and thinking are overly
constraining and perhaps detrimental. In other words the ‘psychic prison’
which constrains and restrains what can be done within an organisation.
Clearly this metaphor has something to say about the conditions for
‘creativity’ within organisations.
Beyond that, the metaphor can become a little exotic for some
tastes, highlighting such issues as ‘repressed sexuality’ as enacted within
organisational life, and the ways in which fears and anxieties about life and
death can influence behaviour.

Flux and Transformation. This is a metaphor that emphasises process issues

10
Perhaps I should use the term ‘rationalistic’ here. I am not referring to
rational models in any formal sense, but to the ideological use of quasi- or
‘seemingly’ rational models, using flow diagrams, statistical analysis, and so on, that
imply some form of ‘objectivity’. These are ‘rationalistic’ but not rational, and form
part of an overarching set of political managerialist tools that serve simply to reinforce
the ascendency of ‘those in charge’ without imparting any true rationality to
organisational functioning at all.

Page 22 Please do not attempt to eat these notes.


within organisations. This is definitely a metaphor based
on Heraclitus’s observation quoted earlier - an
insight that everything is, to a greater or lesser
extent, in a process of changing. Importantly for
this metaphor is the conceptualisation of change
itself, and Morgan identifies four different
‘logics of change’: self reproducing systems;
flow and negative feedback (information
processing systems); dialectical or cyclic change;
and chaotic change.
This metaphor raises important issues
about contradictions within organisational life -
drawing attention to some of the paradoxes that are embedded within. It also
highlights some of the processes in which, while organisations change individuals,
individuals also change organisations (logic of mutual causality). This last aspect
is very important. When the focus is purely on what the ‘organisation’ (or, more
precisely, the management) demands, expects or does to the people within it,
attention is shifted away from the interdependence at the heart of organisational
life, and what the individual demands, expects, or does to the organisation. In
some ways this aspect of the change metaphor links directly with the cultural and
political metaphors, because it is dealing with issues also dealt with, in a different
way, in those metaphors.

The Dominance Metaphor. This, Morgan’s final metaphor, draws attention to


some of the nastier aspects of organisational life - exploitation, control, and
manipulation. It highlights issues such as enforced overwork, stress, and the
‘workaholic’, occupational health and safety issues, and so on. The
importance of this metaphor is that it also draws attention to ethical issues
in organisational life - in a way it is the servant that sweeps the dirt from
under the carpet, and leaves it on the floor for people to see and examine.

Using the Metaphors


Morgan did not intend his examination of organisational metaphors to be a purely
academic exercise. His intention was to develop a set of intellectual tools for the
examination of organisations and organisational problems, with a practical focus.
In other words, the metaphors are not simply there as clever ideas, but are intended
to be used for analysis, both by practitioners as well as academics.
He talks about the process of ‘Imaginization’, a diagnostic approach using
the metaphors as a basis for generating insights. To reiterate a point made earlier,
if we view organisations through a narrow lens of only one metaphor, then we are
constrained in the scope of our understanding, and also our ability to act. Morgan’s
argument is that the more metaphors we can deploy in the process of
understanding, then the broader our scope for action. Thus, to emphasise an
important point also made earlier, the metaphors should not be considered as
competing models of organisation, in which one is correct and the others therefore
incorrect, but as different ways of seeing the same thing, each providing a different
set of insights, and therefore different spins on appropriate actions. In other words,

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 23


Morgan argues that the metaphors are best regarded as intellectual resources that
can help in the diagnostic process.
As a corollary to this, it is necessary to cultivate a diagnostic, or analytical,
turn of mind. The very basis of this approach is that the ‘quick fix summarised in
five bullet points’ is unrealistic and unhelpful, and that precise prediction and
control is highly unlikely to be achievable. Instead, the approach emphasises the
inherent complexity and uncertainty of organisational life, recognising that it is
often contradictory and paradoxical. But, although this stance could lead to various
forms of panic stricken paralysis and twittering doubt, Morgan argues that skilful
use of the metaphors will not only allow actions to be undertaken, but that those
actions will be based on a firm foundation of reflection and knowledge interwoven
with sophisticated analysis.
One other important aspect of this approach is that it places the onus on
those wanting to use it to ensure that they are informed about the people they work
with and the context within which they work. This requires some measure of
research skill, and a willingness to value, almost for its own sake, the‘spirit of
enquiry’ 11.
In the final analysis no-one can guarantee certainty, and no method can
ensure perfect accuracy and error free decisions. But, although mistakes may still
be made, decisions that are based on a relatively broad and detailed analysis are,
one hopes, less likely to lead to really stupid mistakes.

References and bibliography


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Asch, S. E. (1951) ‘Effects of group pressure upon modification and distortion of
judgements.’ In, H. Guetzkow (ed) Groups, Leadership and Men.
Pittsburgh: Carnegie.
Asch, S. E. (1958) ‘ Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion
of judgements.’ In, E. E. Maccoby & E. L. Hartley (eds) Readings in Social
Psychology, 3e. London: Methuen.
Axelrod, R. (1984) The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.
Baker, N. (1996) Building a Relational Society. Ashgate Publishing.
Bales, R. F. (1958) ‘Adaptive and integrative changes as sources of strain in social
systems’. In, A. P. Hare, E. F. Borgatta, and R. F. Bales (eds) Small
Groups: Studies in social interaction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Blackwell, T. & Seabrook, J. (1993) The Revolt Against Change. London:
Vintage.
Burnstein, E. (1969)’Interdependence in groups’. In, J. Mills (ed.) Experimental
Social Psychology, 307 - 406. London: Collier Macmillan.
Burrell, G. (1997) Pandemonium. London: Sage.
Burrell, G. & Hearn, J. (1989) ‘The sexuality of organization’. In, J. Hearn, D. L.

11
Not to be confused with snooping, sneaking, spying, or invading
people’s privacy. That’s not the same thing at all.

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Sheppard, P. Tancred-Sheriff, & G. Burrell (eds.) Sexuality of
Organization, 1 - 28. London: Sage.
Cadbury, D. (1997) The Feminization of Nature: Our future at risk.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Card, O. S. (1986) Speaker for the Dead. London: Legend (Random House).
Cleary, T. (1993), trans. The Book of Five Rings. Boston & London: Shambhala.
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HarperSanFrancisco.
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complex world. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
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Public Policy Occasional Paper No. 10. Birmingham: University of
Birmingham.
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Kahn, C. H. (1979) The Art and Thought of Heraclitus. Cambridge: Cambridge

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 25


University Press.
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and the Power of the Way. Boston & London: Shambhala.
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Blackwell.
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Harper Colophon.
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Stewart, I. (1990) Does God Play Dice?: The new mathematics of chaos.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Stewart, I. & Golubitsky, M. (1992) Fearful Symmetry: Is God a Geometer?
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Waddington, C. H. (1977) Tools for Thought. St. Albans: Paladin.
Wilson, D. & Rosenfeld, R. (1990) Managing Organizations: Text, Readings and
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Shambhala.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 27


Workshop Aims
ƒ To provide participants with a body of knowledge relating to organisations
and their management, giving a historical and developmental view to the
way organisations are viewed, and some indication of how ideas become
recycled over time.

ƒ To give the basis for, and help develop, a critical awareness of issues
surrounding organisations and their management.

ƒ To show how different topics and themes relating to organisations are


interrelated, and thus provide some basis for understanding the complexity
of organisational issues.

ƒ To highlight the contingent nature of knowledge about the social world,


emphasising how assumptions about the world, and people in particular,
directly effect the ways in which organisations are managed.

ƒ To use this information and knowledge to underline the ideological nature


of management theories, and encourage students to develop their own
critiques.

ƒ To enable participants to understand some important aspects of organising


processes.

ƒ To provide participants with some basis of understanding for working in


their own organisations when they leave the workshop.

Workshop Objectives
As a result of attending this workshop, students should:

ƒ Have a clear understanding of the development of organisation and


management theory over time.

ƒ Be able to outline the main theories and approaches to organisations and


assess them critically.

ƒ Have a clear understanding of, and be able to outline, some of the main
problems which characterise organisations.

ƒ Be able to develop reasoned, critical, and, so far as is possible, original


arguments on organisational and management issues.

Page 28 Please do not attempt to eat these notes.


ƒ Appreciate the complexity of organisational issues, but be able to develop
reasoned and coherent accounts of organisational problems.

ƒ Understand the importance of organisational processes for critically


assessing rational models of organisation.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 29


Reading Lists
Reading lists often cause anxiety and confusion among students, especially
when they’re long. As it is often pointed out, time is limited, and no-one has
time to read everything, so, some explanation is in order. You are not expected
to read everything on these lists. They are provided as a resource and to offer
some guidance. Like most subjects, the literatures on organisations and related
areas are vast, complex and confusing, and to try and get some purchase on
them without any advice is difficult and bewildering. These lists are therefore
intended to help you to navigate the area; don't think of them as an outline of
all the texts and papers that you must read. To try and tackle everything here
would take several years. Instead, use them aid to your studies, to give some
element of guidance to areas that it would be fruitful to explore if you have the
need and inclination.

Core Texts
This workshop has been constructed around two core texts, within which you
will find most of the arguments and themes addressed during the teaching
periods. It would be in your interests to have access to both these books on a
regular basis. If you can’t afford to buy your own, then consider a joint
purchase with other participants.

David Wilson & Robert Rosenfeld (1990) Managing Organizations: Text,


Readings and Cases. London: McGraw-Hill.
This book covers the main themes and references to general organisation theory. It is broad
rather than deep, and provides short summaries of the topics which comprise the core of
OB and HRM as academic disciplines. It is most useful for getting a quick overview of a
subject, and for supplementing what can be derived from lectures. It is also a useful source
of references to be followed up on a given topic. It also has the undoubted advantage, from
our point of view, of taking a substantially European view point, and therefore goes some
way towards redressing the, sometimes inappropriate, emphasis on the American
experience of organisations generally found in OB texts. It is not, however, appropriate for
pursuing a subject in depth, for which further reading will definitely be necessary.

Gareth Morgan (1997) Images of Organization. Beverly Hills, Ca.: Sage.


Morgan is a respected writers on organisations on both sides of the Atlantic, although his
reputation really rests (deservedly) on this one book. This text, while being theoretically
sophisticated, is written in an accessible style, and covers one of the most useful
approaches to organisational analysis. As with Wilson & Rosenfeld, this book covers most
of the main themes and references used in the workshop. The difference is that Morgan
concentrates on depth, rather than breadth, and provides detailed and considered
expositions of his themes, integrated through his own model of organisational metaphors.
The real beauty of this book is that it addresses its subject matter in a way that makes it
relevant for both theoreticians and practitioners, thus making it the ideal text for this
workshop.

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Supplementary Texts
These are texts which cover some of the main themes addressed in the
workshop, or those which, while being general, give a slightly different view of
some themes. These are recommended as further reading especially when (if
appropriate) preparing for essays, especially in the early stages.

Charles Handy (1985) Understanding Organizations. Harmondsworth:


Penguin.
This is a perennial, and venerable, text which has the undoubted advantage of being both
cheap and accessible. Its strength is breadth, plus Handy's explicit attempt to integrate the
material (unlike most texts which simply present a recipe list). It does have disadvantages,
however. First it is now looking rather dated and some of the material is old fashioned.
Second, Handy sometimes gets himself into conceptual muddles, and readers are, therefore,
advised to approach it carefully and critically. Nevertheless it is still a good all round text
which covers most of the major themes in organisational analysis, and also provides some
useful references.

Paul Thompson & David McHugh (1990) Work Organisation: A critical


introduction. London: Macmillan.
This is a more up to date text than Handy, with a new edition published relatively recently.
In some ways it would have made a good core text for the workshop, and would have been
selected had it been fully accessible to complete beginners. But it makes some assumptions
about prior knowledge, and is, therefore better placed as a supplementary to the main texts.
Its main advantage lies in the contemporary critiques it presents of some of the major, and
most influential, theories of organisations, including Tom Peter's so-called Excellence
approach. It is also unusual in Organisational texts in that it draws substantially from the
Industrial Relations literatures. Its detailed and sustained use of the political model of
organising makes it an excellent text for anyone wanting to study the topics of
organisational politics and power in depth.

Robert Lee & Peter Lawrence (1991) Politics at Work. Cheltenham: Stanley
Thornes.
This is a revised edition of the authors' earlier text Organisational Behaviour: Politics at
Work. It was the earliest systematic study of the 'Political Model', although in places it is
rather Machiavellian, and occasionally addresses organisational politics and power simply
as managerial tools for manipulation and control. Despite this blemish, the text marks the
emergence of a distinctively European perspective on organisations which is critical of the
rational-scientific approaches of North American theory. It is also one of the earliest
sustained examinations of organisational politics as something more than mere
‘politicking’, and therefore provides essential material for understanding the issues
involved.

Dian-Marie Hosking & Ian Morley (1991) A Social Psychology of


Organising. New York: Harvester-Wheatsheaf.
This text also focuses on European trends in organisational thought, especially those
aspects drawn from social psychology. Specifically it is an elaboration of the Political
Metaphor, and presents a systematic and thorough discussion of the main themes of OB
and HRM from that perspective. It is, however, rather hard going, and readers are advised
that they will have to concentrate to use this text. Nevertheless, what this book has to say is
very important for a thorough understanding of organisations and organisational dynamics.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 31


Extended Reading List.
The following texts contain material which can help to extend the overall
analysis of organizations, particularly the political model. They all have
something of relevant interest, including elements of the philosophical
background of much of the organizational literature, and from which much of
the current thinking comes, albeit often obliquely. In addition there are also
texts which are related to specific themes or topics which you can use for your
assignments (if appropriate).

Many of these readings appear as brief references in the guided readings


section below, but not all of them. It would therefore be a useful exercise for
you to browse this list from time to time for useful titles.

Abrahamson, A. (1993) The Logic of Organisations. London: Sage.


Abrahamson, B. (1977) Bureaucracy as a Paradigm. London: Sage.
Adams, A. (1992) Bullying at Work: How to confront and overcome it. London:
Virago Press.
An interesting, although journalistic, account of an important problem. This
book stimulated several pieces of research, and a new field, which was long
overdue given the stridency of the culture merchants rhetoric about
‘management’s right to manage’ - the right to do what they liked.
Adams, S. (1996) The Dilbert Principle. London: Boxtree.
Not one of the most scholarly critiques of organisational life, but it makes some very
important points nevertheless. Read it for pleasure rather than information - it won’t
provide you with much help writing essays, but it will make you laugh!
Anthony, P. D. (1994) Managing Culture. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Aronson, E. (1988) The Social Animal. New York: Freeman.
This is a standard text on social psychology which is regularly updated in new
editions. The importance of this text for the workshop is that it focusses a lot of
attention on issues of influence between people, and covers basic theoretical
and empirical work in the area. Much of this is very important for
organisational analysis, although it is not very well covered in the mainstream
OB literatures.
Armstrong, M. (1996) A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice.
London: Kogan Page.
Arrighi, B. A. (2001) ed., Understanding Inequality. London: Rowman & Littlefield.
Bachrach, P., & Baratz, M. S. (1962) “The two faces of power”. American Political
Science Review, 56, 947 - 952.
Bacharach, S. B. & E. J. Lawler (1980) Power and Politics in Organisations. Jossey
Bass.
Bales, R. F. (1958) “Adaptive and integrative changes as sources of strain in social
systems”. In A. P. Hare, E. F. Borgatta, & R. F. Bales, eds., Small Groups:
Studies in Social Interaction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Bannister, D. & Fransella, F. (1986) Inquiring Man: The Psychology of Personal
Constructs. London: Croom Helm.
Barclay, H. (1982) People Without Government. London & Over-the-Water, Orkney:
Kahn & Averill and Cienfuegos Press.
An important corrective to the dominant models which take hierarchy and stratification
as necessary and inevitable features of social and political life. Although Barclay is not
naive enough to suggest that status differentiation is simply an artifact of entrenched
interests, he does provide some interesting and useful arguments for suspecting that they

Page 32 Please do not attempt to eat these notes.


might not be as inevitable as is sometimes suggested.
Baron, P. A. (1983) Behaviour in Organisations. London: Allyn & Bacon.
Barnard, C. (1938) The Functions of the Executive. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press.
Bass, B. M. (1981) Stogdill's Handbook of Leadership. New York: Free Press.
One for the dedicated leadership researcher, although less useful for the general reader.
Stogdill’s text, and Bass’s update, is the primary source on leadership, providing the
most extensive list of references on the topic, and some very good commentary as well.
Bateson, G. (1979) Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. London: Fontana.
This is an extremely important text for anyone who wants to understand the issues
underlying our attempts to make sense of the social and political world. It emphasises
the point that of our categories for understanding are fundamentally arbitrary, in the
sense that we could choose a different way of classifying the phenomena we are
examining (and perhaps get different answers), while also emphasising the point that it
is, nevertheless, essential to categorise in order to say anything sensible about the world
at all. This book is usefully read in conjunction with Morgan (1997), and Zerubavel
(1993), both of whom examine similar issues from slightly different angles. The
perspective they all elaborate develops a critical theme which will be developed
throughout the workshop.
Beetham, D. (1987) Bureaucracy. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Belbin, R. M. (2000) Beyond the Team. Oxford: Butterworth: Heinemann.
Bennett, D. (1998) ed., Multicultural States. London: Routledge.
Bennet, R. (1997) Organisational Behaviour. London: Pitman.
Bennis, W. G. (1959) “Leadership theory and administrative behaviour: The problems
of authority”. Administrative Science Quarterly, 4, 259 - 301.
Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Berger, P. & Luckmann, T. (1976) The Social Construction of Reality.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Bernard, L. L. (1927) “Leadership and Propaganda”. In J. Davis & H. E. Barnes, eds.,
An Introduction to Sociology. New York: Heath.
Berry, A., et. al. (1995) Management Control: Theories, Issues and Practices.
London: Macmillan.
Bies, R. J. & Tripp, T. M. (1996) ‘Beyond distrust: “Getting Even” and the need for
revenge’. In, R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations.
London: Sage.
Birchell, J. (1997) The International Co-Operative Movement. Manchester:
Manchester University Press.
Blau, P. M., & Meyer, M. W. (1987) Bureaucracy in Modern Society, 3e. New York:
Random House.
Blauner, R. (1964) Alienation and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Boyne, G. A. (1998) “Public services under New Labour: Back to bureaucracy?”
Public Money and Management, 18, 3, Jul. - Sept.
Braverman, H. (1974) Labour and Monopoly Capitalism. New York: Monthly
Review Press.
Briggs, J. & F. D. Peat, (1990) The Turbulent Mirror: An illustrated guide to Chaos
Theory and the Science of Wholeness. New York: Harper & Row.
Brown, D. (1997) Cybertrends: Chaos, power and accountability in the information
age. London: Viking.
Brown, J. A. C. (1963) Techniques of Persuasion: From Propaganda to
Brainwashing. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Brown, M. & Hosking, D-M. (1984) “Distributed leadership and skilled performance
as successful organisation in social movements”. Human Relations, 39, 65 -
79.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 33


Bryman, A. (1986) Leadership and Organisations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Burchell, G., C. Gordon & P. Miller (1991) The Foucault Effect: Studies in
Governmentality. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Butler, R. (1991) Designing Organizations: A Decision-Making Perspective. London:
Routledge.
Butler, R. J., & D. Wilson (1990) Managing Voluntary and Non-Profit Organizations.
London: Routledge.
Callinicos, A. (1989) Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique. Cambridge: Polity.
Campbell, J. & Pritchard, R. (1983) ‘Motivational theory in industrial and
organisational psychology’. In, Dunnette, M. (ed) Handbook of
Organisational Psychology. Chichester: Wiley.
Cartwright, D. (1959) “A field theoretical concept of power”. In D. Cartwright, ed.,
Studies in Social Power. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Cartwright, D., & Zander, A. (1968) “Leadership: An introduction”. In, D. Cartwright
& A. Zander, eds., Group Dynamics: Research and Theory, 3e. London:
Tavistock.
Cacti, J. L. (1991) Searching for Certainty: What can science know about the future?
London: Abacus.
Chambers, G., & C. Horton (1990) Promoting Sex Equality. London: Policy Studies
Institute.
Chapman, A. J., & Jones, D. M. (1980) Models of Man. Leicester: The British
Psychological Society.
Chell, E. (1987) The Psychology of Behaviour in Organisations. London: Macmillan.
Child, J. (1984) Organisation. London: Harper & Row.
Chmiel, N (2000) ed., Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology: A
European Perspective. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Churchman, D. (1995) Negotiation, Process, Tactics, Theory, 2e. Lanham: UPA.
Clegg, C., et al., (1985) Case Studies in Organizational Behaviour. London: Harper &
Row.
Clegg, S. (1990) Modern Organisations. London: Sage.
Clement, P., & Spinks, T. (2000) The Equal Opportunities Handbook: How to deal
with everyday issues of fairness. London: Kogan Page.
Clinard, M. B. (1990) Corporate Corruption: The abuse of power. New York:
Praeger.
Clinard is a law professor who has made his reputation examining ethical
issues surrounding organisations and their activities. He concentrates on the
private sector, and mainly American examples, but the issues he raises are
relevant to organisations in all sectors. This book is a useful corrective to
treatments of organisations that ignore their social and political impact on the
environment and society at large. It is usefully read in conjunction with Punch
(1997), Punchard (1989) and Moore (1997), as well as texts covering issues of
power and politics.
Cockerton, P. & A. Whyatt (1986) The Workers' Co-operative Handbook. London:
ICOM.
Code, L. (1995) Rhetorical Spaces: Essays on gendered locations. London & New
York: Routledge.
Codol, J-P. (1984) ‘Social differentiation and non-differentiation.’ In, Tajfel, H. (ed.),
European Studies in Social Psychology: The Social Dimension, volume 1, 314
- 337. Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Cohen, J., & Stewart, I. (1995) The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a

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Complex World. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Cohen, S. & L. Taylor (1992) Escape Attempts: The theory and practice of resistance
to everyday life, 2e. London: Routledge.
Much of the organisational and (especially) management literature treats the
workforce either as fundamentally passive, or, in some of the wilder flights of
fantasy, as being happy to be exploited. Most of this derives from a more or
less exclusive focus on organisations and management projects, resulting in the
implicit (and ideological) characterisation of the workforce merely as a
‘resource’ for the organisation’s use. As a result management theory often
flounders in the face of real people behaving like real people. This book covers
some of the latter ground. It is interesting in its own right as an essay on the
ways in which people try to maintain some attachment to, and control of, their
own lives. When used in conjunction with a critical approach to organisations
the implications of this study are quite dramatic. This is usefully read as an
adjunct to studies of organisational politics. It is also interesting if you are
interested in questions of human motivation - you will never look at Maslow
the same way again.
Cole, G. (1995) Organisational Behaviour. London: DP Publications.
Colwill, N. L. (1982) The New Partnership: Women and men in organisations.
Palo Alto: Mayfield.
Conger, J. & Kanungo, R. (1988) Charismatic Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey
Bass.
Copeman, G. (1975) Employee Share Ownership and Industrial Stability. London:
Institute of Personnel Management.
Corbett, J. M. (1994), ed., Critical Cases in Organisational Behaviour. London:
Macmillan.
This is a collection of case studies designed to stimulate critical thinking about
organisations and how they are run. You might find some useful cases for
assignments here, but also there are some very good references and
commentaries. Martin Corbett is a specialist in the problems associated with
technology.
Cottingham, J. (1984) Rationalism. London: Paladin.
Much of so-called critical organisational theory targets ‘rationalism’ and
‘rationalistic models’. It is not always clear what this is supposed to mean. If
you want to explore the critique you will need to have some grounding in the
terminology itself, and this book can help you. Note, however, that the book is
written from a philosophical standpoint, and much of the content, therefore,
addresses specifically philosophical questions. It is, nevertheless, very
interesting.
Coulson, A. (1998) ed. Trust and Contracts: Relationships in local government,
health and public services. Bristol: Policy Press.
This is a new text on an important topic. The scope of the book is broader than
this workshop, covering, inter alia, formal contractual relations and regulation.
Nevertheless, there is also much of relevance here as well, and you can get a
frisson of pleasure from the knowledge that you have rubbed shoulders with
some of the authors. There’s also a cracking chapter on leadership from page
95!
Coveney, P., & Highfield, R. (1995) Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order
in a Chaotic World. London: Faber & Faber.
Crainer, S. (2000) The Management Century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Cross, M., Brar, H. & Mcleod, M. (1991) Racial Equality and the Local State: An
evaluation of policy implementation in the London Borough of Brent. ESRC
Monographs in Ethnic Relations no. 1. Coventry: CRER, University of
Warwick.
Crozier, M. (1964) The Bureaucratic Phenomenon. London: Tavistock
This is a classic text on bureaucracy, and one well worth exploring for that reason.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 35


Daft, R. L. (1995) Understanding Management. London: Dryden Press.
Daft, R. & Steers, R. (1986) Organisations: A micro/macro approach. London: Scott
Foresman.
Dale, E. (1970), ed. Readings in Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Damasio, A. R. (1994) “Descarte’s Error and the Future of Human Life”. Scientific
American, October, 116.
Damasio, A. R. (1995) Descarte’s Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain.
London: Macmillan.
Davidson, M. J., & C. L. Cooper (1992) Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Woman
Manager. London: Paul Chapman.
Dawson, S. (1992) Analysing Organisations. Hong Kong: Macmillan.
Denzin, N. K. & Y. S. Lincoln (1994) eds., Handbook of Qualitative Research.
Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Deschamps, J-C. (1984) ‘The social psychology of intergroup relations and
categorical differentiation.’ In, Tajfel, H. (ed.), European Studies in Social
Psychology: The Social Dimension, volume 2, 541 - 559. Cambridge & Paris:
Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de
l’Homme.
Dixon, N. F. (1979) On the Psychology of Military Incompetence. London: Futura.
This is not an anti-military tract, but an examination of the ways in which
organisational dynamics, processes and structures can subvert the effective
running of organisations - in this case military organisations. It has some very
important points to make, many of which are reiterated in a broader context in
Dixon (1987). Some of it is a bit Freudian for my taste, but the overall thrust of
the book is extremely important.
Dixon, N. F. (1987) Our Own Worst Enemy. London: Futura.
Dolgoff, S. (1971) Bakunin on Anarchy. London: George Allen and Unwin.
Donaldson, L. (1985) In Defence of Organisational Theory. Cambridge: Economic
and Social Research Council.
Downs, A. (1967) Inside Bureaucracy. Boston: Little Brown.
Dubin, R. (1961) Human Relations in Administration. London: Prentice-Hall.
Dubrin, A. (1984) Foundations of Organizational Behaviour. London: Prentice-Hall.
Duncan, B. (1976) Invergordon: How men of the RN struck and won. Southampton:
Duncan.
Easthope, A. (1991) British Post-Structuralism Since 1968. London: Routledge.
If you want to know what some of the fuss is about concerning Postmodernism,
try reading this. You will also need to look at some Foucault, and, for a
considered counterblast also have a look at Callinicos (1989), and parts of
Sokal & Bricmont (1998).
Edwards, J. (1995) When Race Counts: The morality of racial preference in Britain
and America. New York: Routledge.
Eilon, S. (1977) Aspects of Management. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Eiser, J. R. & van der Pligt, J. (1988) Attitudes and Decisions. London & New York:
Routledge.
Eisler, R. (1988) The Chalice and the Blade. San Francisco, Ca.: Harper Collins.
Emerson, R. M. (1962) "Power-dependence relations", American Sociological
Review, 27, 31 - 41
Ereira, A. (1981) The Invergordon Mutiny. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Great study of an important mutiny. This book gives some splendid first hand
material about why the mutiny happened, how the sailors regarded their
officers and how the mutiny was eventually settled. This is useful material if
you want to examine issues of leadership, power and politics in organisations.
Etzioni, A. (1961) A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organisations. New York:

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Free Press.
Eyerman, R., & A. Jamison (1991) Social Movements: A Cognitive Approach.
Cambridge: Polity Press.
Fayol, H. (1949) General and Industrial Management. London: Pitman.
Fayol, H. (1984) General and Industrial Management. London: Pitman.
Feynman, R. P. (1965) The Character of Physical Law. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Feynman, R. P. (1995) Six Easy Pieces: The fundamentals of physics explained.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Fiedler, F. E. (1964) “A contingency model of leadership effectiveness”. Advances in
Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 149 - 190.
Fiedler, F. E. (1967) A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Fiedler, F. E. (1978) “Recent developments in research on the contingency model”. In
L. Berkowitz, ed., Group Processes, 209 - 225. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Fincham, R. & Rhodes, P. S. (1988) The Individual, Work and Organisation. London:
Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
Fisher, R. & Ury, W. (1987) Getting to Yes. London: Arrow.
Flynn, N. (1993) Public Sector Management. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester
Wheatsheaf.
Fort, C. (1974) The Complete Books of Charles Fort. New York: Dover.
This is not an organisational text, but it is important for its approach to
knowledge and knowledge making. Fort was at one time unfairly called ‘the
Arch Enemy of Science’ because of his unremitting application of scepticism
to matters of science and epistemology. In the context of this workshop Fort’s
work has some application as an example of the difficulties encountered when
we try to make sense of the complexity surrounding us. Those of you with an
exotic twist to your nature will enjoy the topics treated by Fort - falls of strange
objects, UFOs, spontaneous human combustion, etc. You might also be
interested to see where Chris Carter gets his ideas for the X-Files. This book is
a compendium of the books of Charles Fort (The Book of the Damned, New
Lands, Lo!, Wild Talents) which have also recently been reissued by John
Brown Publishing.
Foucault, M. (1979) Discipline and Punish. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Fraser, C., & Foster, D. (1984) ‘ Social groups, nonsense groups and group
polarization.’ In, Tajfel, H. (ed.), European Studies in Social Psychology: The
Social Dimension, volume 2, 473 - 497. Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge
University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Freeman, J. (1970) The Tyranny of Structurelessness. Hull: Anarchist Workers
Association.
French, J. R. P. (1956) “A formal theory of social power”. Psychological Review, 63,
181 - 194.
French, J. R. P. & B. Raven (1959) "The bases of social power"." In D. Cartwright
(ed.) Studies in Social Power. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan
French, W. L., & C. H. Bell Organization Development: Behavioural Science
Interventions for Organizational Improvement, 4e. Englewood Cliffs, Ca.:
Simon & Shuster.
Frese, M. (2000) ‘The changing nature of work’. In, N. Chmiel (ed) Introduction to
Work and Organisational Psychology: A European Perspective. Oxford: Basil
Blackwell.
Fricker, M. (1998) “Rational authority and social power: Towards a truly social
epistemology”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, XCVIII,
2, 159 - 177.
Friedman, A. L. (1977) Industry and Labour: Class Struggle at Work and Monopoly

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 37


Capitalism. London: Macmillan.
Gauld, A., & Shotter, J. (1977) Human Action and its Psychological Investigation.
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Gemmill, G. & Oakley, J. (1992) “Leadership: An alienating social myth”. Human
Relations, 45, 2, 113 - 127.
Gibb, C. A. (1954) ‘Leadership’. In, G. Lindzey, ed., Handbook of Social Psychology.
Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Gibb, C. A. (1958) ‘An interactional view of the emergence of leadership’. In, C. A.
Gibb (1969), ed., Leadership. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Gibb, C. A. (1969) Leadership. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Gibson, W. (1993) Neuromancer. London: HarperCollins.
Science fiction dystopia about the future and how it may be shaped by information
technology. Written by the man who coined the term ‘Cyberspace’. Although fictional
(and a cracking good read) this book is a useful corrective to some of the triumphalism
surrounding technology. Read it in conjunction with Toffler (1971; 1981; 1991), Zerzan
& Carnes (1988) and Zuboff (1989).
Giddens, A. (1998) The Third Way. London: Polity Press.
Gilbreth, F. B. (1911) Motion Study. New York: Van Nostrand.
Gleik, J. (1987) Chaos. London: Cardinal.
Goffman, I. (1959 The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Harmondsworth:
Penguin.
Gold, B. A. (1994) Exploring Organisational Behaviour. Orlando, Fa.: Dryden Press.
Gordon, J. (1987) Organisational Behaviour: A diagnostic approach. New York:
Allyn & Bacon.
Gould, S. J. (1988) Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Myth and metaphor in the discovery
of geological time. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Graumann, C. F., & Moscovici, S. (1986) eds., Changing Conceptions of Leadership.
New York: Springer-Verlag.
Grant, D., & Oswick, C. (1996) Metaphor and Organisations. London: Sage.
Greenley, G. (1989) Strategic Management. London: Prentice-Hall.
Grint, K. (1997) Leadership: Classical, Contemporary and Critical Approaches.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Grint, K. (2000) The Arts of Leadership. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gullick, & Urwick, L. (1937) Papers on the Science of Administration. London:
Institute of Public Administration.
Hafner, K. & Markoff, J. (1993) Cyberpunk. London: Corgi.
Hales, C. (1993) Managing Through Organisations. London: Routledge.
Hall, N. (1992), ed., The New Scientist Guide to Chaos. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Hall, R. H. (1991) Organisational Structures: Processes and Outcomes. London:
Prentice-Hall.
Handy, C. (1988) Understanding Voluntary Organizations. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
This text can usefully be read in conjunction with Butler & Wilson (1990)
Handy, C. (1985) The Future of Work. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Handy, C. (1990) The Age of Unreason. London: Arrow.
Handy, C. (1994) The Empty Raincoat. London: Arrow.
Hare, A. P. (1976) Handbook of Small Group Research, 2e. New York: Free Press.
Harrison, M. I. (1987) Diagnosing Organisations: Methods, Models, Processes.
London: Sage.
Hatch, M. J. (1997) Organisation Theory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Heery, E. & Salmon, J. (2000) eds., The Insecure Workforce. London: Routledge.
Hemphill, J. K. (1949) Situational Factors in Leadership. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio

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State University.
Henry, J. (1991) Creative Management. London: Sage.
Herzberg, F. (1968) Work and the Nature of Man. London: Staples Press.
Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. & Snyderman, B. (1959) The Motivation to Work. London:
Wiley.
Herzog, D. (1989) Happy Slaves: A critique of Consent Theory. Chicago & London:
University of Chicago Press.
Hewitt, J. P. (1984) Self and Society, 3rd edition. Allyn & Bacon
Hickson, D. J., C. R. Hinings, C. A. Lee, R. E. Schneck, & J. M. Pennings (1971) "A
strategic contingencies theory of intraorganisational power". Administrative
Science Quarterly, 16, 216 - 229.
Hill, M. (1997) The Policy Process in the Modern State. London: Prentice-Hall.
Hinings, C. R., D. J. Hickson, J. M. Pennings, R. E. Schneck (1974) "Structural
conditions of intraorganisational power", Administrative Science Quarterly,
19: 22-44
Hofstede, G. (1994) Cultures and Organisations: Intercultural cooperation and its
importance for survival. London: HarperCollins.
Hollander, E. P. (1958) Conformity, status and idiosyncrasy credit”. Psychological
Review, 65, 117 - 127.
Hollander, E. P. (1964) Leaders, Groups and Influence. New York & London: Oxford
University Press.
Hollander, E. P., & Webb, W. B. (1955) “Leadership, followership, and friendship:
An analysis of peer nominations”. In E., E. Maccoby, T. M. Newcomb, & E.
L. Hartley, eds., Readings in Social Psychology, 3e. London: Methuen.
Holloway, W. (1991) Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour. London:
Sage.
Hoxie, R. (1915) Scientific Management and Labour. New York: Appleton.
Hughes, O. (1998) Public Sector Management and Administration. London:
Macmillan.
Hunt, J., & Palmer, S. (1999) Further Guidance for Local Authorities on the Stephen
Lawrence Enquiry. London: Local Government Association.
Hunt, J. G. (1991) Leadership: A new synthesis. London: Sage.
Hunt, J. H. (1979) Managing People at Work. London: Pan.
Jackson, S., Koke, J., Pearcy, D., & Hartsock, A. (1994) eds., Principia Discordia. Or
How I Found Goddess, and What I Did to Her When I Found Her: Wherein is
explained absolutely everything worth knowing about absolutely anything.
Austin, TX.: Steve Jackson Games.
Don’t expect a standard organisational studies text here - or even a standard
work of scholarship. This one’s just for interest, although if you are in any way
fascinated by the balance and tension between order and chaos this book does,
ironically given its intention, contain some interesting stuff.
Jacques, E. (1976) A General Theory of Bureaucracy. London: Heinemann.
Jacques, E. (1993) A General Theory of Bureaucracy. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Janis, I., & Mann, L. (1977) Decision Making. New York: Free Press.
Jewson, N., & Mason, D. (1994) ‘The theory and practice of equal opportunities
policies: Liberal and radical.’ Sociological Review, 34, 307 - 334.
Johnson, P., & Gill, J. (1993) Management Control and Organisational Behaviour.
London: Paul Chapman.
Johnson, R., & Redmond, D. (2000) Diversity Incorporated: Managing People for
Success in a Diverse World. London: Financial Times, Prentice-Hall.
Jones, G. R. (1998) Organisational Theory: Text and Cases, 2e. New York: Addison-

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 39


Wesley.
Kakabadse, A. & Parker, C. (1984) Power Politics and Organisations. Bath: Pitman.
Kandola, R., & Fullerton, J. (1998) Diversity in Action: Managing the Mosaic.
London: CIPD.
Katzell, R. A. & Thompson, D. E. (1990) ‘Work motivation: Theory and Practice’,
American Psychologist, 45 (2) 144 - 153.
Kellerman, B. (1984) Leadership: Multidisciplinary perspectives. London: Prentice-
Hall.
Kelly, R-M. (1991) The Gendered Economy. Newbury Park, Ca.: Sage.
Kipnis, D (1996) ‘Trust and technology’. In, R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust
in Organizations. London: Sage.
Kipnis, D., Castell, P., Gergen, M., & Mauch, D. (1976) “Metamorphic effects of
power”. Journal of Applied Psychology, 61,
Kipnis, D., S. Schmidt, I. Wilkinson (1980) "Interorganisational influence tactics:
explorations in getting one's way". Journal of Applied Psychology, 65: 440-
452.
Kirton, G., & Greene, A-M., (2000) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity: A Critical
Approach. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Knippenburg, Ad F. M. (1984) ‘Intergroup differences in group perceptions.’ In,
Tajfel, H. (ed.), European Studies in Social Psychology: The Social
Dimension, volume 2, 560 - 578. Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge University
Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Korda, M. (1975) Power. London: Ballantine Books.
Kramer, R. M. (1996) ‘Divergent realities and convergent disappointments in the
hierarchic relation: Trust and the intuitive auditor at work’. In, R. M. Kramer
& T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations. London: Sage.
Kramer, R. M, & Tyler, T. R. (1996), eds., Trust in Organizations. London: Sage.
Kropotkin, P. (1974), ed., C. Ward, Fields, Factories and Workshops. London:
George Allen & Unwin.
Lathom, R. (1999) ‘Against all odds: Managing Diversity.’ In, Chmiel, N. (ed.),
Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology. Oxford: Basil
Blackwell.
Lawthom, R. (2000) ‘Against all odds: Managing diversity’. In, N. Chmiel (ed)
Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology: A European
Perspective. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Leavitt, H. (1973) The Organisational World. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Leavitt, H., Dill, W. R., & Eyring, H. B. (1973) The Organisational World: A
systematic view of managers and management. New York: Harcourt, Brace,
Jovanovich.
Leavitt, H. J., Pondy, L. R., & Boje, D. M. (1989) eds., Readings in Managerial
Psychology (4e). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Lee, R., & Lawrence, P. (1985) Organisational Behaviour: Politics at Work. London:
Hutchinson.
Le Guin, U. (1975) The Dispossessed. London: Grafton.
A wonderful science fiction novel addressing questions of hierarchy and power in an
accessible form. It’s also a good read. As with Gibson (1993) this book raises important
issues, albeit in a fictional context. In this case Le Guin examines issues of power and
dependency, and some of her insights are actually quite profound.
Lewicki, R. J., & Bunker, B. B. (1996) ‘Developing and maintaining trust in work
relationships’. In, R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations.
London: Sage.

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Lewin, R. (1993) Complexity: Life at the edge of chaos. London: Dent.
Popular text presenting information about recent developments in the
mathematics of complexity. It is a reasonably straightforward account in non-
technical language, laying out the main features of the area. This is useful and
important material for issues of certainty and control in real world systems.
Although this is not specifically geared towards organisational theory, much of
the content of this book is highly suggestive for organisational analysis.
Levine, C. (1974) “Tyranny of tyranny”. Black Rose, 1.
Liff, S. (1996) ‘Two routes to managing diversity: Individual differences or social
groups.’ Employee Relations, 19, 11 - 26.
Locke, E. (1992) “The ideas of Frederick Taylor: An evaluation”. Academy of
ManagementReview,
Lukes, S. (1974) Power: A radical view. London: Macmillan.
A well known (and very short) study of social power by a specialist in the
subject. Well worth looking at for most aspects of the workshop.
Lukes, S. (1986) ed., Power. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Luthans, F. (1989) Organisational Behaviour. London: McGraw-Hill.
Macpherson, W. (1999) The Stephen Lawrence Enquiry, Command Paper 4262-1.
London: HMSO.
Makin, P., Cooper, C., & Cox, C. (1989) Managing People at Work. Leicester: The
British Psychological Society and Macmillan.
Mangham, I. L. (1979) The Politics of Organisational Change. Associated Business
Press.
Mangham, I. L. (1985) Power and Performance in Organisations. Oxford: Blackwell
Mant, A. (1983) Leaders We Deserve. Oxford: Martin Robertson.
March, J. & Simon, H. (1958) Organisation. New York: Wiley.
March, J. & Simon, H. (1993) Organisations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
March, J., & Simon, H. (1971) “Dysfunctional bureaucracy”. In, D. Pugh, ed.,
Organisation Theory. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Marcouse, I. (1996) Understanding Industry. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
McLean, I. (1987) Public Choice. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
McGregor, D. (1960) The Human Side of Enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Mechanic, D. (1962) "Sources of power of lower participants in complex
organisations". Administrative Science Quarterly, 7, 349-364
Mellor, M., J. Hannah, J. Stirling (1988) Worker Co-operatives in Theory and
Practice. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Merton, R. K. (1969) “The social nature of leadership”. American Journal of Nursing,
69, 2614 - 2618.
Merton, R. K. (1971) “Bureaucratic structure and personality”. Social Forces, 18, 560
- 568.
Merton, R. K. (1971) “Bureaucratic structure and personality”. In, A. Etzioni, ed.,
Complex Organisations. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Meyerson, D., Weick, K. E., & Kramer, R. M. (1996) ‘Swift trust and temporary
groups’. In, R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations.
London: Sage.
Meyerson, D. E. & Fletcher, J. K. (2000) ‘A modest manifesto for shattering the glass
ceiling.’ Harvard Business Review, January - February.
Miller, D. (1984) Anarchism. London: Dent.
Milner, D. (1984) ‘The development of ethnic attitudes.’ In, Tajfel, H. (ed.), European
Studies in Social Psychology: The Social Dimension, volume 1, 89 - 110.
Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 41


des Sciences de l’Homme.
Mintzberg, H. (1983) Power in and around Organisations. Prentice-Hall
Moore, M. (1997) Downsize This! London: Boxtree.
Michael Moore is well known for his television productions, and his criticism of big
business and its treatment of those who work for it. This book is an extended essay
outlining his criticisms and the reasons for his outrage. In some places it is a bit patchy,
and some of the material is not directly relevant to the workshop, but there is sufficient
within it to make it an important adjunct, and corrective, to those texts which blandly
talk about ‘restructuring’ or those which are frankly triumphalist about ‘downsizing’ (or
whatever the current euphemism is for sacking people). This book has some significant
material in it for advancing the political analysis of organisations. Written by someone
who has no need (or desire) to flatter management, this book provides a lot of
illumination on the reactions of the powerless to the power of organisations.
Moorehead, G., & Griffin, R. (1992) Organisational Behaviour. Boston, Ma.:
Houghton-Mifflin.
Moorehead, G., & Griffin, R. (1995) Organisational Behaviour: Managing People
and Organisations. Boston, Ma.: Houghton-Mifflin.
Mohrman, A. M., et al., (1989) Large Scale Organizational Change. London: Jossey-
Bass.
Boring but useful. This book consists of a series of separate essays each
dealing with a different aspect of organizational change. You should be aware,
however, that the chapters are only loosely integrated, and there is considerable
disagreement amongst the authors on key aspects and issues.
Morgan, S. (2003) Equality and Diversity in Local Government in England: A
literature review. London: ODPM.
Morley, I. E., & Stephemson, G. (1977) The Social Psychology of Bargaining.
London: George Allen & Unwin.
Mowday, R. T. (1978) "The exercise of upward influence in organisations".
Administrative Science Quarterly, 23: 137-156
Mowday, R. T. (1987) ‘Equity theory: Predications of behaviour in organisations’. In,
Steers, R. & Porter, L. (eds) Motivation and Work Behaviour. London:
McGraw-Hill.
Mulholland, J. (1991) The Language of Negotiation. London: Routledge.
Mullins, L. J. (1999) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 5e. London:
Pearson Education.
Neale, J. (1985) The Cutlass and the Lash: Mutiny and discipline in Nelson's Navy.
London and Sidney: Pluto Press.
Nelson, D. (1980) Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management.
Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
Newall, A., & Simon, H. A. (1972) Human Problem Solving. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.:
Prentice-Hall.
Newman, J. (1978) Management Applications of Decision Theory. New York: Harper
& Row.
Nicholson, J. (1984) Men and Women: How different are they? Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Nolan, J., Wichert, I., & Burchell, B. (2000) ‘Job insecurity, psychological well-being
and family life’. In, Heery, E. & Salmon, J. (eds) The Insecure Workforce.
London: Routledge.
Northouse, P. (1997) Leadership. London: Sage.
Osborne, D. & T. Gaebler (1993) Reinventing Government. New York: Plume.
Private sector version of In Search of Excellence. The book is complete junk,
but influential nevertheless, not least with Bill Clinton and our own esteemed
government.

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Packard, V. (1978) The People Shapers. London: Futura.
Packard, V. (1981) The Hidden Persuaders. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Packard’s books are now quite old, but what they say is still relevant. For some
reason issues of influence within and between people has been neglected within
organisational theory, certainly since the 1970s, and as a consequence there is a
kind of naivete running through some areas of the literature. Packard’s
examination of issues of power and influence fills some of the gaps, and can be
usefully read in conjunction with more specialised texts such as Aronson
(1988).
Parsons, W. (1997) Public Policy: An introduction to the theory and practice of policy
analysis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Patchen, M. (1974) "The locus and basis of influence on organisational decisions".
Organisational Behaviour and Human Performance, 11, 192-221
Paton, R. (1978) “Some problems of cooperative organisation”. Cooperatives
Research Monograph, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Paton, R. (1983) "Powers visible and invisible". In, R. Paton, S. Brown, R. Spear, J.
Chapman, M. Floyd, & J. Hamwee (eds., 1984) Organisations: Cases, Issues,
Concepts. London: Harper & Row and the Open University
This is a splendid examination of social power in the mould of French & Raven
(1959). This is usefully read in conjunction with French & Raven’s original
study, and with Mowday (1978) and Mechanic (1962).
Peters, T. (1992) Liberation Management. London: Macmillan.
A useful book for sources and information. Its moral stance, however, is
dubious, and Peters' analysis is, as ever, superficial, platitudinous and
patronising. Since writing this Peters has moved on to other topics. Although I
am no fan of Peters, this book is usefully read in conjunction with Toffler
(1971, 1981, 1991), as well as Zerzan & Carnes (1988), Zuboff (1989), and
Handy (1985, 1990, 1994).
Pettigrew, A. (1973) The Politics of Management Decision Making. London:
Tavistock.
Pfeffer, J. (1981) Power in Organisations. London: Pitman
Pfeffer, J. (1981) Power in Organisations. New York: Harper Collins.
Pfeffer, J. (1983) ‘The Ambiguity of Leadership’. In, J. Hackman et al., Perspectives
on Behaviour in Organisations. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Pheysey D. C. (1993) Organisational Cultures: Types and Transformations. London:
Routledge.
Plant, R. (1987) Managing Change and Making it Stick. London: Fontana.
Prasad, P., & Mills, A. (1997) From Showcase to Shadow: Understanding the
Dilemmas of Managing Workplace Diversity. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
Prasad, P., Mills, A. S., Elmes, M., & Prasad, A. (1997), eds., Managing the
Organisational Melting Pot. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
Pratchett, T. (1989) Truckers. London: Corgi.
Pratchett, T. (1990) Diggers. London: Corgi.
Pratchett, T. (1990) Wings. London: Corgi.
Pratchett, T. (1992) Lords and Ladies. London: Victor Gollancz.
Pratchett is not noted for his contribution to organisation theory, but like the
other fiction authors included in this list he does, nevertheless, offer some
intriguing and important insights. The three ‘nomes’ books (Truckers, Diggers,
Wings) are actually an extended discussion of the difficulties of instituting
change, although Pratchett naturally didn’t write them for the instruction of
managers and would-be managers. Lords and Ladies is an interesting
examination of power - real and imagined - recapitulating some of the more
formal insights of French & Raven (1959) and Paton (1983).
Prigogine, I., & I. Stengers (1984) Order Out of Chaos. London: Fontana.
Pugh, D. (1971) Organisation Theory. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 43


Extracts from some of the more influential organisation theorists. This book provides
access to some of the work of the founders of modern management theory, in their own
words, without having to do extensive library work. Reading an author’s own words can
be quite a surprise when compared to the commentaries offered in other text books.
Pugh, D. & Hickson, D. (1983) Writers on Organisations. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
This provides potted summaries of some of the main (historical) organisation theorists,
and is invaluable as a guide to further reading as well as a summary of the whole field.
Punch, M. (1997) Dirty Business: Exploring corporate misconduct. London: Sage.
A relatively new book exploring aspects of organisations which, frankly, seldom appear
in the mainstream texts. An important contribution to the political analysis of
organisations, which develops a theme likely to become much more important in the
near future - organisational ethics. This book is usefully read in conjunction with Clinard
(1990).
Punchard, E. (1989) Piper Alpha: A Survivor's Story. London: Star.
Quarter, J. & G. Melnyk (1989) Partners in Enterprise. Montreal: Black Rose.
A book about the operation of collectives and co-operatives. Useful as a
corrective to the presumption that hierarchical organisations are somehow
inescapably ‘natural’.
Quinn, R. (1984) Beyond Rational Management. New York: Jossey-Bass.
Ribeaux, P., & Poppleton, S. (1983) Psychology and Work: An Introduction. London:
Macmillan.
Richards, V. (1983) Why Work?. London: Freedom Press.
Robinson, W. P. (1996) ed., Social Groups and Identities: Developing the legacy of
Henri Tajfel. Oxford: Butterwoth-Heinemann.
Robson, M. (1995) Quality Circles. Hants.: Gower.
Roetter, C. (1974) Psychological Warfare. London: Batsford.
Rollinson, D., Broadfield, A., & Edwards, D. J. (1998) Organisational Behaviour
and Analysis: An Integrated Approach. New York & London: Addison-
Wesley & Longman’s.
Ross, R., & Schneider, R. (1992) From Diversity to Equality: A Business Case for
Equal Opportunities. London: Pitman.
Rothstein, A. (1980) The Soldiers' Strikes of 1919. London: Macmillan.
Rowbottom, R., & Billis, D. (1987) Organisation Design. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Rushkoff, D. (1994) Cyberia. London: Flamingo.
Interesting piece by a journalist on the IT underground. Rushkoff covers issues
such as smart drugs, hacking, techno-shamanism, and other exotica related to
the information revolution. He has some important insights into the future as
well, so this book is usefully read in conjunction with the work of Toffler,
Zerzan & Carnes and Zuboff.
Salaman, G. (1979) Work Organisation, Resistance and Control. London: Longman.
Salancik, G. R., & J. Pfeffer (1977) "Who gets the power - and how they hold on to it:
a strategic-contingency model of power", Organisational Dynamics, 5, 3-21
Scarce, R. (1990) Eco-Warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental
Movement. Chicago: Nobel Press.
Schein, E. (1985) Organisational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey
Bass.
Selznick, P. (1943) ‘An approach to a theory of organisation’. Sociological Review, 8,
47 - 54.
Shackleton, V., & Wale, P. (2000) ‘Leadership and management’. In, N. Chmiel (ed)
Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology: A European
Perspective. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Sheldrake, J. (1996) Management Theory: From Taylorism to Japanization. London:
Thompson International Business Press.

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Simon, H. (1977) The New Science of Management Decisions. Englewood Cliffs:
Prentice-Hall.
Simon, H. (1982) The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Sims, D., Fineman, S., & Gabriel, Y. (1994) Organising and Organisations. London:
Sage.
Sitkin, S. B., & Stickel, D. (1996) ‘The road to hell: The dynamics of trust in an era of
quality’. In, R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations.
London: Sage.
Sofer, C. (1972) Organisations in Theory and Practice. London: Heinemann.
Sokal, A. & Bricmont, J. (1998) Intellectual Impostures. London: Profile Books.
Recent book addressing (attacking) the scientific borrowings of certain high
profile French postmodernist ‘philosophers’. If ever you were in any doubt
about the scholarly foundations of some of the more incomprehensible works
in social science, this book should help assuage those doubts. The book is also
interesting for what it has to say about the foundations of scientific knowledge,
and therefore contributes to the basis of this workshop.
Somerville, P., Steele, A., & Sodhi, D., (2002) ‘Black and minority ethnic
employment in housing organisations.’ In, Somerville, P., & Steele, A. (eds.),
Race, Housing and Social Exclusion. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Smither, R. (1988) The Psychology of Work and Human Performance. New York:
Harper & Row.
Spinelli, E. (1989) The Interpreted World: An introduction to Phenomenological
Psychology. London: Sage.
Stagner, R. (1956) The Psychology of Industrial Conflict. London: Chapman & Hall.
Starratt, R. (1993) The Drama of Leadership. London: Farmer Press.
Steers, R. & Mowday, R. (1987) ‘Employee turnover in organisations’. In, Steers, R.
& Porter, L. (eds) Motivation and Work Behaviour. London: McGraw-Hill.
Steers, R. & Porter, L. (1987), eds., Motivation and Work Behaviour. London:
McGraw-Hill.
Stewart, I. (1990) Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Stewart, I., & Golubitsky, M. (1992) Fearful Symmetry: Is God a Geometer?
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Stogdill, R. M. (1950) “Leadership, membership and organization”. Psychological
Bulletin, 47, 1 - 14.
Stogdill, R. M. (1974) Handbook of Leadership: A survey of research and theory.
New York: Free Press.
Strauss, A. (1978) Negotiations.: Varieties, Contexts, Processes and Social Order.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Syrett, M., & Hogg, C. (1992) Frontiers of Leadership. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Tajfel, H. (1981) Human Groups and Social Categories. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Tajfel, H. (1984) ‘Intergroup relations, social myths and social justice in social
psychology.’ In, Tajfel, H. (ed.), European Studies in Social Psychology: The
Social Dimension, volume 2, 695 - 715. Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge
University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Tannenbaum, A. (1968) Control in Organisations. London: McGraw-Hill.
Tanner-Pascale, R., & Athos, A. (1986) The Art of Japanese Management.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Taska, L. (1992) “Scientific Management: Technique or Cultural Ideology?” Journal
of Industrial Relations,

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 45


Taylor, F. W. (1903) Shopfloor Management. New York: Harper & Row,
Thomas, A. & J. Thornley (1989) Co-ops to the Rescue. London: ICOM.
Thomas, D. A., & Ely, R. J. (1996) ‘Making difference matter: A new paradigm for
managing diversity.’ Harvard Business Review, September - October.
Thomas, R. R. (1990) ‘From affirmative action to affirming diversity.’ Harvard
Business Review, March - April.
Thompson, N., (1998) Promoting Equality. London: Macmillan.
Thompson, G., et al. (1991), eds. Markets, Hierarchies and Networks. London: Sage.
A ‘band wagon text’, this is a particularly boring examination of an old
philosophical debate set within an organisational context. The debate is about
the tensions between order (hierarchy) and creative chaos (markets). Its theme
still has some contemporary relevance, and is therefore worth examining, but
because of the terms in which it is couched here this book will rapidly become
of only minor historical interest. If you can get hold of a copy Principia
Discordia (Jackson, Koke, Pearcy & Hartsock, 1994) treats a similar theme
more amusingly (although perhaps less helpfully for your studies!)
Tichy, N. M., M. l. Tushman, C. Fombrun (1979) "Social network analysis for
organisations". Academy of Management Review, 4: 507-519.
Tinker, T. (1986) Metaphor or Reification. London: Sage.
Toffler, A. (1971) Future Shock. London: Pan.
Toffler, A. (1981) The Third Wave. London: Pan.
Toffler, A. (1983) Previews and Premises. Montréal: Black Rose.
Toffler, A. (1991) Power Shift. New York: Bantam.
It has always intrigued me how an old Marxist could become the darling of
management without changing his initial stance very much. But it happened to
Toffler, much to his own bemusement. Toffler is an important source on issues
of information technology and the future of work. If you want to pursue these
topics you will have to read at least some of his writings.
Tropenaars, F. (1993) Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding cultural diversity
in business. London: Nicholas Brealey.
Tullock, G. (1965) The Politics of Bureaucracy. Washington, DC.: Public Affairs
Press.
Turner, J. C. (1984) ‘ Social identification and psychological group formation.’ In,
Tajfel, H. (ed.), European Studies in Social Psychology: The Social
Dimension, volume 2, 518 - 540. Cambridge & Paris: Cambridge University
Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Turner, J. C. (1987) Rediscovering the Social Group: A self-categorization theory.
Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Tyler, T. R., & Degoey, P. (1996) ‘Trust in organisational authorities: The influence
of motive attributions on willingness to accept decisions’. In, R. M. Kramer &
T. R. Tyler (eds) Trust in Organizations. London: Sage.
Unsworth, K. L., & West, M. A. (2000) ‘Teams: The challenges of co-operative
work’. In, N. Chmiel (ed) Introduction to Work and Organisational
Psychology: A European Perspective. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Varey, R. (1995) ‘Back to basics: Herzberg’s theory of motivation at work’. Business
Studies Magazine, October.
Vecchio, R. (1995) Organisational Behaviour, 3e. London: Dryden.
Vince, R. (1996) Managing Change: Reflections on equality and management
learning. Bristol: Policy Press.
Vonk, R. (1998) ‘The Slime Effect: Suspicions and dislike of likeable behaviour
towards superiors’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74 (4) 849 -
864.

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Warr, P. (2000) ‘Job performance and the ageing workforce’. In, N. Chmiel (ed)
Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology: A European
Perspective. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Watkins, W. P. (1986) Co-Operative Principles Today and Tomorrow. London:
Holyoake Books.
Watson, P. (1980) War on the Mind: The Military Uses and Abuses of Psychology.
Harmondsworth: Penguin.
This is an interesting and important examination of the ways in which insights
into human behaviour can be used for negative ends. There is much else
besides, of course, and the book is therefore usefully read as a general text in
its own right.
Watts, J. F., & Evans, A. (1999) Enhancing Diversity Climate in Community
Organisations: Addressing Cultural Issues in Organisations. London: Sage.
Webb, J. (1997) ‘The politics of equal opportunity.’ Gender, Work and Organisation,
4, 159 - 167.
Weber, M. (1947) The Theory of Social and Economic Organisation. New York: Free
Press.
Wilson, E. M., & Illes, P. A. (1999) ‘Managing diversity: An employment and service
delivery challenge.’ International Journal of Public Sector Management, 12,
1,
Woodcock, G. (1977) The Anarchist Reader. London: FontanaCollins.
Wrong, D. H. (1979) Power: Its forms, bases and uses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Zelaznik, A. (1977) “Managers and leaders: Are they the same?” Harvard Business
Review, May/June, 67 - 78.
See also Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989) which reprints this paper.
Zerubavel, E. (1993) The Fine Line. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
The importance of abstract studies about categorisation, which this text is, is
that they highlight the problems both of knowledge and, in a practical sense,
also raise issues of taken for granted assumptions and their impact on, amongst
other things, practice, justice, fairness, ‘common sense’, and other very
practical themes related to everyday life. This text examines some of the very
basic themes of the workshop, but don’t suppose that it is just to do with
foundations. What Zerubavel has to say, like that of Bateson (1979), is
extremely important for understanding the way organisations are run, especially
in highlighting ideological aspects of ‘common sense’ and ‘truth’.
Zerzan, J. & A. Carnes (1988) eds., Questioning Technology. London: Freedom Press.
This is a collection of writings on the theme of Information Technology
providing an important counter balance to the triumphalism of those who
champion IT as the saviour of the future. If we were to believe some writers
technology will finally bring about the democratic utopia of ancient dreams -
this book gives the other side of the argument, and shows how IT also presents
threats to individual liberty in society at large and at work.
Zuboff, S. (1989) In the Age of the Smart Machine: The future of work and power.
Oxford: Heinemann.
This book and Zerzan & Carnes (1988) make excellent companion volumes.
They examine broadly similar areas although from different perspectives. As
with Zerzan & Carnes, this book raises some thought provoking questions
about the role of technology and the future of work.

Dr. Lesley Prince


12 November 2007

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 47


Directed Readings
What follows is a set of directed readings for the workshop. I may supply others as the
workshop progresses. This list should be used in conjunction with the reading lists
immediately above. Each reading given below relates to one or more of the topics
covered during the workshop, and all can be found in the reading lists above, or listed
separately below. As with the reading lists, I intend the following simply as a guide
not as a compulsory list of readings. It is not my intention to swamp you with too
much to read, but each of the book chapters or papers listed below contains some
information, whether important background, details, or both, which may help you to
progress your understanding of organisations.
As a general point, remember that Morgan (1997), Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990)
and Handy (1985) contain material on most of the topics listed in the workshop.

Please note that all of the brief references given here are fully referenced in
the reading lists given earlier. However, not all of the references given in
the extended reading list above appear here (because it would take too long
to sift through all of them carefully). So in addition to using these lists to
guide your reading, you should also browse the extended reading lists for
titles that have a bearing on the topic. This will be especially important for
preparing essays.

Frameworks of Reality: Prediction & Control, and


the SOGI Model
Although the theme of this session is covered in most texts to some extent, discussion
of the principal points is generally found in the more philosophical texts, and the use
of the SOGI model as an analytical framework is unusual to this workshop.
Nevertheless, the theme is an important one, and some expansion of the main points,
with extra material drawn from other intellectual traditions, can be found in the
following (incidentally, I don’t necessarily agree with everything said in all or any of
these books - the importance is in the debate):

Morgan (1997): Introduction; Chapter 1; Chapter 10.


Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990): Introduction; Chapter 1.
Hosking & Morley (1991): Introduction; Chapter 1; and further elements
throughout the book.
Bannister & Fransella (1986)
Bateson (1979): Introduction; Chapter 1; Chapter 2; and further material
throughout the rest of the book.
Berger (1972): throughout.
Berger & Luckmann (1976)
Briggs & Peat (1990): throughout.
Cacti (1991): Chapters 1, 2, 4, & 5; Summary.
Chapman & Jones (1980)
Child (1984)
Cohen & Stewart (1994)

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Cottingham (1984)
Coveney & Highfield (1995): throughout, but especially chapters 7 & 8.
Daft & Steers (1986), throughout
Dawson (1992), throughout
Feynman (1965): Chapters 6 & 7.
Feynman (1995): Chapter 3.
Gleik (1987): throughout.
Gould (1988): Chapters 1, 3, & 5.
Hall (1992): Chapters 7, 12, 14, 17, & 18.
Hughes (1998)
Lewin (1993): throughout.
March & Simon (1993), throughout
Prigogine & Stengers (1984): throughout.
Selznick (1943), throughout
Sims, et al. (1994)
Sokal & Bricmont (1998) Chapters 4, 7 and 11 contains some interesting
material on general epistemic questions.
Stewart (1989): Prologue; Chapters 1, 7, 8, 9, 11, &14; Epilogue.
Stewart & Golubitsky (1992)
Zerubavel (1993)

See also the notes in this book on page 7, above.

Making Sense of Organisations: Metaphorical


knowledge.
The readings for this topic are more or less identical to those for the last one,
although, being based on Morgan’s work, his is the most important of the
references given. But see also the following:

Grant & Oswick (1996), throughout


Tinker (1986), throughout

Traditional Management: Mechanism, Rationality


and Bureaucracy.
Morgan (1997): Chapter 2.
Abrahamson (1993)
Abrahamson (1997)
Beetham (1987)
Blau & Meyer (1987)
Blauner (1964)
Boyne (1998)
Clegg (1990)
Cottingham (1984)
Crozier (1964)
Dale (1970): Chapter 6, sections by Taylor; Chapter 9 by Fayol.
Damasio (1994)

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 49


Dixon (1987)
Dolgoff (1971)
Downs (1967)
Fayol (1949, 1984)
Gilbreth (1911)
Gulick, & Urwick (1937)
Hales (1993)
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapter 2.
Hughes (1998)
Jacques (1976, 1993)
Johnson & Gill (1993)
Lee & Lawrence (1985): Chapter 1.
March & Simon (1958, 1993)
Merton (1940)
Mullins (1999)
Pugh (1971): Chapters by Weber, March & Simon, Taylor, and Fayol.
Rollinson et. al. (1998)
Sofer (1972)
Taylor (1903)
Thompson et al. (1991): Chapters on hierarchy.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 1.
Tullock (1965)
Weber (1947)

Modified Bureaucracy: The Human Relations


Movement and Job Design.
Morgan (1997): Chapter 3.
Pugh & Hickson (1983): entries on Mayo and the Hawthorne investigations,
Likert and McGregor.
Lee & Lawrence (1985): Chapter 1.
Lee & Lawrence (1991): Chapter 2.
Child (1984): Chapter 2 on job design.
Dale (1970): Chapter 7 and Chapter 8, by and on Mayo, and on Mayo versus
Taylor.
Dubin (1961) This has chapters by Mayo and Roethlisberger.
Dubin (1974)
Hughes (1998)
McGregor (1960): throughout.
Pugh (1971): Chapters by Mayo, Likert, and Trist & Bamforth.
Sofer (1972): Chapter 4
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 2.

Many of the references given above for traditional management theory also cover this
topic as well.

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Contingency Theory: Horses for courses and
organisational structure.
Lee & Lawrence (1985): Chapter 2.
Lee & Lawrence (1991): Chapter 5.
Morgan(1997): Chapter 3.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 3.
Pugh & Hickson (1983): Sections on Woodward, the Aston Group, Burns,
Lawrence & Lorsch.
Pugh (1971): Chapters by Burns; and Woodward.
Child (1984): Chapters 3, 4, 5, & 9.
Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990): Chapters 12, 16, 17, 18, & 19; Case studies 8, 9
& 10; Readings, 10 & 11.

Most of the general text books listed in the extended reading list will have a section
on this topic.

Organisational Culture: Real and imagined.


Morgan (1997): Chapter 5.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapter 5.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 6.
Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990): Chapter 13; Readings 8 & 13.

See also:

Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989) - Section 10 (pp 606 - 663) contains some very
interesting and useful readings.
Organization Studies had a special issue on Organisational Symbolism in
1985.
The Journal of Management Studies had a special issue on Organisational
Culture in 1986.
Adams, S. (1996)
Anthony (1994)
Clegg, S. (1990)
Cohen, S., & Taylor, L. (1992) Again, although not a direct examination of
organisational culture, Cohen & Taylor present an extended discussion
of the tactics employed by people to escape what they find to be
relatively intolerable circumstances in everyday life, including work.
Their concepts of ‘Paramount Reality’ and ‘Consensual Reality’ are
particularly pertinent to ideas about organisations and their cultures.
Friedman (1977)
Goffman, I. (1959)
Handy, C. (1989)
Harrison (1987)
Hofstede (1994)
Hughes (1998)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 51


Moore, M. (1997) Although not a conventional examination of organisational
culture, Moore has much to say on the subject which is both interesting
and important.
Pheysey (1993)
Schein (1985)
Tropenaars (1993)

To extend your analyses of organisational culture you will find discussions of power
and politics in organisations particularly useful.

Rationality revisited: Decision-making in


organisations
Morgan (1997): Chapter 4.
Lee & Lawrence (1985): Chapters 4 & 9.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapters 4 & 6.
Lee & Lawrence (1991): Chapter 9
Newall & Simon (1972): throughout.
Pugh & Hickson (1983): Sections on Simon, March and Lindblom.
Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990): Chapter 10; Reading 7; Case Studies 3, 4, 5.
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapter 5.
Pugh (1971): Chapters by Simon, March, Lindblom, and Vroom.
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989) some useful readings, including the original
paper by Lindblom (pp117 - 131).
Leavitt (1973): especially Chapter 6.
Janis & Mann (1977): throughout.
March & Simon (1958) especially chapter 6.
Churchman (1995)
Mulholland (1991)
Newall & Simon (1978)
Newman (1978)
Pettigrew (1973)
Pettigrew (1973)
Quinn (1984)
Simon (1977)

Why Work?: The motivation to get out of bed in the


morning.
Most general textbooks on organisations and management have sections or chapters
on motivation. You might also find it useful to try and relate motivation to leadership
at some point.

Morgan (1997): Morgan doesn’t cover motivation as a specific topic, but does
discuss related themes. The best chapters to read for this are probably
chapters 2, 3 and 4, which relate directly to the lectures so far, and
chapters 5, 6, 7 and 9, which anticipate themes to be covered later,
especially in Semester 2.

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Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990): Chapter 4 gives some useful and important
background material. Motivation is specifically covered in chapter 5,
and chapters 6 and 7 expand the theme to include Job Design and
Learning. You might also find Case Study 2 useful for stimulating your
thinking on the topic.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapter 3.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 7.
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989) This has some excellent readings on motivation
by Nadler & Lawler (pp 3 - 19), Maslow (pp 20 - 35), Staw (on
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, pp 36 - 71), and Kerr (‘On the folly
of rewarding A while hoping for B’, pp72 - 87).
Corbett (1994) This is a collection of case studies designed to stimulate critical
thinking about organisations and how they are run. Specific to
motivation, you might find cases 2, 3, 10, 11, 12 & 13 useful to look
at.
Armstrong (1996), sections on motivation.
Campbell & Pritchard (1983)
Chmiel (2000), elements throughout, but mainly section II.
Friedman (1977)
Goodman & Friedman (1971)
Heery & Salmon (2000), especially the chapter by Nolan, Wichert & Burchell.
Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman (1959)
Herzberg (1968)
Holloway (1991), sections on motivation.
Katzell & Thompson (1990)
Mowday (1987)
Steers & Mowday (1987)
Varey (1995)
Vernon (1983)
Vonk (1998)

The Politics of Organising: Goals? Whose Goals?


Lee & Lawrence (1985): Chapters 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Lee & Lawrence (1991): Chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 4, plus other material throughout the
book.
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapter 5.
Adams (1992)
Dixon (1987)
Fricker (1998)
Friedman (1977)
Heery & Salmon (2000)
Hewitt (1984)
Hughes (1998)
Janis & Mann (1977) has some useful material in chapter 3.
Kakabadse & Parker (1984)
Kramer (1996)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 53


Lawthom (2000)
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989): Section 6 (pp 345 - 407)
Le Guin (1975)
Patchen (1974)
Punchard (1989)
Salancik & Pfeffer (1977)
Sims, et. al. (1994)

Power and Conflict in Organisations: Pathology or


Normality?
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989): Sections 6, 7, & 8, and the Chapter by Dafna
Izraeli & Todd Jick (pp 253 - 275).
Morgan (1997): Chapters 6 & 9.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 4.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapters 6, 7, & 8.
Adams (1992)
Bachrach & Baratz (1962)
Bacharach & Lawler (1980)
Barclay (1982)
Brown (1963)
Cartwright (1959)
Clinard (1990)
Cohen & Taylor (1992)
Copeman (1975)
Dixon (1987)
Dolgoff (1971)
Emerson (1962)
Eyerman & Jamison (1991)
French (1956)
French & Raven (1959)
Fricker (1998)
Friedman (1977)
Friedman (1977)
Janis & Mann (1977): Chapters 3, 4, & 12.
Heery & Salmon (2000)
Herzog (1989)
Hickson et. al., (1971)
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapter 5.
Kakabadse & Parker (1984)
Kipnis et. al., (1976, 1980)
Korda (1975)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16
Le Guin (1975)
Lukes (1974, 1986)
Mechanic (1962)
Mintzberg (1983)
Moore (1997)
Mowday (1987)

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Mowday (1978)
Packard (1978, 1981)
Patchen (1974)
Paton (1978, 1983)
Pfeffer (1981)
Pratchett (1992)
Toffler (1991)
Vonk (1998)

Groups and Group Dynamics


Most organisational texts have something to say about groups, but mostly they
are not very good. Meanwhile, the following will be useful.

Aronson (1988). Note, this book is updated regularly. The reference is to the
fifth edition, but it is likely that more recent editions are available.
Bales (1958)
Belbin (2000)
Codol (1984)
Deschamps (1984)
Fraser & Foster (1984)
Hare (1976)
Hollander (1958, 1964)
Hollander & Webb (1955)
Knippenburg (1984)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapter 9
Meyerson et. al., (1996)
Robinson (1996)
Tajfel (1981)
Tajfel (1984)
Turner (1984)
Unsworth & West (2000)
Vonk (1998)

Conformity and Obedience to Authority


Almost all general texts on Social Psychology will have details of this theme.
Conformity in particular is a standard social psychological subject, which is often also
linked to power, stereotyping, and internal group dynamics.

Eiser & van der Pligt (1988)


Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16
Milgram (1974)
Vonk (1998)

Diversity: Vive la Differance?


Aronson (1988)
Arrighi (2001)

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 55


Bennett (1998)
Chambers & Horton (1990)
Clement & Spinks (2000)
Code (1995)
Codol (1984)
Colwill (1982)
Cross et. al., (1991)
Davidson & Cooper (1992)
Deschamps (1984)
Edwards (1995)
Frese (2000)
Hughes (1998)
Hunt & Palmer (1999)
Jewson & Mason (1994)
Johnson & Redmond (2000)
Kandola & Fullerton (1998)
Knippenburg (1984)
Kelly (1991)
Kirton & Greene (2000)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapter 11
Lathom (1999)
Lawthom (2000)
Liff (1996)
Macpherson (1999)
Meyerson & Fletcher (2000)
Milner (1984)
Morgan (2003)
Nicholson (1984)
Prasad & Mills (1997)
Prasad, Mills, Elmes, & Prasad (1997)
Robinson (1996)
Ross & Schneider (1992)
Somerville, Steele, & Sodhi (2002)
Tajfel (1981)
Tajfel (1984)
Thomas & Ely (1996)
Thomas (1990)
Thompson (1998)
Turner (1984)
Turner (1987)
Vince (1996)
Warr (2000)
Watts & Evans (1999)
Webb (1997)
Wilson & Illes (1999)

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Leadership and Management: The gentle art of being
in charge?
For this topic there is an embarrassment of riches. The literatures on leadership are
vast, complex, frequently confusing and deeply frustrating. The readings below are
the merest scratch on the merest scratch on the surface. There are further relevant
references listed in the reading lists above, and, just to make you feel even more
comforted, you could, and probably should, also read around the related topics power,
influence, politics, motivation and trust.

Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989): Sections 5, 6, & 9, especially chapters by


Pondy (Leadership as a Language Game) and Zaleznick (Managers and
Leaders: Are they the same?).
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapters 4 & 10.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapters 3 & 6.
Morgan (1997): Parts of chapters 5 & 6.
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapters 8 & 9.
Barclay (1982)
Barnard (1938)
Bass (1981)
Bennis (1959)
Bernard (1927)
Bies & Tripp (1996)
Brown (1963)
Bryman (1986)
Cartwright & Zander (1968)
Cockerton & Whyatt (1986)
Conger & Kanungo (1988)
Copeman (1975)
Fiedler (1964, 1967, 1978)
Gemmill & Oakley (1992)
Gibb (1954, 1958, 1969)
Graumann & Moscovici (1986)
Grint (1997, 2000)
Hemphill (1949)
Hewitt (1984)
Hollander (1958, 1964)
Hollander & Webb (1955)
Hunt (1991)
Kellerman (1984)
Kipnis et. al., (1980)
Kramer (1996)
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16
Le Guin (1975)
Lewicki & Bunker (1996)
Merton (1969)
Pfeffer (1983)
Prince (1998) (a splendid examination of the subject!).
Quarter & Melnyk (1989)

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 57


Schein (1985)
Shackleton & Wale (2000)
Vonk (1998)
Zelaznik (1977)

Check out the reading lists above as well. There are lots of references to works on
leadership in there.

Negotiation and Influence: What does it take to work


together?
Morgan (1997): Chapter 6.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapters 6 & 9.
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapters 5 & 6.
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989): Section 7, especially the chapter by Janis (p
439).
Janis & Mann (1977), throughout.
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16
Fisher & Ury (1987) a pot boiler useful for a practitioner’s viewpoint
Churchman (1995), throughout.
Mulholland (1991), throughout
Newall & Simon (1978)
Newman (1978)
Pettigrew (1973)
Strauss (1978), throughout.
Vonk (1998)

Organisational Change: How to manage it and how to


screw it up.
Morgan (1997): Mainly chapter 8, but also look at chapters 6, 7, & 9 as well.
Lee & Lawrence (1985 & 1991): Chapter 6.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapters 4, 5, 6, 9, & 10.
Leavitt, Pondy & Boje (1989): Sections 8 & 11.
French & Bell (19)
Hosking & Morley (1991): Chapters 5, 8, & 9.
Kramer & Tyler (1996): Chapters 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 16
Janis & Mann (1977): Chapter 13.
Mangham (1979)
Mohrman et. al., (1989)
Plant (1987)
Pratchett (1989, 1990 a, b)
Vonk (1998)

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Technological Imperatives: IT, the politics of
transformation and futures.
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapters 3, 6, & 7.
Toffler (1971, 1981 & 1991): throughout.
Zuboff (1989): throughout.
Zerzan & Carnes (1988): throughout.

Corbett (1994) has some very good case studies of technology and
organisations, and some excellent references (Corbett is a specialist in
the human machine interface).
Brown (1997) is also an interesting examination of the impact of technology
on life and society.
Frese (2000)
Gibson (93)
Hafner & Markoff (1993)
Handy (1985, 1990, 1994)
Heery & Salmon (2000)
Kipnis (1996)
Rushkoff (1994)
Thompson & McHugh (1990): Chapter 10.
Vonk (1998)
Wilson & Rosenfeld (1990) also has a very good section on the future of work.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 59


Notes on Writing a
Case Analysis
Dr. Lesley Prince

The case study is one of the most versatile tools used in the social sciences, with a
variety of different forms and a range of purposes. For example case studies are used
extensively as a research method, alongside better known methods such as
experimentation, surveys, participant observation, and so on. They are also used
widely as teaching tools in, for example, psychology, sociology, political science,
history, law and management studies (Yin, 1989).
The content of a case study, the analysis, similarly takes many forms,
depending on the purpose of the study and its projected audience. Broadly speaking,
however, there are three types relating to three distinct purposes: exploratory,
descriptive and explanatory (see Yin, 1989: 15-16, et. seq.). The case studies for
which you will be asked to prepare an analysis fall fairly neatly into the descriptive
and explanatory models.
By and large, as a teaching exercise, the purpose of case analysis is to
encourage you to make explicit links between a set of situations and incidents
described in a case study and the organisational literatures, both theoretical and
empirical. The focus of the exercise will depend on whether the case describes a set of
problems for which you must propose some solutions, or whether you are simply
presented with a description to which you are invited to supply a theoretical
commentary. Nevertheless the process is very similar: make explicit links with the
literature in relation to an embedded argument or series of arguments from which
clear conclusions are drawn. To this extent case analysis has much in common with
the kind of formal reports that are very common in contemporary organisations.

Structuring a Case Analysis


Like so much in the social sciences there are many different ways to structure a case
analysis. Unlike formal laboratory reports, for which it is possible to outline a specific
and uniform set of stages covering well recognised items of key information, a case
study can take a variety of forms depending, again, on the purposes for which it was
produced and the proposed audience. Furthermore, case analyses are frequently
presented in narrative form, rather than the more restricted formal language of
'scientific' reportage, and consequently it is difficult to prescribe specific stages
through which they must pass. Nevertheless some sort of framework is essential if an
analysis is not to descend into an amorphous welter of disconnected observations with
neither direction nor point. What follows, then, is a series of notes on one such
framework, which I call a medical model.

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It should be emphasised that this model is being offered as an aid to those
who are unfamiliar with case analysis. It is not the only framework that exists for
writing up cases, and neither is it necessarily the best for all
purposes. Furthermore it is not a compulsory model, and if you
already have a model for case analysis which you are happy with,
then please use that.

General notes on the Medical Model


This framework is called a medical model for several reasons, the
most obvious one being that it is focussed on organisational problems,
and is therefore focussed on the attempt to find solutions of some sort. The focus on
problem solving is largely historical in that most cases used for teaching in
organisational analysis courses have an explicit orientation towards problems. And it
should be remarked that by and large such a focus has several distinct advantages, not
least of which is the way in which such cases generate the understanding that
organisations are "complex, contradictory and frequently paradoxical" (Morgan,
1997).
So, the Medical Model of case analysis has a distinct problem solving
orientation. In other words this approach views case analysis as a practical tool
designed to derive practical solutions to practical problems. But here it must be
stressed that the purpose is emphatically not to derive the one proper or correct
solution to a set of problems. Some organisational problems are practically insoluble.
Others can only be resolved (not solved) over time. And even when it is possible to
suggest a simple solution, there are no known criteria by which the solution can be
evaluated as 'correct', let alone 'the one best solution', simply because the complexity
of the world generates, in practical terms, infinitely many solutions to one problem.
Given that most problems within organisations are themselves complex, made up of
many different smaller problems, all interlinked, the possibility of identifying the
correct solution are remote to say the least. There are good solutions, and there are
bad ones, but ultimately this evaluation must take into account the specific features of
the case, including context, environment, dominant issues, persons, personalities and
so on. A solution is 'good' if the positive implications of implementation outweigh the
negative ones, and this naturally raises questions about what criteria are used and how
they are justified.

The Organisation is not well


At the heart of the medical model is a metaphor: that the organisation is not well, and
needs some treatment. As you proceed with your analysis it is, therefore, your job to
prescribe what the medicine should be. It is, sometimes, useful to bear in mind the
image of a doctor's surgery, with you as the doctor, while conducting your analysis.
Another useful metaphor is the funnel. Initially you will be presented with a
relatively unstructured set of descriptions about an organisation. It is your job as the
analyst to give these notes some structure, and meaning, by use of the organisational
literatures. At each stage of the analysis, however, you will also reduce the amount of
material in the case to those aspects which form the core of your analysis, until what
you are left with is a simple series of statements which present your overall
conclusions. In a sense this process involves the distillation of the important features
of the case until you have only the necessary and sufficient details for making
recommendations about action.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 61


Structure of the Medical Model
There are five main headings (sections) in the framework forming the case analysis
proper, plus two others that are required in academic work. These are, respectively:

1. DESCRIPTION
2. ANALYSIS/DIAGNOSIS
3. OPTIONS
4. PRESCRIPTION/RECOMMENDATION
5. ACTION
Plus:
ABSTRACT
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Description
The starting point for any case analysis is a basic description of the situation presented
in the case notes. If the purpose of the case is theoretical commentary then the
description will be a fairly straightforward repetition of the main points of the case as
you, the analyst, see them. Obviously this process is in some ways a matter of
arbitrary choice on your part, a factor which cannot be avoided (although see Miles &
Huberman (1984) for an attempt to systematise the process). When the purpose of the
case is problem solving the process is similar, but with somewhat more focus. The
aim then should be to derive a description of all the main symptoms of difficulty that
are presented in the case notes. This is directly analogous to the process of
consultation that takes place in the doctor's surgery.
When you enter the doctor's presence the first question you are likely to be
asked is: "What seems to be the problem?". You are not being invited to give a
complete diagnosis. On the contrary, you are being asked for the immediate reason for
your visit. Let us say, for example, that you were experiencing severe stomach
cramps, and thus your reply might be "It's my stomach doctor, it's causing me a bit of
pain". As far as you are concerned this pain is precisely what the problem is; it is this
that you experience and which you want the doctor to cure. It is sufficient as a starting
point, but as a medical diagnosis it obviously doesn't go far enough. From your point
of view the pain is the problem; from the doctor's point of view it is merely the
symptom of a problem, and it is his or her job to discover what underlies this, and
possibly other symptoms.
The initial job of a case analysis is to do the same thing. The case notes will
describe some elements of the presenting problem or problems, but these should be
treated as symptoms, and recorded as such.
This is only the first part of the job of this section, however, because you also
need to identify significant features of the case which, while not obviously
problematic, might have an important bearing on the case. Back to the doctor's
surgery and your "stomach pain". After the initial question, you may very well be
asked something like "Have you been eating any strong curries recently?" or "Have
you been abroad recently?" or "Have you been eating a lot of fruit recently?" and so
on. These factors are not problems in themselves, but, quite obviously, if you have
been eating too much fruit, for example, then the underlying problem, that which has
caused your discomfort, can be easily identified.

In sum, the job of the first section of a case analysis is to:

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ƒ Give a description of what seems to be the problem
ƒ Identify the main symptoms
ƒ Describe other relevant factors

It should be noted that all the information required for this section will be found
in the case notes. At this stage it is neither necessary nor desirable to try and
make explicit links with the literature. Nor is it necessary to import any other
kind of information from outside the case at this stage. Undoubtedly you will feel
that there is insufficient information available on particular aspects, but this is usual.
Most of the time we have to make decisions on the basis of incomplete information,
and this is, therefore, one of the constraints within which you have to work. Do not
invent details to cover awkward gaps. Stick to the details presented in the case
notes. The appropriate slogan here is stick close to the data. Just think how
uncomfortable you would feel if the doctor started to invent spurious details about
your medical complaint.

Analysis/Diagnosis
The second section is the place where you bring the literatures to bear. If section 1 has
been completed properly you should have described a set of factors which require
explanation. The literature, therefore, becomes the principle tool by which you derive
this explanation or explanations. At bottom this is a process of giving meaning to the
features you have identified, possibly in relation to causes. This principle applies
equally to theoretical commentaries and problem solving cases. In the latter, however,
like the doctor in the running example, you are trying to discover what the underlying
"illness" is, and, if possible what has caused it.
Don't be surprised or alarmed if while you are bringing the literature to bear
there appear to be conflicting views about what is going on in the case, or
contradictory predictions. This sometimes happens, and if it does then it is the job of
the case analyst, you, to arbitrate between rival accounts through comparison with the
details presented in the case.
One principle is very important here. Too many students assume that this
section is a test of their ability to cite as much of the literature as possible, in the
mistaken belief that they are marked according to the number of names they can quote
(and by implication according to the number of books and papers they can pretend to
have read). The result is often an unsatisfactory mishmash of unrelated citations -
unrelated to each other and to the case under consideration. The result is inevitably
total and inescapable coNFUsI0n. Far better to cite only one or two pieces of work
from the literature, but in such a way that they contribute something substantial to the
analysis or, in other words, your understanding of the case. As an acid test ask
yourself, before you include any theory or report of empirical enquiry "Does this add
anything materially to my understanding of this case? Does this help me to draw
sensible conclusions?" If the answer is no then don't include it.
One final point worth stressing is that you are likely to find that the details of
the case relate to one or more Levels of Analysis (SOGI). You should be alive to this,
and aware that theories are often only appropriate to specific levels. In other words,
the level of analysis is going to have a considerable impact on which theories and
empirical data sets are appropriate.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 63


Options
When identifying possible courses of action, you are presenting for consideration only
what kind of options there are in general. These should follow directly and obviously
from your diagnosis in the previous section. When the diagnosis has been done
thoroughly, and systematically, this section should almost write itself.
As an arbitrary number you should identify at least four different options. To
make the job easier, however, remember that Doing Nothing is always an option, so
in effect you have to identify only three.
Each option should be evaluated. Identify good aspects and bad aspects,
including implications for other aspects of the organisation and the people that
comprise it. For example, many organisational problems can be solved very simply by
sacking the entire workforce. Problem solved; we can all go home. Well, not quite. In
most circumstances such a solution would create problems more severe than the
original one. So perhaps it's not the best solution after all. Let's go back to the
interview with your GP. Having decided that the cause of your discomfort is to be
found in the excessively spicy diet that you have been indulging in recently, your
doctor announces the following options: a course of antacid tablets; the complete
surgical removal of your gastro-intestinal tract; a complete change of diet; regular
doses of Milk of Magnesia; a holiday in the Algarve. He or she then decides, for quite
inscrutable reasons, that surgery is the one to go for. You would most certainly be
entitled to ask what possible advantages could be derived from such a course of action
and if the negative implications had been properly assessed. Most likely you would be
anxious to point out the severe implications of this option, preferring, no doubt, any of
the other options - no doubt the last one especially.
The point is serious. Options which on the face of it will solve the immediate
problems faced by an organisation may have such difficult and undesirable
consequences that they are best put aside. But you can only know this if you evaluate
all aspects of the option in question, that is, identify its advantages and disadvantages.
And this requires the engagement of your experience, your intelligence, your
emotions, your imagination, and above all your humanity.

Prescription/Recommendation
Once again the material in this section should follow obviously and clearly from the
results of the last section. Here you are stating very clearly what should be done in the
case under consideration. Your final recommendation may take the form of one of the
options described and evaluated earlier, and in this section you should repeat some of
the more serious implications highlighted there, both positive and negative. Your
recommendation need not be so restricted, however. You might, for example, choose
to recommend several of the options, perhaps related to short, medium and long term
time spans. Or, in the light of your evaluations you might feel that one option should
be implemented in a modified form, perhaps modified by one of the other options.
The choices are quite wide, with only this restriction - you should not at this stage
introduce a completely new option. First it's cheating, and second your reader is
entitled to ask "Where did that come from?" In other words don't spring surprises.
Having made your recommendation, you should evaluate this as well, because
there might be additional implications following from the decision to implement. It is
also good practice at this stage to make some suggestions about how you might head
off some of the more negative implications. Remember also that are nearly always
some negative consequences of implementing any strategy to tackle organisational

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problems, so don't try to duck the issue by ignoring the problem.

Action
This, ultimately, is the most important section of a case study when it is presented to a
real organisation who might be expected to act on your suggestions. In a case analysis
produced for educational purposes, however, it tends to be the least important, for the
following reasons.
When done properly this section can take considerable time. It needs to be
based on a detailed knowledge of the organisation; the way it works; what resources it
has at its disposal; how much time and resourcing it is prepared to commit, and so on.
In a case analysis conducted for educational purposes you are unlikely to have this
information, particularly if the case has been set from a text book or similar source,
remembering that your only source of information is likely to be the case notes, and
the instruction that you should stick close to the data. Assumptions can play a part, of
course, as they can at any point in the analysis, but they should be clearly labelled as
such. Under no circumstances, however, should you simply invent details to get you
out of a tight spot. That would be too easy. Consider an extreme, and perhaps
ludicrous, example. In any case that you are likely to encounter, if you were allowed
to invent details, there would be nothing to stop you from simply saying "But at the
last minute everyone realised that they were behaving badly. So they had a meeting,
resolved all their differences and lived happily ever after. So the fact that Fiedler's
theory didn't seem to make any sense at all in relation to this case doesn't matter any
more. The End."
In relation to this section of a case analysis, then, you cannot write about what
you have few details of. Nevertheless it is important to try and sketch in some features
of how, in practical terms, you would see your recommendation turned into a
programme of action. The difference between this section and the last, which
sometimes confuses people new to case analysis, is actually straightforward. Here is
an example:
Recommendation: I recommend that our best course of action is for us all to
go into town for a meal.
Action: We book a table for 8pm at Marios Famous Pizza Parlour and
Drinking Emporium; leave the house at 7pm; catch the 7.30pm bus
(avoiding the problem of drinking and driving, and, being cheaper than
the taxi, leaving more money for indulgence), etc.

Concluding theoretical commentaries


As noted earlier, the theoretical commentary case analysis departs from the problem-
solving case at the point of identifying, describing and evaluating the different options
for action. Obviously, however, a theoretical commentary doesn't stop there, and in
point of fact there is a section relevant to such analyses which has a functional
equivalence to the last three sections of the problem-solving case. This is the
Conclusions section. Here the many interim conclusions drawn throughout the case
analysis itself are restated and brought together. In some ways they are also brought
side by side where they can be directly compared. Out of this comparison, and in
relation to the main strands of argument set up in the analysis, the overall conclusions
of the analysis should emerge. This is not the same as the restatement of the interim
conclusions, but should be an overall synthesis for the case as a whole, rather like the
last section in a good essay.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 65


Abstract
For academic purposes each case analysis should have an abstract of roughly 100
words. There is no mystery to this, and indeed it is a good discipline to follow.
Equivalent terms, from different contexts include: synopsis; precis; and executive
briefing. Like all of these the abstract is a potted account of the entire piece, and its
purpose, obviously enough, is to enable prospective readers to evaluate the contents
without having to read the whole document.
The abstract should always be placed at the front of your report, just after the
title page.

References
This section is extremely important, and should appear at the end of the case analysis.
In this section you should include the full details of all the work to which you
referred, even if only in passing, in your text. Every time you refer to someone's work,
they are entitled to a full listing in your reference section. This is distinct to a
bibliography, which is a list of all the sources you actually used (the two obviously
not the same thing). My preference is to use the double heading References &
Bibliography to avoid complications.
The form which you choose to adopt for referencing is irrelevant, providing
that (i) it is a recognised system of some sort, and (ii) you follow it consistently. There
is, however, a general preference in social science for the Harvard system, the form of
which you will find at the back of most social science texts and below.

Presenting a Case Report


When you have completed the text of your case report, remember that presentation is
as important as content. At the very least you should prepare a cover page with the
following information: The title of the report; your name; your course; the date. Next,
enclose the Abstract of your report, on its own page, and also bearing the title of the
report. Then include a contents page, followed by the main text of the report, and
finally your references and bibliography. In sum your report should have the
following, in this order:
v Title Page: Title; your name; your course; date
v Abstract: Title; abstract
v Contents: Contents page listing all your main headings
v Main Text: The text of your report
v References and Bibliography: A complete list of all the texts
you refer to in the text, and which you have used to prepare
your report.

It is worth commenting that you should also use a similar presentation for essays.

References and Bibliography


Miles, M. B. & A. M. Huberman (1984) Analysing Qualitative Data: A sourcebook
for new methods. Beverly Hills, Ca.: Sage.

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Morgan, G. (1997) Images of Organization. London: Sage.

Yin, R. K. (1989) Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Newbury Park, Ca.:
Sage.

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 67


Important Notes for Writing
Your Own Case Study
If you want to write a case study based on your own organisation, or another
organisation which you know well, you will need to observe some simple, but
extremely important, rules about the ethics of research. What these boil down to is the
straightforward prescription that you must protect the identities of the individuals
who comprise the main actors in your case. Accordingly, please make sure that the
names of individuals, departments and organisations are sufficiently disguised to
prevent a casual reader of your assignment from identifying who you are talking
about.

This is not a trivial matter, and should, therefore, not be taken lightly, even in an
undergraduate piece.
As compensation you can always have fun making up names for people and
places. Indicate obliquely what you think of your subject matter, if you like, by
adopting names such as Grindem Down, or Dire Place. Old favourites (cliches), such
as Letsby Avenue, for a case about the Police Force can also be adapted. Or, try
running the original name through a spell checker or thesaurus to see what comes out
the other end. Some examples that I have found include Touchier for Thatcher and
Meagre for Major; Morally or Motley for Morley, Fiddler, or Fiddlier for Fiedler,
Facile or Foul for Fayol, and Measly, Mislay, Muesli or Moistly for Maslow.

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Space for Doodles, Marginal Notes, Aimless
Scribblings, Love Letters and Shopping Lists

Organisational Analysis: Notes and Essays Page 69