Knowledge about organizational design has evolved over the past century. In this part, I will show you on a brief tour of the historical development of organizational design theory. Keep two things in mind here. Firstly, because both the approaches and environments are changing over time, organizational design is an on-going process. Secondly, changes in the theories usually involve trial and error, which should be understood dialectically.
The classical approach
According to Weber, Taylor and Fayol’s opinions on organizational design, it is believed that the most efficient and effective organizations had a hierarchical structure in which members of the organization were guided in their ...view middle of the document...
Besides, Robbins (1998) claimed that specialization, as visualized by Max Weber, creates conflicts. Functional subunit goals can override the overall goals of the organization. The other major weakness of bureaucracy, according to Robbins, is obsessive concern with following rules. The specialization of labour often inhibits effective communication among technical and specialists. Apart from the rules, regulations, and procedures generally encourage managers to act mechanically rather than exercising discretion, initiative in making decisions. This often results in resistance to change and innovation.
The neo-classical approach
Neo classical organizational theorists such as (McGregor, Argyris) their approach emphasizes the need to pay attention to basic human needs to succeed and express oneself within the workplace. It is productivity increases as a result of higher employee morale. This is achieved by recognizing performance and maintaining more personal relationships within the organization.
The human relations movement evolved as a reaction to the tough, authoritarian structure of classical theory. It addressed many of the problems inherent in classical theory. The most serious objections to classical theory are that it created over conformity and rigidity, thus squelching creativity, individual growth, and motivation. Neoclassical theory displayed genuine concern for human needs. For example,...