A Multi-Perspective Approach To Understanding Organisations
In their descriptive book, Hatch & Cunliffe (2006, p22) offer a comprehensive analysis of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organizations. The book creates great insights on the benefits of multi-perspective approach to an organization. As argued by Hatch & Cunliffe multi-perspective approach is vital as it creates a platform to improve the organization’s performance. To fully understand how an organization is operating, a multi-perspective approach is important as it helps managers to manage the organization with a positive result orientation. In response to this subject, Crawley & Crawley (2009, p217) affirm that, a multi perspective approach is important since it enhances a broad understanding of different perspectives. One can trace the adoption of the concept of multi-perspectives to historical management where most people embraced scientific administration as the best and applicable way of running or managing the society (Linh-Chi 2012, p78). For instance, Winslow Taylor and Henri Fayol were pioneers of the concept of multi-perspective to management and they mostly emphasized of efficiency, effectiveness, and the mechanical nature regarding people in the organization. Thus far, the following paper provides a comprehensive analysis of what are the pros and cons of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organizations. In discussing, this paper will engage the nature of various perspectives to highlight how they enable and limit our understanding of the organization.
The key perspectives that determine the way organizations are understood and interpreted are postmodernism, modernism, critical theorists, and symbolic interpretation, which allow a better understanding of the organizational structure. With the deep interest of understanding organizations, there is a broad debate surrounding the concept of organizational culture through different theories. As argued by Aidemark (2010, p291) each of these perspectives allow one to understand concepts of organizational structure that one of the aspect may not have fully been defined. Despite its benefits, a multi-perspective approach has various disadvantages when used to understand an organization. To some extent, some experts believe that it may create confusion and misunderstanding in cases where an organization apply different approaches that may differ in meaning and concept. For instance, an organization may choose to apply the concept of critical theorists, modernists, and different theoretical ideas and in the process miss the basic idea of one concept.
To develop a deep understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of multi-perspective approach to understanding organizations, it is important to understand the nature of the key organization perspectives and their related theories as discussed by Hatch & Cunliffe (2006, p22). The nature of the mentioned perspectives is theoretical for theories and methodology. This implies that, a theory has to be presented to fully provide facts that support the approach to understand an organization. Still, a methodology is paramount since it provides facts concerning a study previously collected. With the deep interest of understanding organizations, there is a broad debate surrounding the concept of organization culture through different theories as discussed by Stoughton & Ludema (2012, p501).
In their analysis, Hatch & Cunliffe (p29) argue that, one of the benefits of utilizing a multiple approach is that it enhance a broad understanding of organizational culture. For instance, one may understand the concept of organization by drawing on the different theories of culture such as those articulated by O’Donne-Trujillo and Pacanowsky that enable researchers to understand and appreciate the benefits of a team work and how it enhance performance in the organization (Hatch & Cunliffe 2012, p18). A different theory by Eric Eisenberg affirms that organization culture relies more on the shared meaning among employee that show alignment on how they respond and view their assigned duties. Based on this theory, an organization or a company is a mechanical system intended to achieve the defined goals. Any action initiated by the company must suits well to the demands and needs of the environment. The theory behind this concept is that, best actions come through effective planning and team, which in turn enhances productivity. Typically, O’Donnell Trujillo and Pacanowsky based their research towards an extensive understanding of organizations’ culture (Hatch 1997, p22). In this case, the theoretical perspective of this theory emphasizes that, an organization must consider the input brought by employees. Based on this theoretical perspective is that organization’s culture shape the understanding of events and things.
The second benefit of using a multi-perspective approach is that it captures readers to understand an organization in a captivating and easy way. For instance, one may understand an organization through symbol interpretation. By understanding the concept of organization from metaphor perspective, one understands the concept in an easy and captivating way. For instance, one may perceive organizations as a mechanical system initiated to achieve the intended goals. From this metaphor, one may comprehend that an organization obliges the management team to have a strategic design plan to achieve the defines goals. The second symbol is perspective political that affirms that organizations or companies are political contest. The theory behind this perspective is that, organizations are social system comprising diverse goals and interest (Middleton 2002, p11). This perspective based its assumption on the fact that the best action in the company demand sacrifice and power. The third key perspective to understanding organization is that of cultural aspect. The assumption behind this is that, an organization is an institution with values, artificats, routines, and meanings. The nature of this perspective is that, informal traditions and norms put forth a strong influence on organizational behavior. This is because habit forms action, which define the culture of an organization.
The third benefit of using a multi – perspective approach is that it brings the debate, which is central and dominated by tradition. The concept of postmodernism and modernism in understanding organization gives different views of how organizations should be both traditional and modern. Multiple perspectives in an organization causes numerous functional indicators, which may be successfully viewed by organizations. For instance, McDonalds company is both efficient in customer service and product quality, which works effectively in modernism and postmodernism uses of activities, events, and imment strategies of the organization that boost esteem and organization development (Oultram 2012, p51).
The fourth benefit of multi-perspective is that, it offers different approaches to understanding organization, which as a result, enhance a deep understanding on the subject. As discussed previously, one of the most benefit of using a multiple approach is the deep understanding of different concepts. To support this, it is evident that symbolic interpretivist, different theoretical ideas, and critical theorists enhance a comprehensive understanding of the organization culture.
Lastly, a multi-perspective approach to understanding organization enhance our understanding of organization in that it clearly highlights what define organizations. As discussed earlier, the three perspectives underline the fact that an organization must fit well to match and fulfill its demands. This occurs through planning, power, and habit. However, the three perspectives limit our understanding of the organization of that each perspective presents its views, which differ from other perspectives. For instance, the first perspective on strategic planning indicates that an organization is a machine intended to attain a defined goal. The second perspective on political aspect affirm that, an organization is a contest encompassing diverse goals and interests to augment success. This perspective presents the fact that action in an organization comes through power. The last perspective presents a different concept understanding organization in that it claims that an organization is an institution with defined values, routines, norms, and traditions that enhance a strong influence of the organizational behavior.
However, it is worth to note that, each of these perspectives allow one to understand the concept of organization differently that the other may not fully comprehend with. For instance, this paper has demonstrated how different theorist presents their views on organizational culture. The implications of theories is that, it limits readers to understand and conclude one concept or subject. For instance, each of the mentioned perspectives, which are critical theories, symbol interpretive, postmodernism, and modernism may present different approaches to understanding organizations.
The first limitation of multi-perspective in understanding organization is that it causes numerous indications, which to some extent may cause confusion (Hiriyappa 2009, p12). For instance, an organization may use different theories to motivate their employees or define an organization’s culture, and because of many facts in mind lacks the definite plan to enhance the best plan. The second limitation is that, the concept of using different theories or symbol interaptives to understand organizations is that they offer different views, which may contradict the other. For instance, while the symbol interactive concept defines an organization is a political system where each work hard towards achieving the intended goals, other cultural theories may define culture is a mechanical system with defined goals and values that build the ideal of a strong culture.
To sum up, this paper has discussed the benefits of a multi-perspective approach that helps to understand an organization. In brief, the paper has provided the key perspectives of understanding organization as postmodernism, modernism, critical theorists, and symbolic interpretation. Each of these perspectives allow one to understand the concept of organizational structure. The primary benefit of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organizations is that it enhance a broad understanding of organizational culture drawn from different theories. The nature perspective of a theory is that, there are different methodology or methods used to draw an assumption. With this in mind, it is evident that there might be a bias in results interpretation. With many theories in mind to support an argument, a limitation may emerge in terms of analyzing and understanding organizations. Each of the four mentioned perspectives allow one to understand an organization structure from the way that the other may not agree with the argument. As a result, this limit ones’ understanding of an organization’s culture. Thus far, this paper is significant in that it presents and discusses pros and cons of a multi-perspective approach to understanding organization. In answering the question, the paper has discussed the nature of various perspectives and how they attain and limit the concept of understanding organizations.
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