SPCOM227 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Organisation Climate, Hawthorne Effect, Theory X And Theory Y

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Chapter 3: Three early perspectives on organizations and communication
Three organizational perspectives are:
Classical management
Human relations
Human resources
Why theory?
All theories share two features: historical and metaphorical
Historical in that it is a product of the time in which it emerged, reflecting
concerns/interests of culture that produced it
Theory: metaphorical that is uses language to suggest enlightening
comparisons between organizational communication
Theories are historical and cultural narratives, goal oriented stories that
emerge during particular historical circumstances and reflect
beliefs/concerns of particular cultures
Three P’s of historical writing: partial, partisan, problematic
Theories are partial
Partiality: account tells only part of the story
All language is partial (regardless of length), there can be no absolute history,
no full account, no complete story of organizational communication
Theories are partisan
Partisan: the one that we favour
How native American might interpret 19th century expansion of railroads
oDepending on interests, or partisanship, this story can be seen as one
of tragedy or opportunity
Theories are problematic
Account asks more questions than it can answer, the answers it does provide
are based on what is currently known rather than on all that could be known
Classical management approaches
Classical management: represented by a collection of theories that share
underlying metaphor of organizations modeled after efficient machines
From empire to hierarchy
Classic bureaucratic organization privileges a top down, or management
oriented, approach
Two assumptions of this perspective:
oEmphasis on developing scientific methods for production is
politically and socially linked to providing info only to managers
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