This assignment requires you to address the following question in the form of an essay;
To what extent is our understanding of organisations and management
over the last 100 years applicable to the 21st century?
Given that organisations are an inescapable part of all our lives it becomes important that we
develop an understanding of what they are and how they work (or do not work). The lecture
programme has emphasized the idea that organisations are not a single entity and that
making sense of them requires us to examine them through a variety of theoretical
perspectives as well as our own perceptual lens. This postmodern understanding argues
that organisations are socially constructed phenomena, so questions like; ‘what the
organisation is’, ‘why it is there’ and ‘how it works (or doesn’t)’, ‘why’, ‘who should manage’
and ‘how’ should be addressed from these different, but interrelated theoretical constructs.
This is quite different from the views of scientific management theorists.
The various perspectives offered during the lectures can all be employed to help you make
sense of organisations and the management of them. These may include the following but
you are not confined to these;
Cultural (organisational and national)
An additional implication of the postmodern understanding is that the person making sense,
(you), must acknowledge their own influence on the sense making process, that is, you are
also involved in socially constructing the organisation even as an analyst, and are not
examining it from a distance. This will involve you in a consideration of your own
background and life experience. You are encouraged to offer insights of your own, and
given that we are understanding organisations as any community of people, large or small
and with whatever purpose, you should use your own experience. This may include any
organisations of which you have experience, for example; part time or full time work, schools
and other educational establishments, leisure time organisations, political organisations.
Finally, you are also required to use examples from contemporary organisations to support
and illustrate your points. These might come from your reading of contemporary events,
from news sources or television documentaries.
To summarise, you are required to write an essay which explores the notion of organisation
and management using a variety of theoretical perspectives and supported by examples
from your own experience as well as from your reading of academic work and from
contemporary organisations. This will require you to use the lecture material, books and
articles, and contemporary news sources. The emphasis is on writing a persuasive essay
which builds a case for a particular point of view and which is drawn together in the
conclusion. Your account should be analytical and critically informed, and not simply a
description of an organisation.
You must use the Harvard referencing system and reference all authors and dates referred
to in the text.
Length: 3000 words