Weick on Organizations as Nouns

Over time, how an organization is defined has changed.  Traditionally, there have been common features of organizations that deal with their structure.  Scott and Davis consider organizations to be “social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of specified goals.”  All organizations must define objectives, induce participants to contribute services, control and coordinate these contributions, and gather resources and offer products or services, train (or select) participants.  They also must find a way to coincide with the pressures of the workforce.

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Administrative Behavior in Enron

I thought it would be interesting to look at how the administrative system of Enron behaved throughout the life of the company.  There were changes in upper level management throughout the business life of Enron and not everyone acted the same as his/her predecessor.  Simon’s Theory of Administrative Behavior (Scott and Davis, 53) talks about an individual’s decisions, how organizations simplify said decisions, and ultimate goals and how they lead to the development of the means-ends chain.  “As DiMaggio and Powell stress, ‘March and Simon…taught us that organizational behavior, particularly decision making, involves rule following more that calculation of consequences'” (Scott and Davis, 56).  I thought it would be intriguing to take a look at how Lay, Kinder, Skilling and the others acted with regards to Simon’s theory. Continue reading

Organizational Populations: Conceptualizing a Sublevel of the Ecological Level of Organizational Analysis

Organizational Populations

The population of organizations is one of three distinct sublevels within the ecological level of organizational analysis.  It essentially identifies groups of organizations that are similar in some aspect.  W. Richard Scott and Gerald F. Davis in Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open System Perspectives equate organizational populations to biological species, arguing that in both cases “the most relevant occupants of the environment are other actors of the same kind” (Scott and Davis, 116).  These similar organizations compete most directly for limited resources, thus being the primary source of competition.  However, due to their similarities, these organizations may also occasionally associate and cooperate in order to protect their mutual interests, as well as look to one another for guidance on proper protocol.  Each organizational population is distinct and can be described based on various features that are unique to that population.

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Employee Satisfaction vs. Productivity

I think I have to agree on some levels with the claims made by Scott and Davis that there is little evidence to support the theory that employee satisfaction leads to higher productivity.  I believe that while employee satisfaction is necessary for employee’s mental health and their duration in any one job, employee satisfaction will not lead to higher productivity. Continue reading