ERIC Number: ED219045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Emerging Developments in the Study of Organizations. ASHE Annual Meeting 1982 Paper.
March, James G.
Development in the study of organizations and needs for additional research are addressed. It is suggested that when goals are not achieved, an organization searches for new alternatives and new information. When aspirations are achieved, the search for new alternatives is assumed to be modest, slack accumulates, and aspirations rise. It has been observed that organizations are not simple hierarchies; they are political systems with unresolved, or partially resolved, conflicts of interest. The way in which the simple research model suggested by theories of limited rationality has been developed within organization theory is examined. Recent work on organizations has gone beyond ideas of limited rationality and conflict to consider the ways in which organizations are filled with ambiguity, confusions, and complexity. Rules are fundamental to understanding both the ways in which organizations maintain stability and the ways in which they change. Decision-making can be viewed as an arena for symbolic action, for developing and enjoying an interpretation of life. The rituals of choice infuse organizations with an appreciation of the sensibility of organizational arrangements and behavior. Research is emphasized that focuses on understanding ambiguity, confusion, and complexity. Attention is also directed to the design of management information systems, organizational leadership, four features of inference-processing particularly relevant to leaders (conservation of belief, belief in determinancy, anthropocentrism, and success bias), and understanding organizational change. It is suggested that a significant number of recent developments in the theoretical analysis of organizational decision-making have come from the study of institutions of higher education. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Stanford Univ., CA. Graduate School of Business.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 2-3, 1982). Also supported by the Hoover Institution.