ERIC Number: ED139685
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Organization Theory as Ideology.
Greenfield, Thomas B.
The theory that organizations are ideological inventions of the human mind is discussed. Organizational science is described as an ideology which is based upon social concepts and experiences. The main justification for organizational theory is that it attempts to answer why we behave as we do in social organizations. Ways in which ideas and concepts shape assumptions about organizations and organizational behavior are presented. For example, social scientists often base their research upon a vision of reality which holds no greater truth than alternate views. Social scientists must understand different individual realities if they are to make generalized statements about the social structure and provide a link between experience and reality. A review of relevant sociological literature by C. Wright Mills, Erving Goffman, Anselm Strauss and others is presented. Particular attention is paid to the writings of Max Weber who maintained that social scientists should be aware of their own values and assumptions in order to guard against self-deception and the deception of others. The conclusion is that organizational theory should consider the nature and objectives of organizations and expand the interpretation of social reality rather than attempting to control it or argue for a single interpretation of that reality. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, New York, April 3-8, 1977)