Organizing Men and Power: Patterns of Behavior and Line-Staff Models

Organizing Men and Power: Patterns of Behavior and Line-Staff Models

Organizing Men and Power: Patterns of Behavior and Line-Staff Models

Organizing Men and Power: Patterns of Behavior and Line-Staff Models

Excerpt

This book challenges a long-current myth in organization design, the persistent notion that "staff" in cooperative enterprises should be outside the chain of command, that it should and does provide service rather than exert control, and so on. This "old" theory is challenged here.

Why study the staff concept? And how shall it be done? On the broadest level, this study is motivated by experience with various structural forms in organizing work, many of which seem to be part of the "new" theory of organization necessary to meet the evolving challenges to cooperative effort that have outmoded the old theory. This general motivation supports an analysis having multiple components that build toward structural redesign. They may be outlined as follows: to build from these structural innovations, some having longish histories; to extend these innovations into a coherent model, as far as that is possible; to marshal the existing research that establishes the superiority of the new model for organizing effort; and to analyze in detail the probable behavioral consequences of the new model in areas where more research is necessary.

In sum, this study integrates a broad range of materials from the frontiers of management thought about organizing. The novelty of the new model lies basically in bringing together an array of relevant experience and in explaining why many structural innovations "have worked." That is to say, the discovery of new and undreamed of structural worlds is not the major preoccupation of this book. The integration of available experience with diverse structural forms and the explanation of that experience -- these matters do dominate the book.

If it has definite limitations, this effort need not be denigrated. The "traditional theory of organization" to many approximates a dogma, unflinchingly and often unreflectively held. Integrating useful structural innovations is thus more than a necessary job. In significant senses, it is the crucial task. That is, the heart of dogma is . . .

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