The Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralization

The Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralization

The Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralization

The Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralization

Excerpt

In 1952 the Division of Research published a volume by Professor Lawrence and Miss Harriet Ronken entitled Administering Changes: A Case Study of Human Relations in a Factory. That study dealt with the human effects of technological change in the day-to-day operations in a factory, the resultant social dislocations, the effects on the attitudes and relationships of the people involved, and the supervisory problems involved in the assimilation of and adjustment to technological change. The authors found that the stickiness encountered in assimilating technological change stemmed primarily from the required changes in the activities of people and from the new types of behavior and interactions being introduced into a theretofore relatively stable social system.

This study also deals with the administration of change, not technological change affecting workers and supervisors but organizational change affecting personnel at management levels. The setting of the study is a medium-sized supermarket chain in which several important management functions were being shifted from the home office to newly created store managers. The origin and reasoning behind these organizational changes, the methods of introducing the changes, the process of shifting the organizational roles of key individuals, and the consequences of the changes on the organization are considered by Professor Lawrence.

The study draws heavily for concepts and research methods on the numerous earlier studies in the field of organizational behavior which have been made at this School and elsewhere, as well as on the related literature of the behavioral sciences which underlies this broad field. The study breaks new ground, however, in devising techniques to . . .

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