In line with our critical thinking approach, in this blog post we want to look beyond the traditional management understanding of organizations as machines. Sociology has a long tradition in offering theories and systems of thought on how societies, organizations and teams work and relate to each other. One of these approaches is social systems theory. Carlton Clark has a look at this grand social theory and its implications for management practitioners.
From a practitioner’s point of view, academic disciplines especially from the social sciences may at first sight not seem relevant to the daily practice of administering and leading a firm. However, the field of sociology (or the study of society, social institutions and social relationships) is extremely influential and useful for business management.
The social sciences are, by design, intended to provide grounded, meaningful information and recommendations for various aspects of human life – from education, to criminal justice, to management, and many more. Yet for many years, social science research has yielded findings that are very limited in their relevance and applicability (Bornman, 2013). Small experimental studies and surveys, typically conducted on college students, cannot consistently tell us meaningful things about how people in the world-at-large think, behave, and feel. Furthermore, highly theoretical work that is conducted in a laboratory may not provide useful conclusions that extend to the office.
A while ago, I was talking to a friend who had a background in physics and told him I’d just received an MSc (Master of Science) in Psychology. He smirked slightly and I asked what he was smiling about? “Well, it’s not really a science though, is it,” he replied.
When we speak informally about an individual’s personality, we may be referring to any number of qualities, from their temperament to their sense of humor, even the kind of media they like. However, in the social sciences, the study of personality focuses on enduring, reliable traits about a person that can be measured, and which are useful in predicting behavior (Saucier & Srivastra, 2015). The leading perspective on personality within the social sciences is the Five Factor Model, or the “Big Five”, which describes individuals in terms of their openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeability, extroversion, and neuroticism.
Leaders within organizations are tasked with taking time to know what burnout is, how to identify it, how to prevent it, and how to address it if it spotted. It may seem like that is a personal matter for the employee to tend to, however, there is evidence to the contrary. Organizations are, at the core, made up of people. Not taking care of them is like neglecting any process or element of the business. If you don’t address this problem which may be lurking in your workplace, it could cost the company capital, both human and financial.
Based on recent academic literature, this report will argue that contemporary trends in e-learning respond, mostly, to an evolutionary process occurring in organisational Learning and Development. This relatively new methodology of training seems to have emerged from the need of finding cost-effective practices informed by cognitive theories that may offered reassurance for their return of investment.
Competitiveness of any industrialized nation is defined in the 21st century knowledge economy more than ever by highly skilled employees working in learning organisations (Noe, 2010; Cheng and Hampson, 2008; Drucker, 1999). Knowledge creation which was subject to experts and academics in the past is now deeply embedded in everyday life and organisational contexts (Gibbons et al., 2010; Nowotny et al., 2003).
The world of work has undergone a tremendous transformation since the end of the 18th century. During four industrial revolutions, labour intensive manual work has been gradually replaced by knowledge and service driven occupations ( Nini, 2011; Grant and Parker, 2009; Drucker, 1999). Ever since, occupational health and safety concerns have accompanied this transformation.
Career theory as a dedicated area of research within organization and management science emerged in the late 1970s (Moore et al. 2007). Since then a rather fragmented stream of definitions, theories and concepts, dealing with careers in one or the other way has started to converge. This report will draw on theory and research within contemporary career theory in order to outline ways traditional and non-standard careers can be supported in organisations.