In line with our critical thinking approach here at CQ Net, 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.
Here at CQ Net, we support managers and professionals to develop their employees, teams and organizations with evidence-based practices to the next performance level. This approach is based on the assumption that learning and development (L&D) is a key leadership responsibility. This is in contrast to the mainstream understanding of L&D which is mainly seen as a responsibility of the human resource (HR) department or external organizational development consultants. Taking this into consideration the question arises how managers and professionals can get into the driver seat when it comes to L&D. We collected a set of interventions that will help you to strengthen your and your organization’s L&D competencies.
High quality knowledge is one of the most important assets for managers and professionals nowadays. You and your organization can only be successful when decisions are taken based on a wide range of evidence, including the most recent insights from research and science. This approach is called Evidence-based Management (EBM or EBMgt) and has its origin in the healthcare sector which started some time ago with taking decisions by drawing on evidence rather than opinion. However, when you start to gather information to solve a business problem from outside your organization you'll mostly rely on two different sources.
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.