A Critique of Some Current Idea About Organization

by Wilfred Brown



Much of the current teaching in the field of management is based on ideas which seem to be inconsistent with experience and perceptions which are available to practising managers. Modern businesses are sophisticated about technical matters. They can describe, with a highly developed series of concepts and language, the processes which they use; but sociologically, they are still somewhat primitive. They do not see organisation as a complex series of social mechanisms which require analysis and description. Managers and teachers of the subject often lack an explicit appreciation that this executive system is brought into being to perform the work of the company, that its structure must be a function of such work, that it must be capable of constant adaptation to match the changes in the work and that the total work must be divided between all the roles in the Executive System. People in industry contrast mental and manual work; skilled or unskilled work and responsible and routine jobs. These dichotomies indicate the existence of an active assumption that, in many of the roles at lower levels in the executive system, no responsibility exists for making decisions.

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