Review of Lawrence Bohr's Organization Technology and Organization Structure

Topics: Organization, Organizational studies, Sociology Pages: 7 (2061 words) Published: September 7, 2013
Organization Technology and Organization Structure

Lawrence B. Mohr

This research paper examines the technology-structure dependence. Both subjective and objective data were used to explore the degree of relationship between the organizational technology and organizational structure. The analysis of various therories and the data given concludes that technology may be related to structure but not substantially. It is also unwise a priori to expect spans of control, existence of written rules, and participativeness all to bear the same relationship to a fourth variable because they are all part of organizational structure. In present case, participative supervision was selected as the dependent variable of interest because of its potential effect on the satisfaction and self-fulfilment of employees and on organizational goal achievement.

Lawrence B Mohr is the author of this article. He has worked as a public health advisor, Research and demonstration grant consultant for the US Public Health Service from 1957 to 1963. His main teaching areas include Organizational theory, design and behaviour, statistics, public program evaluation and philosophy of social research. He has contributed in several books and monographs. Some of his books include Explaining Organizational Behavior: The Limits and Possibilities of Theory and Research and The Causes of Human Behavior: Implications for Theory and Method in the Social Sciences. He has also written a lot of journal articles and papers.Some of his works include Determinants of Innovation in Organizations and The Concept of Organizational Goal.The target audiences for his research work are the people in the realms of political science and administration. Assumptions

The author’s analysis is based on 144 work groups from 13 local health departments, which were randomly selected from among all the agencies in U.S. serving a population greater than 4,00,000. The groups used in the analysis represent an effective response rate of 80 percent. The author generalized his study by taking all the groups from healthcare department. The assumption made by the author here is that a healthcare department study can represent all the organizations as a whole.

After randomly choosing the samples, the author imposed a criterion on supervisor, and the number and position of superintendent. By imposing the limitations on the selected group instead of random selections, author limited the scope of his study. The assumption used here is that only the segment satisfying the criteria represents the target community of study.

Technology was conceptualized in terms of the manageability of tasks and materials essentially the predictability dimension considered at the individual job level and further conceptualized in terms of uniformity, complexity, and analysability. Individual job level used here is another assumption made by the author.

The actual score for the technological level, or manageability, of the work group was evaluated by averaging three quantities. All of the job titles of subordinates in this study were divided into eight levels of operations technology by the investigator. Subordinates' category scores were then averaged for each work group. Assumption that averages give a fair idea about measurement is made by the author here.

The supervisor responded to a questionnaire item on each of the three subdimensions of manageability. Several assumptions were also made by the author in interpreting the interview responses of the target sections. Above stated assumptions are not explicitly stated in author’s research but can be easily inferred from author’s selection of the group and the way of studying their responses. The assumption of generalizing a study of group from healthcare department is not completely valid because it only studies the behaviour of a very specialized group which cannot be generalized for all the departments or...

References: 1. Organization Theory (Structure ,Design and Application) Third Edition, Stephen Robbins
2. Organization Theory , Design and Change,Fifth Edition, Gareth Jones and Mary Mathew
3. Barley, S. (1990). The alignment of technology and structure through roles and networks. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 35:61-103.
4. Morrill, C. (1991). Conflict Management, honor and organizational change. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 97:585-621.
5. Orlikowski, W. (2000). Using technology and constituting structures: a practice lens for studying technology in organizations. Organization Science, Vol. 11:404-428.
6. Scott, W.R. and Davis, G.F. (2007). Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open System Perspectives. Pearson, Upper Saddle River: NJ.
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