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The New Theories of Organization, Article Critique Example

Pages: 2

Words: 595

Article Critique

Introduction

The article “Where are the new theories of Organization?” (Suddaby, Hardy, & Huy, 2011)asks why there has been a lack of progress in the field of Organizational Theory in the last few decades. The authors received ideas and suggestions from numerous participants of the special topic forum (STF) which they analyzed to reach conclusions regarding the lack of progress and how the problem could be remedied. The authors argue that contrary to popular beliefs that Organization Theory is an independent discipline is misguided because the field has always borrowed ideas from other disciplines such as psychology, engineering, and sociology. Another reason for lack of progress is the dominance of few researchers whose ideas have been rarely challenged which indicates lack of creative thinking by management theorists. The authors also point out that most researchers have tried to build up on existing ideas instead of introducing new ones. In addition, management theorists take scientific approach which results in generalized ideas where as a more effective approach will be practical approach in which the contextualized reality of organizational experiences is taken into account. The authors also imply that the field may benefit by closer working relationship with the practicing managers instead of taking a purely academic approach to organizational study.

Problem Statement

The field of Organizational Theories has failed to keep up pace with times. We still rely on old theories and models to understand as well as explain current workplaces and organizational cultures.

Procedures:The authors received suggestions and feedback from the participants of STF which they studied to identify common elements. They concluded that the participants provided three main arguments for the lack of progress in the Organizational Theory discipline as well as provided four potential solutions to the problems.

Procedural Design Flaws

The ideas presented in the paper are conclusions reached by the authors after reading submissions and it is possible that their conclusions were influenced by their personal bias. The authors do not describe how they analyzed the ideas submitted by the participants and whether they developed any criteria to identify common elements. In addition, the participants of STF might have been those only who believe that the discipline has been lagging behind, thus, their opinions cannot be taken as the opinion of the majority of the researchers in the discipline of Organization Theory.

Data Analysis

The authors found that three following arguments were most commonly cited by the researchers: (I) the discipline has failed to develop original ideas, (II) existing theories do not adequately capture the reality of organizations in our society, and (III) researchers continue to take safe approach to their work instead of introducing novel ideas. Similarly, the solutions provided by the participants could be divided into two categories which are (I) theorizing within one literature(or knowledge domain) or across multiple bodies of literature and (II) theorizing with implicitassumptions or explicit constructs in thefocal literature.

Limited and Justifiable Conclusions

The article seems logical in pointing out that management theories should be developed with more practical approach and not merely as academic exercises. The researchers should develop closer working relationship with the managers due to the ever changing organizational cultures otherwise all they will be left with are outdated and impractical ideas only. In addition, Organization Theory research should not be conducted only in purely scientific manner because organizations are made up of people who are not always logical or act in a predictable manner. Thus, management theories should develop flexible models instead of robust models with generalized assumptions.

Reference

Suddaby, R., Hardy, C., & Huy, Q. N. (2011). Where are the new theories of organization? Academy of Management Review , pp. 236-246.

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