Managerial Ideology: Organizations and Environments

Discuss about the Managerial Ideology and Organizations and Environments.

1.      On page 41 there is a quote from Bendix that defines “managerial ideology.” Dissect the meaning of this quote and state the meaning of managerial ideology in your own words (as if you were explaining it to someone else). Which of Morgan’s metaphors is most closely associated with this concept?

Managerial ideology as has been defined by Bendix in terms of the several industrial development in England, Russia, US and the German Democratic Republic  in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The phase included bureaucratization of industry and major conflicting ideological difference in managerial application between the West and the East, that is justified by the subordination of large number of people, disciplinary issues and authority of employers. Managerial ideology is a selfish interest that bureaucrats pursue in order to gain monetary benefits, it can been linked to exploiting labor, creating a dominance on them and so on. Morgan’s (1986) metaphors included eight metaphors of organization, organism, machines, culture, brain, psychic prison, political system, instrument of domination and flux and transformation (Cornelissen 2008).  Each aspect relates to the organization but the metaphor that can be related to Bendix definition of “managerial ideology” is instrument of domination where exploitation mechanism as well as power plays amongst people in organization takes place. Morgan (1986) explained the metaphor as organizations achieving their self-interest at other expenses, indicating at hazardous work environments, exploitation of labor, environmental pollution and so on (van der Velden 2001). Ever since industrialization began, managerial ideologies has been concentrated on been formal subordination of labor which has been linked to high production of the human factor and  disciplining them, which is a Marxian theoretical framework for owners as well as managers to achieve control on organizational productivity and on activities of labor. Organizations were earlier viewed to be systems of control, later the rise and establishment of factory systems led to scientific theories of managerial ideologies (Birkinshaw 2008).

2.      Rational-bureaucratic organizations are supposed to develop the best means to achieve their goals. Based on your reading of Chapter 5 (pg. 56), what would you say are some of the obstacles to making the “best” decisions about ways to reach a goal or solve a problem? Do some organizations have a more difficult time with this than others? What kinds of goals or problems do they deal with?

The rational bureaucratic organization is a dominant perspective in the field of organizational theory , which has been drawn from the machine metaphor of organization of Morgan. The perspective establishes a relationship as a mechanical devise in an organization. The model describes structural arrangement as well as administrative practice as a means for achieving goals and objectives in an organization, Max Weber’s description of an ideal bureaucracy is based on formalization, rational-legal authority and instrumentalism. Marx and Weber viewed bureaucracy as a device that can be used for oppression as well as exploitation. Merton, Selznick, Gouldner and Blau has done tremendous contribution in the field of organizational analysis for bureaucratic organization. The model of rational- bureaucracy has immense influence on administrative as well as management practice where formal organizational principles, hierarchy of command, differentiation, specialization and soon are followed. Works of Robert Merton (1957) had been detrimental in determining the obstacles of applying rational-bureaucratic structures (Aldrich 2008).  He focused on “bureaucratic personality”, where normative attachment of formal rules and regulations that bureaucratic organizations inspire often results in rigid bureaucratic personality who are obsessed with compliance. These bureaucratic personality are known to insists on unnecessary and unconditional conformity to rules and procedures without analyzing their effectiveness on reaching goals or efficiency in organizations.  Bureaucratic structures often influences individual personality along with organizational capabilities to achieve objectives. Rational bureaucratic organizations deals with ultimate goals of the organization or intermediate goals. The organizational paradox reveals that strict and rigid conformation to formal methods can impact goals displacements and also in undermining of goals (Reed 2006).

3.      Do you think the term used by Barnard — “common moral purpose” (pg. 103) — is a good way to describe what happens in work organizations? Why or why not?

Human relations theory and strategy led to prominence of the growing relationship between human response and organizational structures. Researches conducted by several scholars including Hawthorne hinted at the human dimension of organization. Models proposed by Chester Bernard placed human factor at the center of the organization, he stressed that in order to solve complex problems of organizations the diverse interest of organizational members needed to reconcile with objectives of the organization. Hence he identified “common moral purpose” as a form to achieve organizational goals.

Later part of his studies included, organizational cooperation that includes managerial interventions. This part of the argument proposed that in order to continue sustaining cooperation between organization as well as members it is extremely important to include extrinsic rewards (Need 2006). This is the current scenario that takes place in organization where incentives to members of the organization is allowed such as to get contributions from them in regards to organizational objectives. Thus a paradigm shift from Barnard’s moral to incentive scheme is a contradiction in itself. Individuals in order to be pursued to follow organizational objectives needs to be provided adequate incentives that forms the basis for motivation. Scientific studies in the field reveal that economic humans are generally motivated by incentives whereas human relations focused on social needs (Bratton 2012). Human relations involve social interactions as well as communications and theories of human relations focuses majorly on organizational leadership.

4.      The transformation of organizational forms has given rise to a variety of paradoxical demands. For example, organizations want to achieve both economies of scale and economies of scope; they want to specialize yet be flexible. What do each of these separate demands mean for organizing and managing? Why they all are desired? How can they peacefully co-exist?

Emergence of newer forms of organizations that are based on transformation to suit the needs to the market new organizational theories have emerged. Organizations today, wants to achieve economies of scale as well as economies of scope, by being flexible inspite of specializing in a particular field. Economies of scale relates to the cost of producing a good or a service at a low rate (Turi 2015). Economies of scope is the competitive advantage that a company enjoys for a product or a service for a particular market segment or niche. Organizational theorists have utilized Fordist industrial model to reflect on the organizing and managing capabilities of organization to depict new and emerging organizational forms. New organizations are very different when compared to the Fordist standards on division of labor or in regards to standardization of jobs tasks. As the older forms can no longer cater to the dynamism of the changing economy and market, in regards to economies of scale or economies of scope (Gambino 2007). In either case the organization needs to be flexible, as in economies of scope organization needs to design product or service that appeals to a particular segment, in order to build significant competitive advantage in that segment the company has to organize its resources as well as manage its existing work load of catering to other market segment. in case of economies of scale, organization needs to manufacture larger amount of products in order to substantiate for costs, thereby organizing its current levels of production and managing costs such that it can affect profitability of the firm. Post Fordist model there was a transition from an ideal type of organization to transformational organization that can incorporate hybrid structures of new and old (Berry 2009).


Aldrich, H 2008, Organizations and environments., Stanford University Press.

Berry, AJ,CAF,HEP,ODTASC 2009, ‘Emerging themes in management control: A review of recent literature. ‘, British Accounting Review, vol 41, no. 1, pp. 2-20.

Birkinshaw, J,HGAMMJ 2008, ‘Management innovation.’, Academy of management Review, vol 33, no. 4, pp. 825-845.

Bratton, JAGJ 2012, Human resource management: theory and practice. , Palgrave Macmillan.

Cornelissen, JPAKM 2008, ‘Metaphors and theory building in organization theory: what determines the impact of a metaphor on theory?’, British Journal of Management, vol 19, no. 4, pp. 365-379.

Gambino, F 2007, ‘A Critique of the Fordism of the Regulation School. ‘, The Commoner, vol 12, pp. 39-62.

Need, WCDHP 2006, Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Reed, M 2006, ‘1.1 Organizational theorizing: A historically contested terrain.’, in The Sage handbook of organization studies.

Turi, A,MM,IL,GGAMS 2015, ‘ May. From Fordism to Lean management: Main shifts in automotive industry evolution within the last century. ‘, In MakeLearn International Scientific Conference on Management of Knowledge and Learning, pp. 25-27.

van der Velden, CAJD 2001, ‘Organization Theory: Tension and Change.’.

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