Driving Forces and a New Organizational Paradigm

Sections of this topic

    © Copyright Carter
    McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC

    Sections of This Article Include

    Driving Forces of Change
    Traits of the New Paradigm

    Also, consider
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    Driving Forces of Change

    Around the 1960s and today, the environment of today’s organizations
    has changed a great deal. A variety of driving forces provoke
    this change. Increasing telecommunications has “shrunk”
    the world substantially. The increasing diversity of workers has brought
    in a wide array of differing values, perspectives, and expectations
    among workers. Public consciousness has become much more sensitive
    and demanding that organizations be more socially responsible.
    Much of the third-world countries have joined the global marketplace,
    creating a wider arena for sales and services. Organizations became
    responsible not only to stockholders (those who owned stock) but
    to a wider community of “stakeholders.”

    As a result of the above driving forces,
    organizations were required to adopt a “new paradigm,”
    or view the world, to be more sensitive, flexible, and adaptable
    to the demands and expectations of stakeholders demands. Many organizations
    have abandoned or are abandoning the traditional top-down, rigid
    and hierarchical structures to more “organic” and fluid

    Today’s leaders and/or managers must
    deal with continual, rapid change. Managers faced with a major
    decision can no longer refer back to an earlier developed plan
    for direction. Management techniques must continually notice changes
    in the environment and organization, assess these changes and manage
    change. Managing change does not mean controlling it, but rather understanding
    it, adapting to it where necessary, and guiding it when possible.

    Managers can’t know it all or reference resources for every situation. Managers
    must count on and listen more to their employees. Consequently, new forms of
    organizations are becoming more common, e.g., worker-centered teams, self-organizing
    and self-designing teams.

    Traits of the New Paradigm

    Marilyn Ferguson, in The New Paradigm: Emerging Strategic for
    Leadership and Organizational Change
    (Michael Ray and Alan
    Rinzler, Eds., 1993, New Consciousness Reader), provides a very
    concise overview of the differences between the old and new paradigms.
    (The following is summarized.)

    Old Paradigm

    New Paradigm

    promote consumption at all costs appropriate consumption
    people to fit jobs jobs to fit people
    imposed goals, top-down decision making autonomy encouraged, worker participation
    fragmentation in work and roles cross-fertilization by specialists seeing wide relevance
    identification with job identity transcends job description
    clock model of company recognition of uncertainty
    aggression, competition cooperation
    work and play are separate blurring of work and play
    manipulation and dominance cooperation with nature
    struggle for stability sense of change, of becoming
    quantitative qualitative as well as quantitative
    strictly economic motives spiritual value transcends material gain
    polarized transcends polarities
    short-sighted ecologically sensitive
    rational rational and intuitive
    emphasis on short-term solutions recognition that long-range efficiency must take into account
    harmonious work environment
    centralized operations decentralized operations when possible
    runaway, unbridled technology appropriate technology
    allopathic treatment of symptoms attempt to understand the whole, locate deep underlying causes
    of disharmony

    This Article is in a Series About Understanding Organizational Structures and Design

    This article is the seventh in the series which includes:

    1. What is an Organization?
    2. What
    Makes Each Organization Unique
    3. How They’re the Same: They’re Systems

    4. Basic Overview of Life Cycles in
    5. Basic Overview of Organizational

    6. Legal Forms and Traditional
    Structures of Organizations
    7. Driving Forces and a New Organizational
    8. Emerging Nature and New
    Organizational Structures and Design
    9. Basic Guidelines for Organizational
    10. Wrap
    Up: Grasping the Big Picture in Organizations (video)

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