Organisations are constantly involved with a series of exchanges between external elements such as customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders. These exchanges can be thought of as a “import-transformation-export”(Huczynski & Buchanan, 2001) type process. An organisation with internal characteristics that are out of fit with its environment will soon go out of business.
As the pace of change quickens, the more rapidly a business adapts to the new pressures and opportunities the environment provides, the more likely they are to remain effective and efficient.The identification and understanding of multiple factors in the environment, which potentially have an impact on the organisation, is therefore an essential business process, to aid internal fit, or harmonisation with the environment. Methods used to analyse the external environment are known as environmental scanning techniques.
These techniques involve the collection of relevant information and subsequent identification and prediction of external trends, which may potentially impact upon the internal functioning of the organisation. PESTLE, TEMPLE or the more simplified PEST, are such examples of environmental scanning techniques.The acronym PESTLE relates to the political, economic, sociological, technological, legal and ecological factors affecting the organisation. These are effective, simple structures, helping to reduce the complexity of the problem. PESTLE involves identifying the political, economic, social, technological, legal and ecological impact factors.
However many parts of this spectrum overlap, as for example many legal changes are politically motivated. PESTLE type analysis leads to possible future scenario hypotheses and creative organisational decision-making, but can provide a bewildering range of information, making analysis time consuming and predictions difficult.An alternative way of stratifying and thus explaining multi-disciplined approaches to organisational behaviour is that of the classical, modern and post-modern organisation. These chart a time line of development over the past century, being largely in opposition to the previously mentioned school of thought; that of unabating, rapid and radical change, spurred on mainly by the environment.
These three fashionable continuities can be identified, since the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century. (-See Fig.?3.) This typical, commonly agreed representation of current thinking can easily be criticised.There is some ambiguity regarding the use of postmodern and the hyphenated post-modern.
Lancaster’s Karen Legge stated that post-modern (hyph.), is a period in time, following the modern period; whereas postmodern is a philosophy of looking at, thinking about and developing theories and criticisms regarding organisations and rejecting taken-for-granted notions, such as rationality, order and deconstruction of truths. The dates involved with this time line are very precise, suggesting a very linear, logical succession from the previous state, driven by external pressures. This would seem to suggest that simple, specialised jobs are in the past, with wholesale replacement by flexible, almost holistic managers and flexible, multi-skilled and empowered jobs.Clearly, this is not totally the case, as some manufacturing, for example, still requires that kind of work, however much of the need has decreased over the last century. However, change cannot be this tidy, linear or logical.
Support for this structure can be found in the report published by the Department for Health and Education and Employment in November 1997, which said work in the traditional manufacturing sector had declined considerably as employment in services has increased. The study found increasing skill levels in the workplace, further highlighting the support to the classical, modern, post-modern hierarchy.”Primary and manufacturing sectors are expected to see further reductions in numbers employed, but future changes are likely to be smaller and more gradual than in the past” (Department for Education and Skills Website, 1997.
) There is now a wide acceptance in government that to build an economy that will continue to be successful in the global marketplace we will need to develop an even better educated and more highly skilled and flexible workforce. This would support the view of the initial question, regarding the value of understanding the multi-disciplinary organisational behaviour.The differing possible categorisations are an excellent tool, as they illustrate the discursive nature of management. The effective management of people and operations is a multi-faceted subject, as is organisational behaviour and the behavioural sciences. Whatever form is adopted, many advantages can be gained; they provide a setting in which to view the field of management, aiding tracing the major lines of argument for comparison and deconstruction. Any organisational problems can be identified and analysed easily through the employment of these frameworks.
Different approaches can be used at different times, to suit the particular set of requirements for the job.However, the boundaries of these categorisations are often unclear and some issues and writers would prove difficult to place. Both the divisions of frameworks and the shapes of them are often unagreed between the scholars of the subject. ‘Approaches’ is an undoubtedly better term to use instead of ‘categories’, as it hints at the vagueness, of the lines between the categories and subject as a whole, so is far more pertinent.An example of a multi-disciplined approach being successful is that of the global entertainment industry. (-See Fig. ?4.
) This table shows linkages between British, Asian, European and North American organisations in this sector. Ownership stakes are reflected by the percentage figures, so a company, such as Microsoft, has a small but significant number of stakes in this sector, but which are wide-ranging. “Iconic computer firm Microsoft has reported far higher than expected profits, helping to restore investor confidence in the battered technology sector. Microsoft said profits for the July to September period came in at $2.73bn (ï¿½1.7bn), beating analysts’ forecasts by 8%.The figure, released after the close of stock trading in New York on Thursday, was more than double the $1.
28bn in profits that the firm reported in the same period last year.” (Microsoft’s finance chief, John Connors, via. The BBC News website, 18th Oct, 1999).
This shows the high effectiveness of their multi-disciplined approach. This process is termed consolidation, the process through which company ownership becomes smaller and more concentrated, but with interests spanning a larger and more global field. Successful consolidation is occurring across many different sectors, such as the motor car industry and travel agency.ConclusionsBehavioural science represents a less tangible and more tacit area than that of a physical science. This results in it being far harder to reach rigid conclusions.
However, some recommendations can be drawn from the above text, to provide support to the initial statement that understanding multi-discipline organisational behaviour is essential to the effective management of both people and operations in organisations. However, whatever the balance between philosophy and science, knowledge of management theory will help with the complexities of management.Every work organisation is concerned with being effective, especially in today’s fierce world of competition.
Organisational effectiveness has to be the concern of everyone, not just the managers. Attainment of goals and objectives decides the ultimate survival and future of the organisation.Flexibility enhances organisational effectiveness and quality of working life. However, gauging effectiveness is not easy, the activities of management can be judged against any of the models presented and against many others not mentioned because of restraints on verbose deconstruction. Success may be short-lived, as today’s successful organisation may see less success in the future.
Promotion of good human relations is essential to effective management, as productivity will result from people’s commitment to and involvement with, the business. Comparing the past and the present in the classical, modern and post-modern fashion can prove diverting, as it often provides more questions than answers.Modern managers have to incorporate both being a psychologist, sociologist and anthropologist, so integration is the key to effectiveness.
Integration of all styles and models will ultimately provide a far more dynamic mode of management, along with the replete success this will provide, as in the case of Microsoft. Organisations must pay attention to developments in the external environment, environmental scanning techniques are a useful predictive planning tool and are a useful framework of the external factors which influence the business. There are undoubtedly then, many aspects to management. There is no one best way to management. However, the study of the wide range of models regarding organisations, their structure and management of them, is an indispensable and essential aspect of the job.