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Cunliffe’s (2008) view on the organizational theory is well-defined as a “series of theories and models which could pursue
to explain how the organization’s purpose and how it relates to the
surroundings”. The general purpose of this module is to review the exciting perceptions
that toughen the organisational theory.

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In this assessment, I have expanded on various
types of theories and how those theories have progressed over the past years.
The assignment is split into four tasks including an action plan and each task
is split into three main categories; what, so what and now what for a improved
understanding. Firstly, in task one I have clarified how the knowledge and
understanding of the development of organisational theories and secondly, in task
two I have reflected on how to conduct an organisational research and its impact on organisational practices.
Thirdly, I have elaborated on how my engagement and involvement in the seminar sessions have aided me to recognise and understand
the vital information, history and development. Also, how that knowledge is valuable
in the future to make organisations effective and efficient. Lastly, is an action
plan used to portray what are the problems I face now and how can I overcome these
problems within a convinced period. Furthermore, I have merged Chris grey’s chapter, Cunliffe’s books
and my lecturer’s notes as well as the linked seminar activities for each task to support my reflections and present this assignment successfully.








Task 1: Literature Review demonstrating my knowledge and understanding of the
development of organisational theories


In the
first week of the organisational theory module, I was clueless and I was quite lacking
the knowledge on how businesses runs with multidisciplinary nature and
interrelationship between the disciplines. After attending the first two or
three weeks of the lectures, I started to gain the basic knowledge of different
theories and models and how organisations put on these theories to their
organisations when they are in a state of solving matters.

However, when studying organization theories, it was significant
for me to learn how these theories have developed since they have started in
the history. In the early stages, I have in progress to increase the knowledge
on history. This contains the different view and discipline arose in a specific
period. Step by step it sunk into me what the impact history had on the
present. This has given me an chance to understand OT in a broader image
(Cunliffe, 2013).

The knowledge I had before the module was not enough
for me to manage a present time circumstances when it comes to solving a matter
in organization. It gave me an opportunity to understand how could possibly a
manager can prepare to a real-life situation by taking a vital decision. Learning these
theories step by step was crucial for me to understand how I can implement
these theories to organisations which is needed to achieve targets such as
being efficient, effective and responsive. It can also help to decrease the
cost and take full advantage of using current resources. Once the targets are achieved and in result, I am being
respectful to the community, society, and the environment. (Cunliffe, 2008).

So What

Cunliffe (2008) assumes the organizational
theory is clarified as a “series of theories and models which could lead to
explain how organization purpose and relate to the surroundings”. There are various
explanations for what “OT” where different authors have defined in a different
way in various books and it has been made impossible to gather all the
definitions to one location. Lectures have also guided me to understand what
the main purpose of studying organizational theory. These theories have been established
since 19th century.  It has straight
impacted on work or the world. The most relevant and best example is Henry
Ford’s production theory and Fayol’s management theory. By observing these two
theories, it has affected the world of work in a scientific way.  Diversity of disciplines and various examples assisted
to influence heavily on emerging the Organizational theories. When we check the
history, we could see the different theories fairly obvious and how these
theories been informed by different views in order to research and re develop.
It was clear that the theories are set of ideas and the relationships that holds
them together into a logical explanation or understanding of our ideal
interest.  Furthermore, Cunliffe (2008) stated
that managers could use these theories, models, concepts and tools to identify
the problems and help their departments to work more efficiently within the

These theories and researches are attached and the best way to explain
the link between the theories is the three steps shown in the below diagram.

Diagram 1- The
link between theories and researches Source- Cunliffe (2008)


Furthermore, the
studies of organizational theories have given me a better understanding on how
the theories have started to progress and the need in expansion of organizational
theories.  Cunliffe (2008) also specified
that the organizational theory is a range of theories and models that challenge
to explain how the organization function and how it relates to the environment.
An early stage of organizational theory is formed on how we could create an
effective and creative organization by using the knowledge we have increased in
the lecture and seminar activities.

Classic and Scientific Management

Classical and
scientific management theory originated at the period when the giant businesses
were evolving alongside with increasing efficiency through setting of
production (Cunliffe, 2008). Classical management theory goals to find that
‘one best way’ to attain using scientific methods and universal
principles.  These are still apparent in
the present due to main contributions from Fayol (1919-1949) and Weber (1924-1947).
However, Taylor is viewed as the founder of scientific management. As Fayol was
planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling were listed as function of
management (Cunliffe, A 2008). Fayol recognized 14 principles which could lead
to management in organizations to be more effective and efficient. These are,

Unity of command: One person – One boss
Authority – Right to give orders
Discipline – Obedience, respect

Now What

Nevertheless, when it comes to Fayol’s theory there is positives. As
mentioned Fayol’s theory is the most intriguing theory that it is still in
evidence in today’s organization and clarify how organizations could grow quickly
by following this theory in practice. When conversing about the disadvantages.
I believe these theories could uneven and create fear within the organization.
This is because the “One person – One boss” has different views to employment. This
can easily create misperception. Modern day management is focused on
management’s positive relationship and communication between managers and
employees. At present, organizations do not practice “One person – One boss” as
it used to be in the history. Theories have been advanced over the time.
However, it is important to keep the best positives from the theories and get
rid of negatives, hence why it could help to make the most of the productivity
in the organization. Moreover, coming back to the theories, there are other
theories such as “Contingency theory”. It emphasis mainly on “there is no one
best way”.  The organizational practices
and management relies on the characteristics of each situation. Hence, the possibility
theory that recommends the outcomes of the applicable organization structure
depending on many factors such as technology, people, and environment
(Cunliffe, 2008).  Since the 19th
century to today’s generation there have been key changes to the technology,
people and environment, therefore it could be debated that “Contingency theory”
fits into the modern-day organizations effectively.

Treating employees in a mannerly and respectful way
and leading them to achieve better productivity was Adam Smith’s theory. It
helped me to understand that even in history when Adam Smith was creating this
theory, other theories have been advanced. Diagram 2 portrays how our
environment is effected by culture, social structure, physical and technology.  Due to the improvement in technology it has assisted
organizations to increase their effectiveness and responsiveness. Cunliffe (2008)
stated that after organizations started facing more problems it has led
theories to develop precise way.

Diagram 2- how environment is effected by culture,
physical and social structure and technology

Source- Hatch and
Cunliffe (2006)


Task 2- My Knowledge and Understanding of How
Organisational Research is conducted and the impact that Organisational
Research has on Organisational Practices. 
Include an Action Plan for your personal development.


When discussing
research, it is important to remark that the research is the central of both
business and academic activities. Research means different meaning for
different people. However, defining research generally could be defined as a
systematic and methodical process of inquiry and investigation with a view to growing
knowledge (Business Research, 2014).

When it comes to leading
a research, it is vital to conduct the research based on quantitative and
qualitative approaches. It is stated on Collins and Hussey (2014) that a
qualitative research is constructed on the studies that involves meeting of
quantitative data or the qualitative data that can be quantified. Also, if it
is the qualitative method then that means it is about studies involves the meeting
of qualitative data.

So What

Furthermore, studies helped me gain knowledge when it comes to changing
of the nature of knowledge over the years. Collis and Hussey (2014) think that it
is vital to understand the difference between the paradigms, because where you
sit in the paradigm, controls who you do research for. It is important to
understand the use of research paradigms. Research paradigm is an outline which
could help to conduct a research. It helps identify the world and the nature of
knowledge based on people’s philosophies and expectations. Methodology would be
well-defined as the method of the researcher’s entire process. There are two
paradigms; “Positivism” and “Interpretivism”.

Positivism has been created from natural science. The main features of
positivisms are objective, robust and involving detecting the causes. This has
developed by theorist such as   Comte
(1798 – 1857), Mill (1806 – 1873) and Durkheim (1859 – 1917). Interpretivism is
a paradigm happened to response to the criticism of the positivism. Using procedures
such as formless interviews and participant statement offers this type of data.
Also, it could be debated that interpretivism is based on principles of
idealism which can be related with Kant’s (1724-1804) philosophy. It then went
onto being developed by Dilthey (1833-1911) and Ricket’s (1863 – 1936).

Collis and Hussey (2014) mutually think when defining a research
problem, the way researcher’s investigate the questions will be aimed at the
research paradigm. This is where when conducting a research in business and
management researchers need to have skills, personal qualities and different
attributes. Kevin’s (1992) views that there are main stages in the research
process. Research problematic stages, research designing stages, data gathering
stages, data analysis and interpretation stages can be recognized as them. The diagram
below shows the procedures in the research process.

Diagram 3 – Stages in research process

As shown in the
diagram above, it explains more in detailed stages of the research. It will
then lead to gain more knowledge on about understanding the research issues and
to progress with the certain problem issued by the study. Collis and Hussey (2014)
have stated that there has been little reference about the matters arise at
each stage in the research process. Twenty factors have been approved by Howard
and Sharp (1994). It has a valuable, normal or opposing effect on the research
project. The study of eight successful researchers (Hussey, 2007) held these
factors together by studying the procedure of research and the skills,
knowledge and personal qualities needed at each stage.

Furthermore, the following table establishes the
differences between positivism and interpretivism.

















Table 1- Differences between positivism and interpretivism


Now What

I chose business
studies because I want a career in property management in the near future. It
has helped me to look at the hidden features of the management scene. Cunliffe (2008)
believes that managers who are thinking out of the box and follow different
methods are potentially becoming the better manager, and how we going to look
at the realism will give us a better idea how the manager should carry on their
work. This is why there are different theories and developments. It could also
be said that people have different interpretations and ideas when it comes to
conducting a research. After studying these theory’s, it has helped me to get a
good and suitable image on my mind about how I will be intensive when carrying
out responsibilities as a manager in the future and how I will engage with my employees
and to conduct a research. After studying this module, it has helped me to know
whether I am a positivist or an interpretivist. I would consider to position
myself as an interpretivist. This is simply because I like to have an open mind
to all options and unseen meaning. Hence, I believe managers have huge impact
on people’s life and society.



From the beginning of the module, I have
been provided with a sheet to note down three types of challenges I have confronted
by the second week at university. These were academic, social and personal
challenges. I then had to write down the positive actions I can take to tackle
the obstacles I have confronted down. I have found the activity very beneficial
skill to overcome tough situations by conversing them and trying to think of a
possible solution I could take. Lectures and seminars following with these
types of activities helped me to understand what the importance and how crucial
it is to study Organisational theory. Furthermore, I have learned how to look at
an organisation issues and how to unravel them by using the different theories.
These theories are there to raise the level of knowledge when it comes to how
organisations function and relate to the environment.

So What

As elaborated above, being present to
lectures and seminars aided me to further improve my studies related to
Organisational theories. It gave me courage and motivation to improve my skills
such as critical thinking and writing. For an example, in the seminar I would
have completed an activity from Chris Grey’s Organisation book to increase the
critical writing skills. The activity included three parts “What, So what and Now
what”. To reach these goals, I had to use the library resources and I had to
get use to the blackboard as it blackboard was whole new thing to me.  As time goes by, I have understood how crucial
it is of using these resources. It had a greater influence on my development as
a student. As a first-year student I was under huge pressure to overcome these
challenges. Following the method taught by lectures and seminars helped a lot
to increase the ability to take on my skills when it comes to arguing, writing
and thinking. Later stages, it had a major influence on how I can cite the
evidence I have gained and link them to the research. It took me to a whole new
level of thinking when it comes to successfully completing my assignment.  Thus, I have gained lot of self-confidence to
complete my assignments.  As a university
level student, it gave me knowledge to understand the importance of being
critical not descriptive.



Now What

During this year, I have gone under a lot
of activities to overcome the challenges I was facing at the time. This module
has aided me to change the way I study and move into a more effective and
creative way. Earlier stages, I would not have any preparations prior to the
seminars and lectures. It came to my knowledge that the preparation was a
crucial factor. So, if I work as a manager in the future I could use these
practises and increase my ability to perform at any given level.  The academic work I have carried throughout
the year has been followed by an action plan in the task 4.

Task 4: My Action Plan

What do I need to do?

How will I do it?


1. Improve on my academic writing

·       Read newspapers to expand my vocabulary
·       Be more organised and structure my
·       Proofread my work for any grammatical

June 2018

2. Work on my time management skills

·       Start the day early
·       Be on time for lectures, seminars and
other events (try to be early by at least 10 minutes)
·       Avoid un necessary distractions but do
balance my social life


3. Work on my interpersonal skills

·       Be polite to colleagues, class mates
and in general to everyone
·       Maintain a good and classy body language
such as back straight etc.
·       Eye contacts crucial when talking to
lecturers and to others

July 2018

4. Improve team work

·       Respect every individual’s opinion
·       Avoid disapproving others’ views
·       Work obligingly with team mates

May 2018

5. Improve public
communication skills

·       Cope with your nerves
·       Watch recordings of your speeches
·       Engage with your audience

July 2018

6. Work on self-management skills

·       Reward myself when i successfully
achieve targets
·       Physical activities to keep my body in
·       Practise self-determination
 Resist any stressful

September 2018

7. Develop on my
learning skills

·       Take good notes
·       Ask relevant questions
·       Establish my learning style

June 2018



The general purpose of this
module is to review the challenging viewpoints that toughen the organisational
theory. I have used my lecturer’s notes, recommended
books and used my own personal experience to support my reflections and present this assignment efficiently.
For the first task, I have clarified
about what I learned about the history and how it has aided me to understand
the basic knowledge of Organisational theory. Furthermore, I have explained what
the part regarding the management theories such as Fayol’s theory. After that,
the actions I will be taken in the future to help organisations to be more effective.
I have studied about the paradigms which could lead me to have a better
understanding about how to conduct a research and to be more precise on what
type of work I want to carry out. I have then gone on to using the third task
to be more useful about my findings from following this module and how it has
helped me to overcome the issues I had when I started with the module. Last of
all, I have created an action plan with the list of issues such as improving my
academic writing, interpersonal skills, and time management and team work and
learning skills which I think I need to overcome in my life. I have set a realistic
deadline where I’m supposed to get a development for my issues by the end of May
to September 2018. This is good because it can guide me to overcome the
boundaries in my face.

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