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[Xmca-l] Re: An article on the evolution of organizational paradigms you might find interesting

Many thanks for your comments, Mike.

Since I was a PhD student I was fascinated by Scribner's (1985) analysis of "Vygotsky's Uses of History,". One could say that our paper (and my PhD) was inspired by her article. We study the connection between
(1) the long-term evolution of technologies
(2) the long-term evolution of organizational paradigms
(3) the long-term evolution of  management models
(4) micro processes of organizational and managerial innovation
(see the attached figure for a visualization)

For the long-term technological processes, relying on a neo-Schumpeterian framework (Carlota Perez), we study subsequent technological revolutions (railway, steel &electricity, automobile, ICT). We argue that the emergence of a technological revolution in leading industries generates radically new organizational and management problems. The solution to these problems takes the form of a new organizational paradigm (professionally-managed firm, factory, corporation, network). This new paradigm emerges in two cycles. In a first cycle, we see the emergence of a new management model that represents a revolutionary break with the prevailing organizational paradigm (Line-and-staff, Scientific management, Strategy-and-structure, Business process). The appearance of this model typically generates unintended consequences (often related to human problems), which in turn prompt a second cycle that generates another management model that rectifies those dysfunctions and thereby rebalances and stabilizes the new organizational paradigm (Industrial betterment, Human relations, Quality management/organizational culture and learning, Knowledge management).

(The connection to individual human development would be: An organizational expert working in the early 19th century, time-traveling into the present, would first need to master many of the lessons accumulated by the successive paradigms and models of the last century and a half. Each of the models that has left its mark on the overall evolution of management and organization offers a lesson for the individual.)

We clearly see connections between this four processes, and—coming now to your question—we would also argue that there should be connections to the the longer-term evolution of social institutions. Actually, Paul Adler and I currently study the evolution of workplace communities—the fabric of workplace social relations—, and we are confident that we can make a connection to the 4 processes mentioned above.

Regarding the question of an "orthogenetic principle": I need to think about this more. What we say in our paper is that the we see indicators of growing complexity of the division of labor, growing interdependence among actors, and increasing scope of the corresponding integration and control efforts. These indicators might be read as related to what Paul Adler (2012) calls the “socialization of production”, but we have to explore this more.

Kind regards, Zlatko

Thank you for this paper, Zlato. We have not heard from Paul on this list
for years, but
his work has remained on the horizon. Now you have brought it back to us in
an interesting formulation.

I was struck by the parallels between the way you framed your question and
the question that developmental psychologists (perhaps pedologists,

  we argue that technology is a powerful factor shaping the evolution of
management models’ contents

a couple of months ago Roy Pea gave a talk at the Piaget society meetings
in which we made a very similar point with respect to the role of culture
in human development. Simplifying brutally, we argued that new technologies
entail changes in social relations that subsequently change the environment
of development for the en-culturating organism. This formulation, we
suggested provided piagetians  to reconcile contradictions between the
biological and the social sides of Piaget.

The similarity of the arguments raises a question for me about principles
of development that appear non-accidently related at different levels of
'individual organism, individual organism as constituitive of a social
group, the institutional structure of the organism's environment, the
structure of that proximal society and its relation to the organization of
the species of which it is a part. Does some sort of "orthogenetic
principle" apply across different scales of social processes?

Short of that, what are we to make of the "limited" differences we see in
the dynamics of different levels of the system in relative sychrony,
perhaps a crisis, perhaps an opportunity?

David has been point toward a sociology and linguistics to bring together
various apparently combinable mode of theorizing a CHAT account of
development that generalizes across scales (themselves differentially
mutable from the perspective of a single human organism). This work, and
that part of Yrjo's work focused on organisms seems to be pointing in
similarly directions. If that it correct, it extends the links to the study
of social institutions, a topic currently of general interest in the CHAT

In any events, thanks.


On Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 6:52 AM, Zlatko Bodrozic <bodrozic@web.de> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

some of you might find our paper (co-authored with Paul Adler) on the
historical evolution of management models and organizational paradigms
interesting. We published it this year in Administrative Science Quarterly.
While it is based on a Neo-Schumpeterian framework (Schumpeter, Freeman,
Perez),  it was equally informed by cultural-historical activity theory.
You can download a copy by using the link below, and we would be delighted
to get any reactions to it that you might share with us.

Best wishes,
Zlatko Bodrožić and Paul Adler

Bodrozic, Z., and P.S. Adler (forthcoming) The Evolution of Management
Models: A Neo-Schumpeterian Theory. /Administrative Science Quarterly/
Download <http://www-bcf.usc.edu/%7Epadler/research/models.pdf>

Dr. Zlatko Bodrožić

Email: bodrozic@web.de
Tel.:  +381-62-1769594
Tel.:  +49-172-4712341

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