Paul R. Lawrence is Donham Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business Administration of Harvard University.
Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralizationby Paul R. Lawrence, Robert T. Golembiewski
Many companies today are either undergoing drastic organizational changes or are faced with the prospect of having to make these changes in the near future. The need for change may arise from internal sources—growth in the size of the company, the problem of aging—or, more frequently, from external sources: changes in the nature of markets, in the
Many companies today are either undergoing drastic organizational changes or are faced with the prospect of having to make these changes in the near future. The need for change may arise from internal sources—growth in the size of the company, the problem of aging—or, more frequently, from external sources: changes in the nature of markets, in the technology of the industry, or even cultural beliefs about the “proper” rewards of work and behavior for employers and employees. This book is concerned with the process of change by which organizations achieve their purposes and meet the needs of their individual and group contributors.
Lawrence’s study is centered on a medium-sized supermarket chain in which several important management functions were being shifted from the home office to newly created store managers. The origin and reasoning behind these organizational changes, the methods of introducing them, the process of shifting the roles of key individuals, and the consequences of the changes are considered in detail. The author’s inquiry proceeds from four essential research questions: What is the nature of the basic behavior patterns in this organization? What are the key factors involved in changing those patters? Did significant measurement change occur? If so, how was it accomplished.
This volume, first published in 1958, broke new ground in devising techniques to measure changes in behavior patterns of individuals, in focusing attention on the behavior patterns of individuals at the management levels of an organization, and in clarifying the stubborn facts of human behavior involved in changing administrative patterns. The book will be of continuing interest to managers and administrators concerned with making key changes in customary supervisory practices and to sociologists for the way the book addresses the general issue of the conflicts between the shifting demands of large organizations and the integrity of the individual. The new 1990 introduction by the author nicely illustrates his belief that the process of organizational change remains a central issue for American society.
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