· Paradigm: The assumption, practices, and agreement that guide the scholarly community or the words/concepts people use to describe how they approach a subject matter. Thomas Kuhn: The first scholar to realize differences in paradigm and to challenge the understandings of scientific practices.
§ Kuhn, T. S. (1972). Scientific paradigms. Sociology of Science, 80-104.
· Burrell and Morgan: The first social scientists to adapt Kuhn’s ideas to their disciplines. They classified four paradigms that differ in their assumptions about the nature of reality and in their preferences for stability or change.
o Burrell and Morgan’s Typology:
1. The Functionalist paradigm is based on an objective view of reality and a preference for regulation and control.
2. The Interpretivist paradigm is based on a subjective reality and a preference for stability.
3. The Radical Humanist paradigm is based on a subjective view of reality and a preference for change.
4. Radical Structuralist paradigm is based on an objective reality and a preference for change.
§ Rosengren, K. E. (1983). Communication research: one paradigm, or four?. Journal of Communication, 33(3), 185-207.
Three Paradigms of Understanding College and University Organization
1. Positivist: They believe there is only one reality. This paradigm got its origins form Auguste Comte and maybe even Isaac Newton. There is belief of Dualistic Ontology (The subject and object of research are two separate, independent entities) and Objective Epistemology (The researcher assumes that an objective reality exists beyond human consciousness.) Two theories emerged from this camp:
a. Systems Theory: Everything that happens within an organization is linked.
i. Organizations Set Theory: This was established by William Evan. It exhibits the basic input/output model where there are two sides of the system (organization) external to the boundary in terms of sets of inputs and outputs.
1. Input Set: The group of organizations that provides resources to the central organization. Ex. Government agencies, community partners
2. Output Set: The group of organizations that receive goods and services from the central organization. Ex. Employers of graduates, recipients of research findings.
1. Evan, W. M. (1965). Toward a theory of inter-organizational relations. Management Science, 11(10), B-217.
b. 'Contingency Theory: There are many factors that affect the relationship between two or more aspects or the organization. Therefore, before deciding on one particular solution to one particular problem; there should be deep consideration of all of the things that could affect the relationship between that particular problem and that particular situation.
i. 'Unit of Analysis: The level of the system to be analyzed. This helps to identify problematic issues that the organization needs to address.
1. Hickson, D. J., Hinings, C. R., Lee, C. A., Schneck, R. E., & Pennings, J. M. (1971). A strategic contingencies' theory of intraorganizational power. Administrative Science Quarterly, 216-229.
2. Social Constructionists: They deny that there is only one reality and seek to unite the different views of reality to establish a set of beliefs that organizations can use. This paradigm got its origins from Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. Social constructions are guided by the norms, values, and beliefs that classify membership in a social system.
a. Symbolic convergence: The separate cognitive worlds of different individuals begin to overlap. This concept is from Ernest Bormann, a communications researcher.
b. Two forms of socialization as a result of correspondence among multiple constructed realities:
i. Primary: The internalization of the basic constructions of reality that guide most of people’s activities and interactions with others.
ii. Secondary: People’s cognitive worlds start to join with other members of the social systems to which they belong. However the level of cognitive conversion never reaches 100%.
c. 'Social Constructionists Theories
i. Critical Theory: These theorists believe that the scientific research of positivism has self biases within it, although there may be some social justification for it. This group believe that organizations have multi-layers:
1. Deep Structure: The organization’s unexamined values and assumptions that affect how meaning is created. This structure also reflects the dominant way of thinking within an organization, and people tend to construct their reality based on it.
2. Surface Structure: The visible appearance of a socially-constructed reality that was shaped by the deep structure.
3. Ideology: The doctrine, myth, or belief system that guides individual or group behavior.
a. Nightingale, D. J., & Cromby, J. (1999). Social constructionist psychology: A critical analysis of theory and practice. Open Univ Pr.
ii. 'Feminist Perspective: These theorists study how gender is socially constructed. Linda Kerber (1975) researched the evolution of the separate spheres of influence of men and women in the U. S. Women were more domestic and their work was considered less important. Men were more influential in work, religion, and politics and their work was considered important.
1. 'Functionalist Sociologist: They believed that women’s roles fulfilled internal functions and men’s roles fulfilled external functions (Parsons & Bales, 1955).
2. Patriarchy: Feminist theorists feel that socially constructed gender roles have led to this. Patriarchy is an ideology that promotes the unequal distribution of power between men and women (Lorber, 1994).
a. Weingarten, K. (2004). The discourses of intimacy: Adding a social constructionist and feminist view. Family process, 30(3), 285-305.
3. Postmodernists: They believe that the future cannot be based on observations of the past because any future changes will be vastly different from the occurrences of the past. This school of study has two perspectives:
a. 'Historical Era: This thought reflects a difference from the past with all of the changes regarding technology, government assistance, family, and work. Changes that affect Postmodernism.
1. Calhoun, C. (1993). Habitus, field, and capital: The question of historical specificity. Bourdieu: critical perspectives, 61-88.
ii. 'Globalization: This is the mobility of goods, services, technology, labor, and capital across international boundaries. Because of this, postmodernists are concerned that higher education institutions may have adopted corporate practices to stay competitive in this ever-changing world, while losing their focus on diversity, ethics, and access.
iii. 'Multinational corporations: Over half of the world’s 100 largest economies are represented by these types of corporations. Postmodernists raise concerns that corporate power may compromise the independence and autonomy of higher education institutions.
iv. 'Shift from a production economy to a consumption society: Instead of producing products to stimulate the economy, the United States now wants to increase consumer spending to stimulate the economy. Therefore, students are more likely to view themselves as consumers and require higher levels of customer satisfaction and quality of service. Postmodernists feel that is will require colleges and universities to treat students as individual learners and not just as an enrollment number. Still, there is fear that academic quality will diminish in order to provide students with a pleasant college experience.
v. 'Rapid changes in technology: This has enabled information to be shared immediately, so this makes it difficult to centralize the control of information. It makes managing employees harder and it opens organizations to be vulnerable to computer viruses and other threats to confidentiality and data security.
vi. 'Postmodernism vs. modernism: Modernism is rooted in intellectual and scientific Western Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries such as:
1. 'Enlightenment Thought: From Political philosophers Thomas Hobbs; Rene’ Descartes; John Locke; & Jean-Jacques Rousseau
i. Williams, R. N. (1994). The modern, the post-modern, and the question of truth: Perspectives on the problem of agency. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 14(1), 25.
2. 'Scientific Revolution: Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton
i. Gaukroger, S. (2001). Francis Bacon and the transformation of early-modern philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
3. 'Industrial Revolution: Changed agrarian economies into factory-based systems of production.
i. Blinder, A. S. (2006). Offshoring: The next industrial revolution. Foreign Aff., 85, 113.
4. 'Theories of Evolution and Natural Selection:
i. Darwin, C. (1987). Charles Darwin's natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Cambridge University Press.
5. 'Theories of Social Organization: It was based on bureaucracy and merit and not based on inheritance. Max Weber’s work has influence on functionalist sociologists.
i. Weber, M. (1997). The theory of social and economic organization (Vol. 93493). Free Press.
6. 'Main Components of Modernist Thought:
a. The world is rational and can be understood through the use of reason.
b. The world is predictable and governable so society can be manipulated to improve performance.
c. Human history is a narrative of human progress; and through research and technological development, a better future is ahead.
i. Gergen, K. (1992). The saturated self: Dilemmas of identity in contemporary life. Basic books.
b. 'Intellectual Perspective: This thought offers a new view to analyze organizations and leadership. Jacques Derrida and Michael Foucault developed critiques of modernism.
i. Derrida critiqued the language and reality of modernism.
1. Deconstruction: The process of bringing people, groups, and ideas to the center of discourse.
a. Cooper, R. (1989). Modernism, post modernism and organizational analysis 3: The contribution of Jacques Derrida. Organization Studies, 10(4), 479-502.
ii. Foucault critiqued the belief of objective science of modernism.
1. Micropolitics: Politics of everyday life
a. Burrell, G. (1988). Modernism, post modernism and organizational analysis 2: The contribution of Michel Foucault. Organization studies, 9(2), 221-235.