Author(s):Professor David Crowther and Dr Miriam Green
Last updated by Deepa Krishnan and Kabir Garg
Organisations affect our whole lives – from infancy to retirement – and much of our work in the health service is governed by organisations, practices and processes.
For the last century theories of organisational behaviour and management practice have been developed in what has become a rapidly changing context. This module opens up different theoretical perspectives from which this subject has been studied to allow for deeper and more interesting insights into the way organisational knowledge has been produced.
We have selected theories that should help health service professionals to understand their organisation as a first step to working out how to improve it. Topics covered include some of the earliest theories still relevant to practice today. Early theories were based on economic principles. Classical organisation theories such as Taylorism were based on the effective organisation of people. These theories were followed by the human relations movement which was based on human relations, needs, motives and attitudes. More recently there has been an integration of both structural and human perspectives leading to the development of systems theories (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013).
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