Derek S. Pugh is Emeritus Professor of International Management at the Open University Business School. This fifth edition was published in 2007 and consists of six interrelated sections, whereby each part consists of 4-to-5 chapters each. The 30 chapters overall are written by writers whose work has had a clear impact on the subject of organization theory. " ... organization theory can be defined as the study of the structure, functioning and performance of organizations and the behaviour of groups and individuals within them."
Part I - The Structure of Organizations examines the structural differences encountered across numbers of organizations. Max Weber analyses three general types of organization stemming from the bases for wielding authority. Derek Pugh himself describes in detail the management structures of modern organizations. Oliver E. Williamson examines the complex nature of the modern corporation. Christopher Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal focus on international corporations. Charles Handy discusses the impact of the virtual organization on structure and management.
Part II - The Organization in Its Environment analyses the need of organizations to function in different environments. Tom Burns highlights the limitations of formal bureaucracies and discusses the change toward organismic systems for greater flexibility. Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch continue the exploration of the relationship of the organization to the environment. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Gerald Salancik argue that all organizational functioning is a result from the organization's dependence on other institutions in its environment. Raymond Miles and Charles Snow demonstrate that organizations must achieve a strategic fit between their environments and their management strategies and structures. Michael T. Hannan and John Freeman take an ecological and evolutionary view of organizational functioning. Geert Hofstede underlines the importance of national culture to organizational behaviour.
Part III - Management and Decision-Making presents overall principles on the management of organizations, included the tasks and the processes. Henri Fayol is the first modern management writers to propound a theoretical analysis on role of managers. His principles of authority and responsibility, unity of command, good order, esprit de corps are the common currency of management parlance. Henry Mintzberg provides a new way of classifying managerial work, consisting of interpersonal, informational and decisional set of tasks. Rosabeth Moss Kanter underlines the importance of the correct use of managerial power in achieving organizational performance. James March maintains that decision-making is the key distinctive activity of managers.
Part IV - People in Organizations is concerned to the analysis of the behaviour of people and the effect on/by organization processes. Elton Mayo is the inspirer of the famous Hawthorne studies and the founding father of the human relations movement, with the first major impact of social science on management thinking. Frederick Herzberg challenges existing views on motivation and advocates the enrichment of jobs through additional responsibility and authority. Edgar Schein discusses the relationship between the individual's career and the organization's culture. Karl Weick focuses on the individuals enactment of their understanding of organizational situations based on subjective preconceptions. Chris Argyris points toward the open organization and ability to participate in innovative double-loop learning.
Part V - Organization Change and Learning discuss the context and the environment of organizational change. Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell argue that pressures from the state, from other institutions and from professional standards require managers to conform to accepted practice and that organizations change primarily to be more like each other. Andrew Pettigrew analyses the interacting factors of context, content and process and resulting complexity of achieving strategic change. Peter Senge is concerned with the learning organization and a systems approach to change continuously. Gareth Morgan applies 'imaginization' to understanding an organization. Tom Peters finalises this section and argues that the most important characteristic of a modern organization is that it should be an exciting place to work in.
The final part, Part VI - Further Work, introduces new work since the last edition (1997'. Michael Foucault examines discipline as the key process in the control of armies, prisons and other hierarchical organizations and its influence in 'post-modern' organization theory. Stewart Clegg looks forward to networking as the new relationship between superiors and subordinates in the 'post-modernist organization'. Kathleen Eisenhardt reports on strategic decision making in high-velocity environments. Lex Donaldson finalises with a development of a neo-contingency theory of the nature of organizational adaptation to achieve better performance.
I see this book as a good introduction into the field of organization theory. The author uses articles and chapters from leading writers to examine some of the many factors in field. Yes, the chapters are somewhat theoretical in nature and therefore the reader needs to translate them into practice themselves. This set of readings is accompanied by David J. Hickson and Derek S. Pugh's 'Writers on Organizations' (6th edition, 2007).