Power and the Limits of Power in Organisational Theory

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Introduction Power and the limits of power in organisations can be understood in many different ways due to different perspective in organisation theory .This essay will be talking about two theoretical perspectives of organisation theory, modernism and critical theory and how these perspectives contribute to the different ideas about power and the limits of power in organisations. To begin, this essay will start by differentiating the basic perspective of modernism and critical theory in organisations. In ontology, assumption for modernist takes an objectivist point of view, they believe that “reality exists independently of those who live in it”. The modernist believes that there is something out there regardless of whether you know it…show more content…
Market control uses the free market to evaluate and control performance. However, limitations exists in this control theory as it depends on output control and is only effective when the product can be defined, priced and when competition exists to make price meaningful. Bureaucratic control uses the standardization of behaviour through procedures and rules and depends on behaviour controls and the existence of a hierarchy system for supervision. The limitation lies in the rapid changing environment, which makes environment uncertain, thus, difficulty to access results may cause these controls to fail (Jaffee 2008). Therefore, clan controls would be most efficient under such situations. It uses culture, norms and expectations to control performance and group behaviour. By establishing desirable culture in organisations, members of the organisation would sanction undesirable behaviour. This is useful for professionals as they are commited to behave according to their profession. However, the professional commitement may not be to the interest of the organisation thus, making it a limitation to this form of control. Therefore, the limits of power in modernism are the limitations in the different theories. In addition, resistance, which will be mentioned in the later part of the essay, is also one way which limits the power in the modernist view as it is not encouraged. In critical theory, power
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