Essay by pp186University, Master's March 2005

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Organisations are dynamic settings in that they are continually changing. To change something means either altering, varying or modifying it in some way. Changes have occurred gradually in organisations since the days of F.W. Taylor, from the methods he used, to the mechanisation and automatic production lines of modern industry. (Handy c. 1993)

The organisation is typically viewed as an open system in constant interaction with its context, transforming inputs into outputs as a means of creating the conditions necessary for survival. Traditional theories have been dominated by the idea that change originates in the environment both internal and external. Changes in the environment are viewed as presenting challenges to which the organisation must respond. Certainly contingency theorists and population ecologists believe that the major problems facing modern organisations stem from changes in the environment.

According to contingency theory organisations need adjustment in order to meet environmental conditions. In this process organisations often face resistance to change.

One cannot expect everyone in an organisation to respond in an identical manner to specific change proposals. Different individuals and groups are likely to be affected in different ways and are also likely to perceive the implications differently from those proposing to implement the change (Buchanan and Huczynski p.467 1997)

Humerto Maturano and Francisco Varela, two Chilean scientists (Gareth Morgan p.236) challenged this system's approach and argued that all living systems are organisationally closed, autonomous systems. However, an effective organisation is one which satisfied the demands of those constituencies in its environment whose support it needs to survive. There is also another view which states that only those constituencies in the environment which can threaten the organisation`s existence should be appeased. Yet another view holds that the concept of organisational effectiveness is subjective and that the true measures of an organisation`s effectiveness is...