Organizational Theory

… a core concept in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

Concept description

Business Jargons (reference below) defines organizational theory as the set of interrelated concepts and definitions that explain the behaviour of individuals or groups or subgroups who interact with each other to perform the activities intended towards the accomplishment of a common goal.

Business Jargons describes six organization theories (direct quotations):

  • The Classical Theory is the traditional theory, wherein more emphasis is on the organization rather than the employees working therein. According to the classical theory, the organization is considered as a machine and the human beings as different components/parts of that machine.
  • The Scientific Management Theory is well known for its application of engineering science at the production floor or the operating levels. The major contributor of this theory is Fredrick Winslow Taylor, and that’s why the scientific management is often called as “Taylorism.”
  • The Administrative Theory is based on the concept of departmentalization, which means the different activities to be performed for achieving the common purpose of the organization should be identified and be classified into different groups or departments, such that the task can be accomplished effectively. The administrative theory is given by Henri Fayol, who believed that more emphasis should be laid on organizational management and the human and behavioral factors in the management. Thus, unlike the scientific management theory of Taylor where more emphasis was on improving the worker’s efficiency and minimizing the task time, here the main focus is on how the management of the organization is structured and how well the individuals therein are organized to accomplish the tasks given to them.
  • The Bureaucratic Theory is related to the structure and administrative process of the organization and is given by Max Weber, who is regarded as the father of bureaucracy. … According to Max Weber, the bureaucratic organization is the most rational means to exercise a vital control over the individual workers. A bureaucratic organization is one that has a hierarchy of authority, specialized work force, standardized principles, rules and regulations, trained administrative personnel, etc.
  • The Neo-Classical Theory is the extended version of the classical theory wherein the behavioral sciences gets included into the management. According to this theory, the organization is the social system, and its performance does get affected by the human actions. … This approach is often referred to as “behavioral theory of organization” or “human relations” approach in organizations.
  • The Modern Theory is the integration of valuable concepts of the classical models with the social and behavioral sciences. This theory posits that an organization is a system that changes with the change in its environment, both internal and external.
Atlas topic, subject, and course

Organizational Design and Behaviour (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Business Jargons, Organizational Theory, at, and subsidiary sites, accessed 19 January 2017.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 19 January 2017.

Image: OpenDemocracyNet, at, accessed on 19 January 2017.