Edmonstone, J (1982) Human service organisations: implications for management and organisation development. Management Education and Development, 13 (3). pp. 163-173.

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In modern complex organisations the dominant paradigm is one of 'technocratic bureaucracy’. It is characterised by a focus on management as the rationalising force - as the key group which exercises influence in the organisational sphere. Thus, the most prevalent principles for the operation of organisations are still based on hierarchical control and co-ordination, e.g. MBO, Management Information Systems, budgetary systems etc. This dominant paradigm permeates theory and practice in the fields of Management and Organisation Development and is based almost entirely on the experience of large-scale industrial and commercial businesses and of multi nationals. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear to many practitioners in the UK and USA that some organisations, at least, fail to conform to this picture. This paper considers the special case of ’Human Service Organisations’ (HSOs) and compares them with mainstream industrial and commercial enterprises. It examines some insights drawn from recent British and American research, particularly in the area of ’domain theory’ and suggests possible reasons for the ambivalent performance of MD/OD strategies in HSOs. Finally, it uses these theoretical insights together with the experience of one internal
consultancy/research/training unit within the National Health Service to suggest what the implications for practitioners might be and also reflects on the possible impact of this discussion on mainstream MD/OD.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bureaucracy, Business, Human Services, Management Development, Nonprofit Organizations, Organizational Development, Organizational Theories, Public Agencies, Pyramid Organization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 14:40
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2019 14:07
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/446

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