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Theories of Practice: The Functions of the Chief Executive Officer

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Title: Theories of Practice: The Functions of the Chief Executive Officer


1
Theories of PracticeThe Functions of the Chief
Executive Officer
MPA 8002 The Structure and Theory of Human
Organization Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D.
2
  • At a crisis in my youth,
  • my father taught me the wisdom of choice

to try and to fail is at least to learn
to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss
of what might have been.
Chester I. Barnard (1938)
3
  • For the greater part of the 20th century, the
    alleged objectivity associated with the
    assumptions and concepts of scientific management
    have guided most inquiry into human organizations.

4
  • Structural theories of practice, for example,
    rationalize human organizations and their
    functioning, emphasizing the proper alignment of
    people, process, and technology...

suggesting that there exists one best way to
manage and lead all human organizations.
5
  • concepts including...

the general social setting within which work is
completed
division of labor
the particular work to be completed as part of an
organic system of work
functionalization
the emphasis upon individuals and groups to
contribute to the organic system of work
specialization
6
  • For Chester Barnard, while structural theories
    of practice offer the promise of improving
    organizational functioning, other factors are
    absolutely essential to organizational survival...

7
  • factors including
  • the willingness to cooperate
  • the ability to communicate
  • the existence of and acceptance of organizational
    purpose

8
  • For Barnard, organizational survival is not
    dependent solely upon structure but more so upon
    maintaining a dynamic equilibrium in a
    continuously fluctuating environment of physical,
    biological, and social materials, elements, and
    forces.

All of which calls for an individual who
possesses an abiding awareness of the need to
adjust the processes internal to the organization
continuously.
9
The structural concepts of executive theory...
  • individual
  • cooperative system
  • organization
  • complex formal organization
  • formal organization
  • informal organization

10
  • individual

a single, unique, independent, isolate, whole
entity
embodying innumerable forces and materials past
and present which are the physical, biological,
and social factors
to which are superadded the limited power of
choice which results in purpose and for which one
bears personal responsibility
11
  • a limitation

the function of the total situation or the
combination of physical, biological, or social
factors when viewed by individuals from the
standpoint of a purpose
An organizations design as a whole can only be
changed by operating on one set of factors at a
time (the strategic factor) and dealing with
the impact this change will have on the other
sets of factors.
12
overcoming a limitation is a means to an end,
inducing within an individual the necessity for
cooperation with others
or, making the decision that ones limitation
cannot be overcome, the individual decides to
drop that end
Cooperation inculcates a shared purpose for
engaging in organized activity towards an end.
13
  • cooperative system

an amalgam composed of the impersonal,
coordinated activities of human beings
the concrete social process by which social
action is accomplished
a change in the relationship of one part to any
or all of the others changes the cooperative
system
14
  • the social contribution of one person is the
    primary factor in maintaining the system of
    cooperation...

this social contribution elicits physical energy
from other participants in the cooperative system
the physical energy, in turn, is then converted
into material at desired places.
15
For Barnard, then, it is not correct to impute to
any individual a definite product.
Rather, the increase (or decrease) of material
product (the value added) results from the
combination or coordination of efforts.
16
It is also not correct, in Barnards thought, to
impute to any individual a particular
contribution.
The only statement that one can make about the
significance of an individuals particular
contribution is in terms of its differential
effect upon the entire cooperative system.
17
  • the survival of an organization is dependent upon
    its ability to create a surplus of cooperation

this reality illuminates the creative side of
managing and leading human organizations
successful managers and leaders secure the
appropriate combination of the elements of
organization to produce utilities that allow the
organization to endure
18
  • organization

a system of consciously coordinated individual
human activities or forces
the function of which is
  • to create
  • to transform
  • to exchange

various personal and impersonal utilities
19
  • For Barnard, human beings not structures are the
    constitutive element of organization

1) individuals capable of communicating with one
another
2) each possessing a willingness to serve
3) each sharing a common purpose
20
  • However, it is not the individuals but rather the
    services, acts, actions, or influences of
    individuals that constitute organization...

that is, the willingness of individuals to
contribute their efforts to the cooperative system
this is indispensable to an organizations
effective and efficient functioning and survival.
21
  • complex formal organization

a cooperative system composed of physical,
biological, and personal systems
which prescribes, guarantees, and limits the
purpose and rights of subordinate organizations,
upon whom the subordinate organizations are
dependent
22
  • formal organization

the concrete social process by which social
action is accomplished
the system of consciously coordinated activities
or forces of two or more persons
23
  • informal organization

the aggregate of personal contacts and
interactions and the associated groupings of
people
provide a means of communication, of cohesion,
and of protecting the integrity of the individual
that is necessary to the operation of a formal
organization
24
The emergence of organization...
limits
interests
individual
personal
needs
free will
the decision to cooperate
purpose
objectives
organization
impersonal
projects
strategies
goals
25
The dynamic concepts of executive theory...
  • free will
  • cooperation
  • communication
  • authority
  • the decision-making process
  • maintaining a dynamic equilibrium

26
  • free will

a limited power of choice
presupposing the capacity for self-determination
preserving personal integrity
upholding personal, ethical, and legal
responsibility for ones choices
27
  • because of various limitations which constrict
    the choices available...

the exercise of free will requires individuals
to develop a purpose
which, in turn, provides a motive or
rationale to engage in cooperative ventures
that make other choices possible
28
  • cooperation

an expression of human will and purpose in a
physical environment
29
  • communication

the necessary ability to translate purpose into
terms of the concrete actions required to effect
it
reduces confusion and indecision as these relate
to the timing of actions
creates the necessity for a leader
30
  • authority

the character of a communication in a formal
organization by virtue of which the communication
is accepted by a contributor to or member of
the organization as governing the action that
individual contributes
31
  • authority may be a consequence of

the advantage of placement
in the organizational hierarchy
position
the advantage of
possessing the respect of individuals in the
organization
leadership
32
  • however, the determination of authority always
    remains with the individual...

objective authority cannot be imputed to persons
in organizational positions unless subjectively
they are first dominated by the organization as
respects their decisions
33
  • authority, then, depends upon
  • a cooperative personal attitude of individuals
  • a system of organizational communication

which fosters organizational effectiveness and
efficiency as well as survival
34
  • the decision-making process

the matter of discriminating important strategic
factors
...and redefining or changing the organizations
purpose
...on the basis of an estimate of future results
of action in the existing situation
...in light of history, experience, or knowledge
of the past
35
  • the decision-making process first involves

personal decisions decisions by the individuals
affected whether or not to contribute to a
cooperative effort as a matter of a personal
choice
D1
  • external to the organizational system
  • not delegated to others

36
  • the decision-making process then involves

impersonal decision a response made by
individuals whose role and intent is to effect
the organizational system as a whole
D2
  • internal to the organizational system
  • delegated to others

37
  • the responsibility for an organization decision
    is assigned positively and definitely to those
    located at the organizations communication
    centers...

that is, the aptness of a decision depends upon
those who possess the knowledge of facts and of
organizational purpose
38
  • maintaining a dynamic equilibrium

the ability to juggle subjective (personal)
motives and objective (impersonal) purpose so as
to develop a surplus of cooperation among the
people whose social contributions constitute the
organization
39
this dynamic equilibrium is disturbed by false
ideologies, particularly those held by
managers/leaders, which...
  • vitiate experience from consciousness when
    dealing with organizational problems
  • reinforce personal predilections, prejudices, and
    interests in guiding organizational action

False ideologies can become destructive factors,
inhibiting further cooperation.
40
The fundamental concepts of executive theory...
  • efficiency
  • effectiveness
  • organization purpose
  • zone of indifference
  • strategic factor
  • organization economy
  • span of control
  • leadership density
  • responsibility

41
  • efficiency individual motives

the maintenance of an equilibrium of
organizational activities through the
satisfaction of the motives of individuals
sufficient to induce cooperative action
42
  • efficiency of effort depends upon the ability of
    the executive to secure and maintain the personal
    contributions of energy that is prerequisite to
    effect organizational purposes

that is, the executive capacity to offer
effective inducements and in sufficient quantity
to maintain organizational equilibrium
43
  • effectiveness organization purpose

the appropriateness of the means selected under
the conditions of the organization as a whole for
the accomplishment of a specific desired end
44
  • effectiveness of cooperation is evident in the
    accomplishment of the recognized objectives of
    cooperative action

these objectives are impersonal, that is, these
objectives aim at the system of cooperation as a
whole
45
  • organization purpose

the impersonal reason for which the formal
organization exists
Purpose is experienced as a belief thatas a
consequence of ones limitations and reduced
choices and, then, through the exercise of
willit is better to cooperate in trying or
attempting something impersonal to fulfill
ones personal motive than it is to drop that end.
46
  • purpose is not empty words or catchy phrases...

but the bridge between the past and the future
which functions only as it rests upon the present
as all who contribute to the system of efforts
accept and act upon a shared purpose
47
  • the challenge to managers/leaders is to foster
    those conditions wherein

the aggregate of organizational actions are a
consequence of decisions
decisions made by those closest to the action
relative to the organizations purpose and
environment
...and resulting in closer and closer
approximations in concrete acts
48
  • zone of indifference

the willingness to accept orders specifying
action because the individual feels indifferent
about the order in so far as authority is
concerned
49
The zone of indifference will be wider or
narrower depending upon the degree to which the
inducements exceed the burdens and sacrifices
determining the individuals adhesion to the
organization.
50
  • strategic factor

a limitation that, when controlled in the right
form, at the right place, and at the right time,
will establish a new system or set of conditions
which meets the organizational purpose
51
To determine what element should be changed or is
missing is the first step in defining what action
is required.
Decision, then, is related to action which sets
into motion the dynamic and developmental aspects
of organizational change.
52
The structural frames assumption of cause and
effect in an absolute sense is not pertinent to
organizational analysis...
the only measurable variations in the effect of
single factors is in terms of strategic factors
that is, those controllable alternatives which
effect changes in the system as a whole not the
contributions of any single factor
53
The strategic factor, then, is the center of the
environment of decision. It is the point at
which choice applies. To do or not to do this,
that is the question.
The determination of the strategic factor is
itself the decision which reduces purpose to a
new level, compelling the search for a new
strategic factor in the new situation.
54
It is the series of strategic factors and the
actions that directly relate to the strategic
factors that determine the course of
organizational events, not the general decisions.
As organizational members in subordinate
positions refine the organizational purpose in
practicable terms and conditions.
55
For Barnard, the determination of the strategic
factors that will stimulate cooperation is a
matter of sense not of science, of feeling the
proportions of the relationship of heterogeneous
details to the organic whole...
the essential process is sensemaking (Weick,
1995), that is, envisioning the organization as a
whole and the total situation relevant to it.
56
When the process of managing and leading
organizations is viewed as integrating the
elements of organization into a whole, of
balancing local and broad considerations with
general and specific requirements...
the symbolic frame provides a helpful
theoretical perspective for learning about the
actual factors influencing organizational culture
57
transforming managing and leading
organizations...
  • from an intellectual exercise to an aesthetic and
    ethical exercise
  • from science and facts to art and sensing fitness
    and appropriateness
  • from coercing compliance to inducing normative
    cooperation
  • from responding to orders to bearing
    responsibility for purpose

58
  • organization economy

the pool of values as assessed by the
organization as a social system
physical materials
social relations
personal activities
as these values impact coordinated action
59
  • span of control

the ability for an executive to communicate
essential information regarding or governing
specific action
normally less than 15 individuals and preferably
5 or 6 individuals
60
  • leadership density

at the lowest levels of a formal organization,
where ultimate authority resides, individuals
make personal decisions reflecting their
willingness to contribute to a cooperative effort
61
  • responsibility

the power of a particular private code of
ethics to control the conduct of individuals in
the presence of strong contrary desires or
impulses
62
The primary executive function...
  • LEADERSHIP

the personal capacity for exercising authority
that affirms decisions and lends quality and
ethics to the coordination of organized activity
through the formulation and inculcation of
organizational purpose
the technical attainments and ethical
complexities associated with executive
responsibility
63
  • a necessary and constitutive element of
    organization made necessary by
  • the need for communication that translates the
    organizations purpose into concrete actions
  • to make decisions about what to do and when and
    where to do it in the midst of differing ideas

64
Leadership inspires cooperative decisions by
creating faith...
  • in common understanding
  • in the probability of success
  • in the ultimate satisfaction of personal motives
  • in the integrity of objective authority
  • in the superiority of common purpose as a
    personal aim of those who partake in it

65
The ethical element of leadership...
  • foundational elements...

the objective field within which action must
take place
the decision-making process as it relates to the
objective field where the action will take place
the aesthetic and intuitive, not conscious,
analysis of factors
66
The ethical sector of organizational action...
first identifying the individuals...
attitudes
distilled into specific purposes
(attitudes) inducing cooperation
values
that are
ideals
hopes
67
second getting individuals to focus on the
elements of the ethical sector...
personal choices
ideals
motives
aspirations
values
appraisals of utility
attitudes
norms of conduct
68
third inducing cooperation among all who
contribute to the organization as a whole
requires managers/leaders who create faith
which is the catalyst by which the living system
of human efforts continues its incessant
interchanges of energies and satisfactions
69
Exercising ethical creativeness...
  • involves resolving conflict between individual
    ethical codes by substituting a new action for
    that originally conceived so that the new way is
    worked out to meet all of the individual
    requirements

Ethical creativeness is the highest expression of
personal responsibility for it moves individuals
beyond a concern for doing things right and
towards the consideration of doing right things.
70
  • requires inventing an ethical basis for the
    solution of dilemmas (Cuban, 1992)

...by substituting a new action which avoids the
conflict
...or providing an ethical justification for an
exception or compromise
Creative ethics emphasizes personal
responsibility in the form of a sincere and
honest conviction that what one does for the good
of the organization one personally believes is
right.
71
  • 1) to secure, create, and inspire morale

2) to inculcate points of view, fundamental
attitudes, and loyalty to to the cooperative
system as a system of objective authority
Ethical creativeness results in subordinating
individual interest and the minor dictates of
personal ethical codes to the good of the
cooperative whole.
72
Using executive theory...
Requires leaders and managers who...
formulate, redefine, break in to details, and
decide upon the innumerable simultaneous and
progressive actions that are the stream of
syntheses constituting purposive actions
73
  • as managers and leaders
  • pyramid the formulation of purpose pushing
    responsibility for defining and acting upon
    purpose at the base where the authority for
    effort resides
  • teach indoctrinating those at the lower levels
    with the general and major decisions so that they
    remain cohesive and make the ultimate detailed
    decisions coherent

74
This module has focused on...
The executive theory that managers and leaders
can utilize in practice episodes...
75
...as this theory of practice provides managers
and leaders a frame of reference to inform
thinking about the nature of human organization
making...
76
and the importance of inculcating a shared
purpose that develops an ethical code guiding
cooperative efforts toward organizational ends.
77
AN EXECUTIVE THEORY SCENARIO
Executives endeavor to foster cooperative efforts
toward shared purposes within the organizations.
Executives are incessant as they struggle to
integrate purpose and action so that the
cooperative efforts of the organization will
exceed the ability of any individual and overcome
individual limitations.
78
MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN AN EXECUTIVE THEORY
SCENARIO
Executives believe that the most important part
of their job is to inculcate a shared purpose so
that a group of diverse individuals will
effectively and efficiently contribute their
efforts to the cooperative endeavor called
organization. This purpose inspires faith in
the organization and develops loyalty as
individuals engage in ethical actions that enable
every member of the organization to overcome
individual limitations. Effective executives
create a synergy uniting the many parts so that
the organization, as a whole, fulfills its
purpose and is capable of adapting as necessary.
79
References
  • Barnard, C. I. (1938/1968). The functions of
    the executive. Cambridge, MA Harvard University
    Press.
  • Cuban, L. (1992). Managing dilemmas while
    building professional communities. Educational
    Researcher, 21(1), 4-11.
  • Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in
    organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA
    Sage Publications, Inc.
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