The Contingency Theory of Organizations

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SAGE, Feb 20, 2001 - Business & Economics - 326 pages
3 Reviews
Written by one of the foremost scholars in the field, this volume presents a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the theories, evidence and methodological issues of contingency theory - one of the major theoretical lenses used to view organizations. It includes both an appreciation of the coherency of contingency theory overall and a frank recognition of some of the deficiencies in contingency theory research. The coherent underlying model provides the platform from which to make good some of the deficiencies through a series of improvements in theory and method that chart the course for future research.
 

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Contents

Core Paradigm and Theoretical Integration
1
A Formal Definition of Contingency Theory
5
The Core Contingency Theory Paradigm
7
Conceptual and Theoretical Integration of Structural Contingency Theory
16
Plan of the Book
31
Organic Theory and Research
35
Organic Theories and Research
36
Underlying Connections in Organic Theory
55
Divisionalization Is Not an Institutional Effect
163
Not PopulationEcology Effect
168
Rational Not Political Explanation
170
Not ThreatRigidity
176
Conclusions
178
Fit Concept and Analysis
181
Philosophical Issues in Contingency Theory Research
182
The Relationship Between Fit and Performance
185

Conclusions
58
Bureaucracy Theory and Research
61
Bureaucracy Theory
62
Structural Differentiation
69
Divisionalization
77
Structures of Multinational Corporations
81
Matrix Structures
86
Other Possible Contingencies
88
Synthesizing the Size and Task Contingencies
91
Conclusions
98
Causality and Contingency in Bureaucracy Theory
101
The Causal Model of Size and Bureaucratic Structure
102
The Curvilinear Relationship of Size and Bureaucratic Structure
106
Functionalist Explanations
110
A Contingency Theory Causal Model of Size and Bureaucracy
119
Conclusions
122
Controversies in Contingency Theory Research
125
Technology Versus Size
126
Determinism Versus Choice
131
Size as Cause of Bureaucratic Structure
137
Reverse Causality
138
Configurationalism Versus Cartesianism
141
Contingencies of Organizational Power
153
Conclusions
157
Challenges From Other Theories
161
The Identification of the Fit Line
200
Validation of the Fit Model
202
Conclusions
212
Fit Affects Performance
215
Studies of Contingency Fit and Performance
216
The Empirical Estimation of the Effect of Fit on Performance
226
Lessons for Future Research
239
Conclusions
242
NeoContingency Theory
245
Problems in Traditional Contingency Theory
246
Disequilibrium and Ongoing Change
247
PerformanceDriven Organizational Change
249
QuasiFit
257
Fit as HeteroPerformance
263
Discussion
268
Conclusions
269
Future Research Opportunities
273
Fit and Bureaucracy Theory
274
Researching NeoContingency Theory
275
Conclusions
288
References
291
Index
315
About the Author
325
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Lex Donaldson is Professor of Organizational Design at the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales. His publications include American Anti-Management Theories of Organization: A Critique of Paradigm Proliferation (1995) and In Defence of Organization Theory: A Reply to the Critics (1985).

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