## The Contingency Theory of OrganizationsWritten 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 |

315 | |

About the Author | 325 |

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### Common terms and phrases

administrative intensity affects performance argue aspects of structural Aston Group Blau bureaucracy theory bureaucratic structure Burns and Stalker business cycle causal model causes of performance causes structure centralization Chapter Child concept configurationalism configurations contingency and structure contingency factor contingency fit contingency theory research contingency variable corporations decentralization discussed diversification divisional structure Donaldson 1987 Drazin effect of fit employees equifinality Euclidean distance firms fit and performance fit line formalization functional structure functionalist Hage Hence hetero-performance Hickson hierarchy high performance higher increase innovation integration interaction Lawrence and Lorsch leads low performance mance measures move into fit negative organic theory organizational change organizational performance organizational portfolio overall positive effect produces Pugh rational regain fit regression regression analysis Rumelt SARFIT span of control specialization strategy struc structural contingency theory structural differentiation structure fits subgroup task interdependence task uncertainty theoretical theory of organizational thereby tion tional ture universalistic vertical Woodward