- The Oxford Handbook of Management
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction and Theoretical Overview: Management—Past, Present, and Future
- Scientific Management
- Human Relations
- Operations Management
- Peter F. Drucker’s Management by Objectives and Self-Control
- Studying Culture in Organizations: Not Taking for Granted the Taken-for-Granted
- The Opening Up of Organization Theory: Open Systems, Contingency Theory, and Organizational Design
- Future in the Past: A Philosophical Reflection on the Prospects of Management
- Managing People: Understanding the Theory and Practice of Human Resources Management
- Managing Operations
- Managing Projects
- Managing Data, Information, and Knowledge
- Managing Meaning—Culture
- Management and Leadership
- Fragmentation in Strategic Management: Process and Agency Issues
- Management Practice—and the Doing of Management
- Managing Change
- Management as a Practice of Power
- Management and Morality/Ethics—The Elusive Corporate Morals
- Management and Modernity
- Evidence-Based Management
- Management Education in Business Schools
- Management as an Academic Discipline?
- Culture, Context, and Managerial Behaviour
- International Management
- Management and Consultancy: Ambivalence, Complexity, and Change
- Author Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the history of an open systems approach to the study of management and organizations, and the way in which it has become a taken-for-granted, institutionalized part of organization theory. Its introduction in the 1960s transformed our understanding of organizations because of its concern with the organization in its environment. It led to contingency theory which became a dominant approach within organization theory. Examined here are three variants of open-systems theory: general systems theory which argues that there are general ideas that can be applied to all systems; specific systems thinking where the concept of interdependent parts is accepted without necessarily accepting that all systems are similar; and approaches that theorize the organization within an environment but without any specific use of systems concepts and metaphors.
Bob Hinings is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Strategic Management and Organization, School of Business, University of Alberta. His research interests center on strategic change in professionally based organizations such as law firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, and health care organizations. In 1999 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Organization and Management Theory Division of the U.S. Academy of Management. In 2000 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and a Fellow of the U.S. Academy of Management. In 2003 he became an Honorary Member of the European Group for Organizational Studies and a JMI Scholar of the Western Academy of Management.
Royston Greenwood is the TELUS Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Alberta, and Visiting Professor at the Saϯd Business School, University of Oxford. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham in the UK. His research interests include the management of organizational design and change, usually from the perspective of institutional theory, and his favoured empirical settings involve professional service firms. In 2009 he was elected a fellow of the Academy of Management.
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