The Functional -Structural Approach has dominated organizational studies. Describe and discuss the paradigm fully and assess the challenge posed to it by Postmodernism. Introduction Functional approach Is considered the second very essential paradigm In psychology. Functional structural approach in psychology deals with cognitive processes that Incorporate consciousness (Burrell and Gareth, 41). William James the father of functional approach came up to this paradigm from a viewpoint that functional approach in psychology is very important biological function.
He also postulated that sychologists ought to understand the functions related to cognition so as to comprehend how mental processes in humans operate. Organizational studies is the study that Involves examining how individuals build organizational processes, structures, and practices, moreover, it studies how these phenomenon in turn shape social Interactions and creates organizations that impacts individuals (Knights, and Glenn, 252). Remarkably, organizational studies incorporate diverse areas that consider varied features of the organization.
Arguably, cognitive oriented psychologists often describe human behavioral activities rom the perspective of mental constructs; they argue that classical conditioning as a means of behavior change is due the construction of associations within the individual’s cognition.
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Postmodernism in philosophy is a movement that is very precarious of the Introductory assumptions and the propensity of western philosophy. Generally, postmodernism emphasizes the significance of personalization, power relationships and discourse in construction of the world views and truth (Alvesson, 5).
It can be described as a set of strategic. critical, and rhetorical activities incorporating the use f concepts that Include trace, repetition and hyper reality to subvert other concepts such as Identity epistemic certainty, unlvoclty of meaning and historical progress. Following the present dominance of functional structural approach in organizational studies currently. this paper will present how functional structural approach has dominated organizational studies.
Moreover, it will discuss this paradigm fully and further assess the challenge posed to It by postmodernism. Functional – Structural Approach As a structural tneory, Tunctlonal structural approacn vlews tne organlzatlon In tne ociety being more important than any other individual within the society. Arguably, functional structural approach is a top down concept; individuals in the long run become products of societal influences as they become socialized by the institutions around them that include media, religion, family, and education.
Functional approach is very important in the study of organizational studies because it offers a perspective of viewing the society as a set of interconnected parts that in the long run function as a whole. It is therefore of great importance to acknowledge he importance of functional structural approach in the study of organizational studies. Other than explaining the cognitive operations of human beings, the functional structural approach offers a platform of understanding the relationships that exist between these parts in the society hence contributing towards the maintenance of society.
Through the notion of structural functionalism approach, the use of cognitive analogy in the tradition of Spencer, Comte and Durkheim has greatly influenced upon sociological thought (Burrell and Gareth, 43). By deriving upon the concepts of interrelationships between parts, holism, functions and needs the biological equivalence has been constructed in varied was to develop a social science perspective firmly linked to the sociology of regulation.
Following the functional structural approach, the study of organizational studies have simplified in that functionalist believe that sociological matters should be approach from a perspective of scientific facts, a concept otherwise known positivism. According to the father of positivism Anguste Comte, functionalism should be based n primary facts and objectively weighed hence making it possible to note issues in the society that impact individuals hence providing a framework for innovation in law and implementing new legislation (Siebert, 36).
The functional structural approach has been established to be of great significance in the study of organizational studies in that, by adopting the use of methodology in natural science and focusing on direct observable social facts, one is able to understand how parts that exist in the society function, hence the organizational behavior, organizational culture, organizational psychology, and organizational heory. Functional structural approach in sociology stresses the significance of the existing interdependence among various patterns and institutions within a social setting for its long term subsistence.
According to ‰mile Durkheim, functionalism is essential in understanding the utility of cultural and social traits, because it enlightens its contribution to the maneuvering of the overall system. Functionalism is therefore of great importance to the study of social behavior, organizational culture, organizational psychology, and organizational theory, because It OTTers a platTorm 0T crltlcally revlewlng tne reasons Denlna ce rtaln Denavlor patterns based on cognitive analysis.
Arguably, functional approach is very significant in the study of attitudes (Herbert, 10). Understanding attitudes is very important to organizational studies. From a psychological point of view, the reasons behind changing attitudes are derived from the functions they accomplish to the individual specifically incorporating value expression, ego defense and knowledge. It is therefore very important to note the dominance of functional approach not only to the study of patterns in the society but lso to the changing attitudes from a cognitive perspective.
In the recent years, organizational studies have been established to be increasingly important in social scientific investigation. Based on the number of research studies related to functional structural approach, it is important to note that organizational studies have claimed a better part of the functional approach (Crowther and Green, 50). Most research these days seeks a functional explanation of organizational studies, thus a societal functioning. What is the future of functional approach in organizational studies?
Despite the opposition encountered by scientifically oriented organizational studies from some British organization researchers, their support on qualitative studies failed to yield credible knowledge. Their qualitative studies on organizational studies were not incorporated in the literature of organization studies because it produced no generalized knowledge. Following the failure of qualitative studies from these researchers, there has been a great increase in the number of researchers that incorporate the use of functional approach when researching issues that relate to rganizational studies.
Majority of these researchers are oriented to the functional structural approach. Remarkably, the functional paradigm in psychology have hampered the rapid development of organizational studies, this will benefit the future due to the increased use of cognitive perspectives to in understanding patterns and structures in the society. Arguably, organizational studies will always provide knowledge about the performance within a society to the succeeding generations by incorporating and applying the use of functional approach hence making progress in social science.
According to Hawthorne studies, functional approach has been helpful and dominant in studying and analyzing the behavior patterns among employees (Burrell and Gareth, 131). The conclusion made from these studies emerged based on conceptual scheme explanation of employee complaint which was determined drawing explanations from the functional approach. It is important to note that functional approach has dominated research pertaining to industrial problems, the interface which occurs due to the changes in the physical environment and the equilibrium established in such settings .
Remarkably, theoretical views have changed overtime, nese views nave Decome more certain ana amDlvalent. I nese views nave Deen integrated to become more determinists, functionalists, more generalizing, and more organizationally rational. It is acknowledgeable that the functional approach has played a huge role towards explaining organizational studies. The challenge posed to Functional-structural approach by Postmodernism Despite the success and dominance of structural functional approach, postmodernism poses a great challenge to its subsistence and persistence.
According to the post modernists, their theory is critical on the claims about bjectivity. The idea of grand theory is viewed by the postmodernists as skeptical and is viewed as unwarranted at its very least. This critique posed by the postmodernists to the structural functional approach has hindered the prosperity of this approach in the present times. Despite the importance of structural functional approach to organizational studies, postmodernism presents the dangers that the grand theory can pose, when not viewed as limited perspective when analyzing the society (Kilduff and Mihaela, 94).
To some extent, the functional approach is not applicable in the postmodern society ecause norms and family structure within the society have incredibly changed overtime (Lord, 509), the changes realized in the postmodern times can be attributed as a move towards the idea of a new explanation of organizational studies. From this perspective, the use of functional approach is not useful anymore since it does not apply to postmodern society. The functional approach has been highly criticized for being more of teleological. It is has been viewed to be reverse the cause and effect order.
Functional structural theory has faced a lot of criticisms from other social theories articularly the postmodernists. The most prevalent criticism faced by the social structural function from the postmodernists and other sociological notions, is the fact that most of these notions particularly the postmodern theory criticize the structural functional theory on the grounds that the concept systems of this theory offers too much unnecessary weight to consensus and integration, hence neglecting the concept of interdependence and conflict.
In this theory, Parsons gave no satisfactory explanation as to how actors exercise their agency in antagonism to inculcation and socialization of the accepted norms. Generally, the structural functional theory does not offer a credible explanation as to why individuals accept or choose some values and norms within the society. From a postmodernist approach, the prominence of structural functional approach is heading to its end.
This is based on the view that feminism is on a high rise and has launched critics on the functionalism theory. Considering that the functional approach did not incorporate the suppression of women in the society and the family, feminism and the post-modernist are at high opposition to the existence of this theory. Desplte tne Tact tnat Parsons aescrlDea sltuatlons tnat lead to tne rlse 0T women state of affairs and that some feminists agree that he provided accurate information concerning these situations.
Parsons admits that he oversimplified his analysis concerning women in relation to family and work; moreover he postulates that he focused more towards the positive functions within the family rather than its dysfunctions towards women. The postmodernist criticize this theory because it lacks the feminist stability. Arguably, the postmodernist are likely to pose a huge challenge o the prevalence of this theory because it views the theory as a one that does not incorporate all the necessary elements.
One major difference between modernism and any other notion paradigm in psychology particularly the functional approach is the fact that; whereas the structural functional approach seek universal laws for social behavior important in the study of organizational studies, the postmodernism views that the aim of social science should not be generalizability but rather innovation and discovery (Kilduff and Mihaela, 97). Remarkably, the catastrophe experienced in functional approach while analyzing rganizational studies can be attributed to postmodernism.
Postmodernism is more likely to pose a huge challenge to the prevalence of functional approach, according to postmodernism, multiple contingencies upset outcomes while the historical and the cultural conditions can be ignored by people are well conversant with this knowledge. Conclusions In conclusion, it is evident that functional structural approach has dominated organizational studies. Despite its prevalence, postmodernism post a huge challenge to its development and growth.