Organisation Culture From Systems Theory of Organisation Perspective

Organisation Culture From Systems Theory of Organisation Perspective

Anna Piekarczyk (Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2480-9.ch003

Abstract

The article deals with organisation culture from the viewpoint of systems theory of organisation. Organisations are presented as autopoietic systems, relations between organisation and individual are discussed as well. The author attempts to define to what extent values and rules characteristic for a given culture can and should be changed.
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Background

There is a great variety of theories of organisations. These theories are part of the huge area of social sciences that cover all aspects of private and collective life of human beings (Kieser & Ebers, 2014, p. 26). Particular topics, subjects and scientific specialisations that can be singled out within this area usually do not have clearly set boundaries – they overlap and interlace. What they all do have in common is their interest to relationship of organisation as a social entity with its members. And systems theory of organisation is focused exactly on interrelations between social system and its participants. Models of organisations produced with the help of system approach enable better understanding of logic behind any organisation's operation. On this basis it is possible to draw important conclusions and make valuable recommendations that could be applied in practice. The function of theory of organisation in relation to roles of other concepts and fields of research is often secondary. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the central role played by organisations in society, the importance of this function should not be underestimated. More and more often organisations replace family structures, tribal or ethnic links and local communities. And, whatever happens – good or bad, organisations are almost always part of this. Today they play a crucial role in the context of changes caused by increase of complexity.

Bearing that in mind, researchers, inter alia, G. Probst, P. Gomez (1997, p. 45), F. Malik (2014, pp. 21-27), J. Honegger (2008, pp. 27-28), F. Vester, (2008, pp.16-20), J. O'Connor and I. McDermott (1998, p. 34), W. Sitte and H. Wohlschlaegl (2006, p. 508), D. Meadows (2010, pp.17-18), point to the need of a broader view – the system approach to theory of organisation and the phenomenon of organisation culture.

W. Sitte and H. Wohlschlaegl at the same time note that system approach is not a priori better than other concepts, though it enables a fresh look, better understanding of processes and may lead to new conclusions (Sitte & Wohlschlaegl, 2006, p.510).

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