Organizational Theory perspectives

Four Organizational Theory perspectives, namely Modernist, Critical theorist, Symbolic Interpretivist and Postmodernist, produce different narratives about technology.Choose two Organisational Theory perspectives. Based on your selected perspectives, identify and draw out the two readings out of the given list that match your chosen perspectives.Critically analyse the two readings and evaluate how their ontological and epistemological positions result in a different understanding and narrative of technology within organisations.
Table of Contents
1 Individual Assignment 2
1.1 Aims of the assignment 2
1.2 The Assignment Topic 2
1.3 Resources for the Individual Assignment 2
2 Process and Preparation 4
2.1 Plan Your Essay 5
2.1.1 Know the Purpose of Assignments 5
2.1.2 Addressing the Topic 5
2.2 Academic reading 7
2.2.1 How to Incorporate Your Own Ideas 8
2.2.2 Producing a Draft 8
2.2.3 Working towards the Final Version 9
2.3 Referencing 9
2.3.1 When to cite references 9
2.3.2 Citing Internet sources 10
2.3.3 The Reference List 10
3 Guide to Presentation and Structure 10
3.1.1 Introduction 10
3.1.2 Body of the Essay 11
3.1.3 Conclusion 11
3.2 Assignment Checklist 12
4 Assessment One Marking Rubric 13

Individual Assignment
Aims of the assignment
The aims of this assignment are for you to:
· Develop your understanding of the nature of the key organisational perspectives and their related theories;
· Demonstrate an understanding of the key perspectives and the meta-theoretical assumptions that underpin each;
· Develop research skills and the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various debates and arguments;
· Demonstrate the ability to critically engage with academic literature and develop your own answer to a set question.
· Gain skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which scholars incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers.The Assignment Topic

The assignment topic is as follows:
Four Organizational Theory perspectives, namely Modernist, Critical theorist, Symbolic Interpretivist and Postmodernist, produce different narratives about technology.
Choose two Organisational Theory perspectives. Based on your selected perspectives, identify and draw out the two readings out of the given list that match your chosen perspectives.
Critically analyse the two readings and evaluate how their ontological and epistemological positions result in a different understanding and narrative of technology within organisations.Resources for the Individual Assignment

The following are assignment resources from which you choose four that are relevant to your chosen perspectives:
1. Selwyn, N. (2002). ‘E-stablishing’an inclusive society? Technology, social exclusion and UK government policy making. Journal of Social Policy31(01), 1-20.
2. Spanos, Y. E., Prastacos, G. P., & Poulymenakou, A. (2002). The relationship between information and communication technologies adoption and management. Information & Management39(8), 659-675.
3. Cukier, W., Ngwenyama, O., Bauer, R., & Middleton, C. (2009). A critical analysis of media discourse on information technology: preliminary results of a proposed method for critical discourse analysis. Information Systems Journal19(2), 175-196.
4. Ciborra, C. U., & Lanzara, G. F. (1994). Formative contexts and information technology: Understanding the dynamics of innovation in organizations.Accounting, management and information technologies4(2), 61-86.
Based on your selected perspectives, choose two relevant readings out of this list to as a starting point for your essay. You should also use the textbook and other resources to assist in the development of your analysis.
The suggested process for selecting your perspectives and supporting materials is depicted as follows:
1. Based on your selected perspectives, choose two relevant readings out of this list to as a starting point for your essay.
2. You should also use the textbook and other resources to assist in the development of your analysis.
3. A suggested process is depicted as follows:

1. Select two from the four Organisational Theory Perspectives.
2. Critically evaluate how your two chosen perspectives contribute a different understanding and narrative of technology within organisations.
3. Use readings from your own research and the textbook to form substantive arguments
Process and Preparation

Preparing for and writing assignments or extended essays are one of the most important activities for university students. Assignments are linked closely to course objectives and are a major means by which your achievement of the objectives is measured.
The following notes are provided as a general guide to reading and writing and are addressed to students with little experience in essay writing. If you are an experienced student you may wish to skip over some sections; however, you should give very careful attention to the section dealing with reference citing. Many of the issues dealt with below are discussed more comprehensively in books dealing with study skills. Some useful books are:
· Murphy, E. (2007) Essay writing made simple, French Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
· Peck, J. and Coyle, M. (2005) The student’s guide to writing: grammar, punctuation and spelling,2nd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
· Redman, P. (2006) Good essay writing: a social sciences guide, Milton Keys: Open University Press.
· Zemach, D. (2005) Academic writing: from paragraph to writing, Oxford: Macmillan Education.Plan Your Essay

The point at which reading and notetaking ends and the preparation of the essay proper begins is a matter for judgement and the decision can be a fairly arbitrary one. An important stage in this process is the preparation of an essay plan. The first stage of developing a plan is to clarify your interpretation of the assignment question, and to decide how you wish to respond to it.
The way in which you set out a plan will depend on your style of working. Whatever method you use it is important that, for a time, you attempt to distance yourself from the material you have collected and develop a framework within which to make judgements about the quality of that material and select and present the parts that are relevant to the topic. The key to planning lies in relating the various parts of your reading and thinking to the topic. One way to start is to outline what others have written about the topic and you should decide at this stage how much of their work you are going to use.Know the Purpose of Assignments

Different assignments are focussed on different aspects of a course and you will find that expectations vary according to how a particular assignment relates to the course and course objectives. Assignments are a major form of assessment in the School of Management; they are also a way for you to organise your learning in a unit, and to communicate that learning to your unit teachers. It is important, therefore, to think about how to use assignments for your own purposes, and as a form of communication about what you are reading and thinking about in a course.Addressing the Topic
Make sure you read all the details relating to the topic(s) a number of times. Read the aims of the assignment and note the unit objective(s) it refers to as well as reading the actual topic. The most common cause of poor essays stems from students providing a general response to the topic and not addressing the specific issues required. In addressing the topic, you should demonstrate the following:
· Your ability to conduct research and use it to develop an argument/answer that will discipline your response.
· Your ability to write a clear, compelling, well-presented and properly referenced response to the question.
· Your ability to directly respond to all of the key issues raised in your research
· The ability to move past description to analysis; to move past a focus on who, what, when and how questions to also answer the associated why questions.
· The ability to provide your own answer to the question in your own words
Each topic will be in the form of a question to be answered or a statement to be discussed. Implicit in any topic is that it requires a response informed by organisational theory, even if this is not explicitly stated. In other words, your essay should be written in light of the readings you have been doing, not as a statement of your opinion, or an account of ‘what everybody knows’. Make sure you identify the ‘key words’ in the topic. These will usually be concepts central to the topic.
· This essay is designed to develop your knowledge of the theoretical perspectives, to build your understanding that each perspective is underpinned by different assumptions that lead to different ways of understanding organisations. Given their ontological and epistemological underpinnings, each perspective has different ways of conceptualising different aspects of organisations. You must demonstrate your understanding of the perspectives and how they relate to an understanding of organisations.· This essay has been designed to encourage you to prepare and present your individual analysis. There is no single ‘right’ answer. Markers will be looking for evidence that you have read broadly, including the provided material, and have synthesised the material to develop your own answer/ argument. The markers will also expect you to answer the question in your own words.

· Do not try to cover every single detail; you only have 2000 words so concentrate on the major points rather than fine details.
· Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. We encourage you to make use of journal articles which can be found via a range of library databases. I suggest you use Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale) database which is located through the Databases section of the library website because it allows you to search a range of journals using keywords. You will find an enormous amount of relevant literature. You can also do author searches which can be helpful to locate recent articles by scholars mentioned in the textbook. We also encourage you to make use of the references and further reading suggested by the textbook at the end of each chapter. ‘Citation Linker’ found through the library website is a useful tool to locate some of the journal articles mentioned in the textbook. There is a lot of information out there regarding the topic.
· Students are NOT allowed to use lecture notes as reference materials.
· You should look at the assessment sheet found in the course guide. It will give you a feel for the sorts of things we will be assessing.· You should also look at the other part of the course guide which outlines the differences between the grades -i.e. what separates a ‘D’ from a ‘CR’.

· A key point to remember in answering the questions is not to be overly descriptive. In answering the question you will need to develop an argument. An argument requires ‘expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence’. The basic components of an argument include:
· Making a claim (informed by relevant organisational perspectives and/or theories)
· Supporting your claim with evidence
· Recognising and engaging with counter-claimsAcademic reading

In general, most of the reading necessary for the preparation of a satisfactory assignment will come from the essential and further reading set out in this course guide. Most reading is set out in relation to the weekly topics and the specific reading for an assignment topic builds on this. So, if you keep up with the weekly reading, you will be preparing for each assignment at the same time. You should ensure you have covered all the essential reading before you consult additional material.
Reading for academic purposes is rather different from reading for pleasure. You should expect to read most references several times, looking for different points in each reading. The first reading might be ‘skim reading’, that is, reading quickly to get a sense of what is covered in a particular source and to decide how relevant it is to your purpose. Remember to record the author, date, title and publication details, and write a brief summary of what the reference covers. The second reading should be more careful, and this time you should focus on the theoretical perspective, or the argument being presented by the author(s). Again, write a brief summary of what you think the reference is about, and the main points of the argument. If you decide the reference is relevant to a particular question, such as an assignment topic, the third reading should focus on selecting the points that are directly relevant to the question you are responding to.
As you read, make notes. When making notes it is important to distinguish between direct quotation and paraphrasing. One way to do this is to follow the convention of indicating quotations by means of inverted commas (‘…’); other techniques might be to use different colour pens or to divide your page into quotations and comments.
It is important that your notes include details of author’s name, title, publisher, place and date of publication and the page number from which the information is taken.
During your reading you may want to refer back to your notes to check whether you have recorded a particular point in sufficient detail, or to see if you have distinguished between the way an idea is handled by different authors. Some form of indexing would assist you to do this. As the books addressed to beginning students emphasise, there is no ‘one best’ system for reading and note-making. You have to develop your own and the experience of many scholars suggests that your own system will continue to change to meet new needs and circumstances.
The main purpose of the reading phase, in preparing an assignment, is to gain knowledge related to the topic you are studying. Reading, therefore, will be a two-stage process: first, read thoroughly the essential and further reading set for the topic; second, read additional material from libraries and other sources. If you wish to use source materials from libraries you may need to plan ahead to allow time to obtain the material.How to Incorporate Your Own Ideas

Students who are new to the social sciences are often perplexed by the apparently contradictory demands from their teachers who, on one hand, require them to ‘provide their own ideas’ and, on the other, require that an argument is supported by ‘ideas from the research and theoretical work’ of relevant social scientists. A considerable proportion of your assignments should be devoted to paraphrasing the latter, with a few key ideas included through direct quotation. Summarising and paraphrasing are preferred to quoting, because restating the ideas in your own words gives an indication of how well you have understood them. An essay which depends on a collection of quotations, by contrast, demonstrates only that you can identify the key points of an author’s argument and copy them.
As suggested above, the ideas you contribute should be centred on the development of an argument that relates directly to the topic and is a critical assessment of the approaches taken by social scientists in your reading. The development of your argument and the critical reading upon which it is based will be influenced by ‘your own view of the social world’. This is the likely basis for your acceptance, rejection or modification of the ideas you gain from your reading. The factual basis for your argument will be drawn substantially from reports and discussion of relevant research discussed in the source material.
Many of your own views will have been gathered from various sources in the media. These sources often make excellent starting points for ideas that can be pursued in your reading. Knowledge you have gained, and continue to gain, from these sources and your own direct observation is the beginning of your arguments.Producing a Draft

This is the stage at which you begin to write extended prose based on the plan you have prepared. Normally you will write this draft in sections which correspond with the different parts of the argument you have outlined in your plan. The introduction and conclusion may be left until after you have finished all the sections of the draft. A draft is usually longer than the final version.
A draft is produced so you can revise and reorganise your argument where necessary. After completing the draft you may decide to reorder the sections, reduce a section, or even omit part of your argument. Even at a draft stage it is advisable to cite your references in some way. Reference citing is dealt with in detail below.
In the rough draft phase you have to make decisions about how you are going to use the work of other scholars. This is quite normal as you will have already noticed from your reading. As suggested above, a considerable proportion of your essay will consist of the presentation of ideas, theory and data which you have drawn from other scholarly work concerning the chosen topic. Generally this knowledge should be conveyed by way of paraphrase, although some important points may be quoted directly. You should not copy any of your essay directly from source material without indicating that it is a quotation. Furthermore, all ideas, whether paraphrased or quoted, must be acknowledged by citing appropriate references. If you do not do this, you will have plagiarised the work of others.Working towards the Final Version

By the time you get to finalising your draft most of the very difficult decisions have been made. Planning and topic analysis, the importance of note taking and the need to express ideas in your own words have been emphasised above because academic work of high quality is born of diligence and an attention to detail. Despite all this advice, you should never forget that in this course you are at the early stages of learning these skills.
The final draft should be produced from the revised version(s) of the rough draft. This is the stage where you should give special attention to your sentence structure, paragraphing and spelling.Referencing

Reference citing can be one of the most difficult things for students to grasp clearly. Many of the skills discussed above are part of everyday life and are taught in secondary schools, but reference citing is not generally dealt with in either of those contexts. To provide adequate reference citing in a piece of writing you need to give attention both to the principles involved and the technical aspects of the system you need to use.
The basic principle underlying the use of a system of reference citing is that of ‘intellectual property’: authors acknowledge the sources from which their own ideas are developed. Providing references to a passage makes it possible for readers to follow up the sources of the ideas discussed in that piece of writing and, if necessary, place them in a wider context and make their own interpretation of the sources used. As emphasised above, all sources should be acknowledged, including those from which quotations are taken and those which are paraphrased.
The most common means of indicating the source used in a particular passage is to provide some form of reference in the text adjacent to the relevant information, idea or quotation. There are a number of different systems which will be apparent in the books and articles you consult. You are expected to use the Harvard referencing system as discussed in the RMIT’s Business Referencing Guidelines located at:
When to cite references
References should be cited in the circumstances listed below:
a. When quoting directly from a reference;
b. When summarising or paraphrasing from references;
c. When making a point which has been established by research;
d. When discussing competing views or arguments;
e. When summarising a debate on a topic.Citing Internet sources

You need to identify the source of material obtained from the Internet as you would from a monograph or journal source. For in-text referencing you need to identify the author and date (if known). In your reference list the full details of the author and date should be provided followed by the title of the article and the URL, that is the Internet address at which the source can be located.The Reference List
The Reference List, located at the end of the essay, should list alphabetically (by first author’s family name) all references cited in the text. Do not include references which you have read but not used together with those consulted in your assignment preparation. The information which must be included covers author’s name, full title, date and place of publication, publishers name and edition, if not a first edition. When completing your bibliography you are expected to use the Harvard referencing system as discussed in the RMIT’s Business Referencing Guidelines located at:
Guide to Presentation and Structure
The following is a guide for writing your essay. Avoid using headings in an essay, but if you must, please keep them to a minimum and ensure that they enhance rather than undermine your argument. The final draft of an essay should include the following flow:
· Introduction, which indicates how you have interpreted the assignment topic, and how you propose to go about responding to it;
· Body of the essay, where you make your main points, and support them with evidence from your reading;
· Conclusion, which should answer the question as you interpreted it in the introduction. The conclusion should not be a statement of your opinion: it should be a summation of the argument you have developed in the essay;
· List of references you have used. These references should be cited within the essay as outlined in the next section, and full publication details are provided in the bibliography.Introduction

In this section you must provide an overview of your answer to the question; provide answers to the key what and why questions of your argument/answer. These should take the form of direct responses to the key issues raised by the question. Your argument should be informed by a critical analysis/engagement with the content of the essential readings.
Please keep in mind that in all sections of your response you must move past description to analysis, this means providing answers to the why questions that emerge from your key statements.Body of the Essay

In this section of the essay you need to accomplish two tasks.
First, you must explore the key perspectives showing how each perspective’s theoretical and metatheoretical approaches lead them to provide different insights into organisations and their relationship to technology.
Therefore each paper, what are the ontological and epistemological assertions that make the writing either modernist, symbolic interpretivist, critical theory based, or postmodern? You may think of this as identifying the “signposts”, or “clues”, that make a paper modernist, symbolic interpretivist, critical theory based, or postmodern.
What are the consequences of using a particular ontological and epistemological perspective to describe Technology? Is it the way in which technology is talked about? Is it the way Technology is used? Is it the way Technology is analysed? How was data collected and analysed (or interpreted)?
You can address the papers sequentially; beginning with an exploration of the how and why of each of the chosen perspectives (ontology and epistemology), and then an exploration of the positions advanced by two of the perspectives (modernist, symbolic interpretivist, critical theory and postmodernism) in relation to how organisations and the concept of technology is conceived, identified and written about.
The whole response must be informed by an engagement with essential readings. You must draw upon and evaluate academic debates and arguments.Conclusion

You must conclude with your general answer to the question. It should reiterate the key argument/answer to the question provided in the introduction and indicate to what extent it has been supported or challenged by your analysis of the debates and arguments of other authors.Assignment Checklist

Check these before handing in an assignment

Is the topic clearly identified?

Is the essay on the topic?


Does the essay say what I want it to say?

Will it tell the marker what I have learned?


Are my arguments developed logically?

Have I included evidence to support the points I make?

Source material

Have I read the required reading?

Have I included comment about each reference?

Have I summarised points correctly?

Are quotations reproduced accurately?

Have I read beyond the required reading?

Writing style: Check for these while proofreading

Is the essay easy to read?

Are words spelled correctly?

Like sounding words can be tricky. Have I chosen the right one?

Have I written in complete sentences?

Are paragraph breaks at the right place?


Have I identified all direct quotations?

Have I identified paraphrases?

Have I cited author, date and page for each of these?

Presentation and layout

Is the print large enough to read easily?

Is the margin wide enough for comments?

Are my name and the unit details on the cover sheet?

Have I identified which topic is being attempted?

Are the pages numbered?

Is the reference list attached?

Organisational Theory
Guide to the Assignment

Assessment One Marking Rubric

Weight %
Serious fail (0 29%)
Fail (30 49%)
Pass (50-59%)
Credit (60-69%)
Distinction (70-79%)
High Distinction (80-100%)
Argument(s) Critical thinking, evidence, focus on relevant issues & logical development of the essay
Lack of academic rigour, with material that is incomplete or irrelevant. Failure to review critically, analyse, consolidate and combine knowledge and draw relevant conclusions. Reflective statements provide a basic description of the task with no insight into behaviour or learning preferences for collaborative practice.
Inadequate understanding of the subject in terms of knowledge, skills and application. Little understanding of underlying principles and concepts, and no effective analysis. Minimal reading and inadequate planning.
The subject is covered satisfactorily but the volume of reading is insufficient for Credit. Factual and descriptive rather than carefully argued and analytical style of work. Lacks evidence of intellectual independence to adapt knowledge in diverse contexts. Conclusions are limited in scope and poorly substantiated.
Broad understanding of the subject or area of practice and has read widely. Well-developed skills to present critical arguments and competent use of theoretical and technical knowledge with depth in some areas.
Coherent arguments supported by evidence and illustration from the work of other authorities, but without but without the self- awareness and self-questioning found in higher grades. Reflective statements provide a thoughtful commentary on the task, learning and relationships with others, ability to critically evaluate relevant theories.
Exceptional work – showing evidence of the following: Highly original or insightful work. Could not be improved at this learning level and in the context in which the assessment was conducted.
Structure of Essay Appropriate introduction, paragraph & conclusion. Grasp of English, including vocabulary, spelling grammar. Accurate spelling, grammatical sentences, correct punctuation, fluent & succinct writing
Does not demonstrate sufficient grasp of the required scholarly standards in relation to presentation, with errors, bad spelling or grammar, lack of organisation, insufficient arguments.
Poor or incoherent vocabulary. Reflective statements provide an incomplete or inaccurate description of the task.
Spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and communication style is competent and coherent. Work is not well organised or structured.
Spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and/or use of sources, and communication style is good.
The work is clearly structured and the exposition of knowledge and ideas is clear and competent.
Grammar and/or syntax could not be improved at this learning level and in the context in which the assessment was conducted.
Source material Understanding, use & extent of essential & extra reading
Little evidence of knowledge of the relevant body of knowledge to make a persuasive case. Work failed for one or more of the following: non-submission, academic misconduct, answering a different question from the one asked.

Reasonable coverage of the relevant body of knowledge but does not review critically, analyse, consolidate with a high level of insight.
Volume of reading of sufficient breadth and depth for a competent understanding of main issues, underlying principles and concepts but without the comprehensiveness of higher grades.
Displays competence in reviewing critically, analysing, consolidating and synthesising the various cases made within a body of knowledge. Material is deployed in a disciplined way with sophisticated comprehension of key issues.
Evidence of formulated and sustained arguments with sophisticated analysis, inferences, synthesis of material and identifying flaws in published work.
Referencing and Presentation Correct, consistent citation & bibliographic format, wide margins, 1.5 or double spacing, numbered pages and a word count.
Improper citation of sources and referencing of