Empiricism is a doctrine that affirms that all knowledge is based on experience (Encarta), and denies the possibility of ideas conceived before investigation or assumptions made without reference to experience. John Locke was the first philosopher to give it systematic expression. He believed that ideas are derived from the senses. Empirical laws are those laws that express relationships observed to exist among phenomena, without implying any explanation of or seeking to identify the cause of the phenomena.
They just are. An empiricist-style organization relies on teamwork and an unhindered flow of communication in order to facilitate the decision making process, thereby increasing productivity. The writer believes that a strong union environment permeates the culture of his organization and inhibits a true empiricist style organization because the union feels threatened by team dynamics within the organization. Rationalism is represented by such thinkers as the French philosopher Rene Descartes.
Rationalists assert that the mind is capable of discerning truth by means of the faculty of reason that exists independently of experience. Descartes held that by means of reason alone, certain universal, self-evident truths could be discovered. Revelation is not necessary. Rational managers focus on information and believe the best way for attaining a desired outcome is to focus on activities that can be observed and measured. Rational managers provide organized ways of applying critical thinking skills.
Goals are an important operational factor, but rational systems favor the cognitive function of goals. Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, attempted a compromise between empiricism and rationalism, by attributing to the mind a function in incorporating sensations into the structure of experience. This structure could be known without resorting to empirical methods, and in this respect Kant agreed with the rationalists. Kant argued that it was a person’s moral duty to exercise the fundamental freedoms of thought and expression. Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity.
Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another and is caused by lack of determination and courage to express one’s beliefs and convictions. Man, by his very nature cherishes the need for free thought. This free thought gradually acts upon the mind of the people and they gradually become more capable of acting in freedom. Eventually, the government is also influenced by this free thought and thereby it treats man, who is now more than a machine, according to his dignity. (from The Philosophy of Kant by Immanuel Kant, translated, edited and introduced by Carl J.
Friedrich. Copyright 1949 and renewed 1977 by Random House, Inc. ) The design and structure of an organization paradigm, ultimately determines the culture of an organization and the efficiency of its workforce because of its effect on the relationships and behavior of individuals within organizations. Organizational analysis is concerned with developing models and theories that accurately describe the functioning and development of organizations and that account for the ways in which organizations acknowledge and apply this information to accomplish change.
One of the basic techniques of organizational analysis is developing models that delineate the way organizations function and evolve. Modeling enables managers to determine the crucial variables in particular circumstances so they can implement new and more effective strategies. Various organizational paradigms exist which, in turn, affects the systems organizations adopt and integrate into their respective cultures.
Writer discusses three major organizational paradigms, namely: rational, natural, and open organizational systems. A system is commonly defined as a group of interacting units or elements that have a common purpose. These units or elements include machinery, equipment, people and other things that make up the aggregate of the organization. Systems can be classified as open or closed and they can take the form of mechanical, biological, or social systems. An organization is an example of a social system.