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Multiple Paradigms and Organizational Analysis

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i)Module Work Accomplished

I have completed all the module assignments, reviews, and reports of the module knowledge creation to date. I am confident that the knowledge I have acquired on perspectives and paradigms will help improve my leadership skills and problem solving abilities. Although the concept of multiple paradigms defined by Hassard was hard for me to understand, I got a clear picture of it after viewing some practical aspects of that in our organization.

ii)Learning from Readings and Fellow Set Members

Hassard’s (1991) article defined four paradigms. These paradigms included functional paradigm, interpretive paradigm, radical humanist paradigm, and radical structuralist paradigm. He conducted a study on multiple paradigms by studying the work behavior of the British Fire Service. From his study, he discovered that each of the paradigms was limited in its methodological scope. In addition to this, his study proved that it was wrong to assume that a particular paradigm could or should be used to assess a particular issue. Hassard also argued that if managers and researchers used the concept of multiple paradigms appropriately, they would be able to learn languages and practices of organization behavior.

 Morgan’s (1980) article on paradigms, metaphors, and problem solving argued that research on organization theory has been imprisoned by its metaphors. He argued that interpretive metaphors focused on how organizational realities were created. He gave an example of how metaphor of the language game painted an organization as more than a game of words, thoughts, and actions. Moreover, he stated that this metaphor proved that language was ontological. This article also stated that the assumptions of radical humanist, interpretive, and radical structualist paradigms challenged the assumptions from functionalists. Functionalist theories argue that organizations orient actions and behaviors to the achievement of a state in future, while interpretive theories claim that action is oriented to sense making of the past and future.

Johnson and Dubley (2000) wrote an article that sought to explain the importance of epistemology in management research. They stated that epistemology answered questions such as the origins, nature, and limits of scientific knowledge. It also explained components of scientific practice and the process in which scientific knowledge advanced. They claimed that when researchers use positivism, they usually aim at generating casual laws by using both natural and social sciences methods. In conventionalist epistemology, scientific statements are seen as creations of the scientists and thus they are viewed to be true. Conventionalist theorists always avoid relativism. However, postmodernists normally encourage relativism and they value anarchy, randomness, and fragmentation. Willmott (1993) wrote an article on the importance of breaking the paradigm mentality. He argued that it was important to consider Kuhn’s understanding and theory in developing new theories on organization analysis.

iii)Application of Concepts from the Classroom.

The knowledge I acquired on perspectives and paradigms will help in increasing my skills as I research on good investment portfolios. I will use the concept of paradigms to generate new research methods on investment analysis that are consistent with the market requirements. In addition to this, I will always consider the perspective of interpretivism while solving problems in our investment team, since it allows practice-based management, thus improving decision making (Van Maanen 1995).

iv)Additional Reflection

My position as a scholarly practitioner is that of a leader in an investment team. I am seeking to change the culture of our team so that it encourages teamwork. I believe this will improve the overall success of our investment decisions. If the culture of our team is changed, team morale will improve and conflicts among team members will reduce. The knowledge and understanding of paradigms will help me improve my leadership skills by generating ideas that are consistent with the situation of the environment. The issue identified in our team is that of the negative culture of knowledge hoarding. Most members of our group want to get credit for their own investment ideas and they thus prefer to hoard investment knowledge that they may have. If I do not take action on this problem, conflicts among team members will increase, thus diminishing team morale. This will lead to bad investment decisions.

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