"Rational Actor (RA)"
Organizational Analysis – Daniel A. McFarland Stanford/Coursera – Fall 2012 Summary Table of Organizational Theories (Weeks 1-5) Organizational Process (OP) / Coalitions / Organized Anarchies / Organizational Learning (OL) / Rational Actor (RA) Limited Problem Solver (LPS) Bureaucratic Politics (BP) Garbage Can (GC) Knowledge-Practice Model When does it Exists when there is a unified Exists when the decision is guided Exists when there are multiple Exists when solutions are unclear, Exists when there are clear feedback loops, apply? actor with consistent by a logic of appropriateness – actors with inconsistent preferences participants turn over, and adaptations, memory, and support of actor- preferences, lots of information, matching problem to actors with and identities, and none of whom preferences/identities are inconsistent. expertise / adaptations of rules to local and clear goals (and time procedures for handling it (routine- can go it alone without assistance reality. calculate). process focus). of others. Summary or Basic Unitary actor or team that Dividing up problem, coordinating Focus on the players occupying Focus on choice arenas (when choice Acknowledges routines, but focuses on Argument confronts a problem, assesses / activating organizational actors various positions; their parochial opportunities / windows arise); the practices within them that enable their objectives (goals) with regard to who have special capacities / interests (their conceptions of distinct and decoupled streams of continual adaptation and change to fit it, identifies options, the SOP’s for parts of problem, problems and solutions); their problems, solutions, and participants; reality – i.e., practices reflecting consequences of said options, conducting sequential attention to resources (expertise, money, and their access rules to the arena organizational intelligence. and then chooses option that objectives (localized searches until people) and stakes in game; and (whether structural or timed). minimizes costs. problems resolved). Action guided bargaining processes between them Variant: Bounded rationality by processes / available routines. that establish agreements / and satisficing. Recognize coalitions. imperfect info, ambiguity, and select first satisfactory option (good enough). Key Organizational Elements Technology Maximization of options Matching identity and SOP’s Bargaining, or playing the game Confluence of multiple streams, such Internal adaptation, or where actors alter (how solutions (solutions). (solutions) / programs / repertoires (within its rules), or political that solution is connected to problems routines for the better and fit reality get decided) to problem. maneuvering. and enough actor-energy to see it (knowledge). through. Participants Unified team or actor Organizational positions Players in positions Participant stream shaped by political / Members of organization doing work / career cycles & unplanned departures. SOP’s Goals Goals are defined in regard to Objectives – compliance to SOP’s, Parochial priorities, goals/interests, Problems stream determined by public Application problems – pattern recognition (what probs to problem. match with problem parts. stakes / stands. opinion, prominence / vocalness of not there (no fit). resolve) problems in firm, etc. Social Formal roles, hierarchical. Actors in hierarchical Coalitions – enemy/friend Access rules – segmented, hierarchical, Informal, lateral relations, communication, Structure organizational positions. Cue or democratic. negotiation, & collective improv. Actor sequential routines that accomplish identities (demand) important. Network of task or solve problem by routines practice (professional identity / reach) & available (supply issue). community of practice (cohesive group). Environment Not salient except as NA Deadlines and wider array of Deadlines and other choice arenas (e.g., Source of inter-organizational knowledge / influencing consequences of stakeholders. decision in current arena may be means tricks / transfers. options. of access to another choice arena…) Dominant Pattern Action = Maximization of Action = output close to prior Action = result of political Action / decision = result of streams Action = result of local actors collaborative of Inference means to ends. output (path dependence), cueing bargaining. collision in choice arena. search (trial & error / transfer) and adapting of SOP’s appropriate to problem. rule to situation. Management Know alternatives and their Know SOP’s, what problems they Bargain with players (log-roll, Time when your solution is raised (to Find ways to create lateral ties among Strategies consequences for the shared go with (matching), and who cues horse-trade, hinder opposition’s coincide with right participants and workers so “knowledge” is passed / goal, and select wisely. Improve them. Improve rules and matching coalition formation, etc). Learn cycle of problems) to maximize energy; transferred more readily / quickly (if information and analysis. with problems. Management by others’ interests / weaknesses so abandon entangled initiatives; know possible, quickly), create means to Management by consequences. rules. you know how to manipulate and how to overload system for policies you organizational memory of what works. win. Direct management of detest; and generate choice opportunities Create applied, social learning experiences relations via bargaining. that work to your interests with means to retaining and transferring (access/timing). Indirect managing of expertise. Want communication, collective situations. improvisation, practice and knowledge sharing to arise. Organizational Analysis – Daniel A. McFarland Stanford/Coursera – Fall 2012