Frases de James D. Thompson
James D. Thompson
Data de nascimento: 11. Janeiro 1920
Data de falecimento: 1. Setembro 1973
James David Thompson was an American sociologist.
In 1932, Thompson's family moved to Chicago where he went to a public high school. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in business and served in the United States Air Force from 1941 to 1946. He obtained a master's degree in journalism and worked half a year as an editor for the Chicago Journal of Commerce before taking a position as a journalism teacher at the University of Wisconsin. From 1950 to 1954, he worked on his final degree, a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
From there, he moved to Cornell University to teach at the School of Business and Public Administration. He helped found the Administrative Science Quarterly, of which he was the first editor, in 1956. He became the director of the Administrative Science Center at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1967, he published Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory, one of the most influential books on organizations.
Thompson moved one last time in 1968 to teach at the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1972 and died September 11, 1973.
James D. Thompson's Typology of Decision Making:
Where both preferences and cause/effect relations are clear, decision making is "computational". These decisions are often short term and information about the decision is fairly unambiguous.
Where outcome preferences are clear, but cause/effect relations are uncertain, Thompson suggest that "judgment" takes over and you make your best educated guess. These decisions are based on prior experience and are often qualitative in nature.
When the situation is reversed, and preferences are uncertain, then you rely on compromise between different groups. Political coalitions may be built which rely on negotiating and bargaining.
When neither preferences nor cause/effect relations are clear, then you rely on "inspirational" leadership. This is where the charismatic leader may step in and this type of decision often takes place in times of crisis.
Citações James D. Thompson
„Most of our beliefs about complex organizations follow from one or the other of two distinct strategies. The closed-system strategy seeks certainty by incorporating only those variables positively associated with goal achievement and subjecting them to a monolithic control network. The open-system strategy shifts attention from goal achievement to survival and incorporates uncertainty by recognizing organizational interdependence with environment. A newer tradition enables us to conceive of the organization as an open system, indeterminate and faced with uncertainty, but subject to criteria of rationality and hence needing certainty.“
— James D. Thompson
p. 13 (in 2011 edition)
„Organizations under norms of rationality seek to place their boundaries around those activities which if left to the task environment would be crucial contingencies.
The implication of this proposition is that we should expect to find organizations including within their domains activities or competencies which, on a technological basis, could be performed by the task environment without damage to the to the major mission of the organization. For the hotel, for example, provision of rooms and meals would be the major mission, and the operation of a laundry would be excluded; yet we find hotels operating laundries. On the other hand, provision of rooms and meals would not be within the major mission of the hospital, although hospitals commonly include these activities within their domains.“
„The more sectors in which the organization subject to rationality norms is constrained; the more power the organization will seek over remaining sectors of its task environment... many constraints and unable to achieve power in other sectors of its task environment will seek to enlarge the task environment.“
— James D. Thompson
p. 36-37; As cited in: Christopher A. Simon (2001). To Run a School: Administrative Organization and Learning, p. 40
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