EDU 5419 – Advanced Study Organizational Theory                                                                                           Summer 2005

Professor Frank Smith, Ph.D.






Reframing Organizations : Artistry, Choice, and Leadership (Paperback)
by Lee G. Bolman, Terrence E. Deal

Classics of Organization Theory
by Jay M. Shafritz, J. Steven Ott, Yong Suk Jang


Course Description per Graduate Bulletin, St. John’s University, 2004 – 2006

The second course in theoretical perspectives closely considers a small number of theories to give practitioners access to the research literature of the field and to frame questions as researchable questions.



Frederick Winslow Taylor – The Principles of Scientific


A Comparative Analysis: Northeast High School and Central Park East Secondary School


Bolman and Deal Frames



Class notes:


Cultural Symbolic Framework: Chapter II – Literature Review

Class notes: June 17- 19, 24 – 26, 2008

Video review




Bolman and Deal’s Four Frames

 Source: Bolman and Deal, Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, 3rd Edition, pp. 306-07




Structural Frame

Human Resources Frame

Political Frame

Cultural/Symbolic Frame

Strategic Planning

Creating Strategies to set objectives and coordinate resources

Gatherings to promote participation

Arena to air conflict and realign power

Ritual to signal responsibility, produce symbols, negotiate meanings

Decision Making

Rational sequence to produce right decisions

Open process to produce commitment

Opportunity to gain or exercise power

Ritual to confirm values, and create opportunities for bonding


Realign roles and responsibilities to fit tasks and environment

Maintain a balance between human needs and formal roles

Redistribute power and form new coalitions

Maintain an image of accountability and responsiveness; negotiate new social order


Way to distribute reward or penalties and control performance

Process for helping individuals grow and improve

Opportunity to exercise power

Occasion to play roles in shared drama

Approaching Conflict

Maintain organizational goals by having authorities resolve conflict

Develop relationships by having individuals confront conflict

Develop power by bargaining, forcing or manipulating others to win

Develop shared values and use conflict to negotiate meaning

Goal Setting

Keep organization headed in the right direction

Keep people involved and communication open

Provide opportunity for individuals and groups to make interests known

Develop symbols and shared values


Transmit facts and  information

Exchange information, needs and feelings

Influence or manipulate others; strategic

Tell stories


Formal occasions for making decisions

Informal occasions for involvement, sharing, feelings

Competitive occasions to win points

Sacred occasions to celebrate and transform the culture


Economic incentives

Growth and self-actualization

Coercion, manipulation and seduction

Symbols and celebrations


Class Reflections:

This class examined the cultural and symbolic frameworks of organizations.  The frames included:

·         Structural

·         Human Resources

·         Cultural

·         Political

     A research paper structured in dissertation chapters, researching the design of the school and trying to understand the frame that best captured the organization of the school.  This course and the exercises we participated in clearly revealed the types of frameworks and models that people and systems function in.  In the two videos in was apparent by the attitudes of both the students and the people in leadership positions that the constructivist approach yields much more success.