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Learning Objectives


  • Discuss the key milestones in the development of organization, leadership, and management theories.

  • Establish the location of organizations on the mechanistic–organic continuum of organizations.

  • Discuss the leader–manager continuum in terms of organizational characteristics.

  • Link leaders, lateral leaders, managers, and followers to the mechanistic–organic model of organizations.

  • Apply the four perspectives of leaders and the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) leadership dimensions to a selected leader.

  • Discuss women in leadership roles.

  • Examine the influence of innate managerial skills on personal and professional development.

  • Relate the spans of control of managers to types of organizations.

  • Discuss the influence of leaders and managers on an organization's culture.

  • Relate personal work experiences to organizational socialization, in-groups, and levels of cultural interaction.

  • Apply the roles of managers in the competing-values framework to contemporary healthcare organizations.

  • Consider Peter F. Drucker's management concepts in terms of professional development of healthcare managers.


Organizations are social arrangements in which collective goals are pursued through accepted roles and responsibilities that are controlled within a set boundary. Every organization is a unique culture—not all organizations are the same, nor have organizations always been the same, nor does any organization always remain the same. The introduction to the theories of organizations, leadership, and management lays the foundation for looking at the uniqueness of healthcare organizations.

As organizational theories have evolved to explain the complex relationships of people at their work, new theories of leadership and management have developed to align with them. Arising from sociology and psychology, theories were added by academics who led new schools devoted to management. This wide range of perspectives of organizations and work has evolved from Weber's and Taylor's work on the bureaucracies and the control of work in factories at the beginning of the 20th century, to Senge's learning organizations in the 1990s, and the emerging theories of social networks as we have moved into the 21st century. A brief summary of these theories is presented in Appendix 1. Some combination of these ideas continues to drive the leading and managing of contemporary healthcare organizations. See Activity 2.1.


Do you think more leaders and managers make decisions based on these theories, or do you think theorists make observations and offer explanations for what they see? What are your general impressions of large organizations such as Walmart and small organizations such as a bike shop? Which do you think is more important: managers and leaders who are concerned with people, or managers and leaders who are concerned with the financial bottom line?

An Organizational Continuum

Olden asks leaders and managers two major questions about work in healthcare organizations: (1) How should the thousands of tasks that make up the work to be done be divided into jobs and departments? (2) How ...

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