Organizational effectiveness : a study of the concept with empirical reference to a general nurse training system.
The concept of organizational effectiveness is of vital
importance to accountants because it forms the ultimate criterion
for the design of accounting information systems for control. It
also has close conceptual links with the concept of corporate
accountability. Depending on how an accountant defines effective
organizational behaviour he/she will seek to design management
information systems that implement and achieve this perspective.
Depending on how and in whose interests a corporation is seen to
be working towards accountants will design appropriate corporate
This thesis examines the concept in detail and argues that
theories of effectiveness have" generally been developed on what
Habermas calls a technical level of interest. Little research
attention has been paid to developing concepts of effectiveness
on the hermeneutical and critical levels of interest.
Critique, however, is felt to be vital for the moral and
intellectual development of social theory and social science, of
which accounting is constitutive. Indeed, Habermas argues that
the function of theoretical and practical discourse is to help
lead to an ideal situation of rational consensus and of free
speech which is unconstrained by sources of domination.
Based on this epistemological stance, the thesis develops a
technically-interested theory of O.E. This and the research
inSights it produces are evaluated and an integrated, critical
theory of O.E. is proposed. This is then used to generate
additional information from the same empirical base~ a process
which shows the inadequacy of developing only technical theories
Finally, the implications of such an integrated theory of
O.E. for accounting are examined and new research directions are
The structure of the thesis itself has attempted to be an
analogue of critique~ beginning with a technical theory of O.E.,
evaluating this and proposing an enriched, integrated alternative.
It has also attempted to be a thesis in the social science,
emphasiZing the holism of social knowledge •