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 reports. 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 of effectiveness. Finally, the implications of such an integrated theory of O.E. for accounting are examined and new research directions are suggested. 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.