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Organizational effectiveness

management, business, excellence, excellent management, excellent corporations, administration, planning, leading, directing, controlling, staffing

Managers need to judge the success of their organizations; higher level management wants means to judge the success of its lower level managers. The criterion often used takes the form of the construct effectiveness. A distinction can be made between the terms efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency refers to the technical ability of an organization to minimize to costs of transforming inputs into outputs. Effectiveness, on the other hand refers to the organization’s ability to maximize its returns by whatever means, including not only the technical efficiency of its throughput processes but also the management of its input and output environments. Efficiency refers to costs incurred in striving to reach goals. Effectiveness is not conditional on resources the organization commits but efficiency is. Our focus here is on effectiveness.

Effectiveness is a popular topic significant not only for the amount of research attention it has received but also for its prevalence in popular media. During the 1980s a number of books about effectiveness reached the New York Time best seller list, most being a good deal more concrete than their academic counterparts. Ouchi’s Theory Z, Kanter’s The Change Masters, and all the books authored or co authored by Tom Peters have effectiveness as their themes. Peters and Waterman identified excellent organizations using a number of different criteria to establish eight principles of effectiveness. Despite the prevalence of such examples, a number of writers have questioned these author’s strategies and findings. Critics point out that before the end of the 1980s many of these ‘excellent’ companies were no longer excellent.
Published: 2007-04-14
Author: Martin Hahn

About the author or the publisher
Martin Hahn PhD has received his education and degrees in Europe in organizational/industrial sociology. He grew up in South-East Asia and moved to Europe to get his tertiary education and gain experience in the fields of scientific research, radio journalism, and management consulting.

After living in Europe for 12 years, he moved to South-East again and has worked for the last 12 years as a management consultant, university lecturer, corporate trainer, and international school administrator

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