Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-22-2008


Up to now, systems theory is still a fundamental means that provides us with explanations about organizational interaction. The purpose of this paper is to develop a systemic framework that assists students of organizations concerning organizational interactions to assign an appropriate theoretical perspective and analytical level that help achieving their research objectives. Our methodology to portray such a guiding framework builds upon adapting Scott’s (2003) typology of organization theories. This is to classify traditional organization studies into distinctive systems perspectives according to their view of organizational interaction. We then use Blau’s (1957) typology of analytical levels to demonstrate how organization studies focus on different system levels as they analyze organizational interactions. Through combining systems perspectives with levels of analysis, we draw our results about organizational interactions. We found that organization studies adopting close rational and natural systems perspectives employ social psychological or structural analysis. This is to demonstrate interactions among individual participants or organizational work groups as they accomplish organizational goals. Otherwise, studies that are drawn upon open rational and natural perspectives employ social psychological, structural and ecological analysis. This is to reveal inter-personal, inter-groups or inter-organizational interactions as they cope with changes in organizational environment.

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