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  • What is structuration theory is unique compare most theories as it does not have the structure in which input is important and there is no existence of a dominant subordinate relationship. The theory seems to condemn the idea of assimilation and acceptance of the individual within the group. The theory rather promotes the idea of diversity and open communication amongst all members of a small group. The supervisor and employee relationship is replaced by the idea of rotating leadership depending on the situation at hand ruing a particular project.


  • Most theories concerning the structure of an organization focuses on the individuals assimilating within the culture that is already in place. Structuration theory takes the perspective that individual also influences the organizational structure. The organization’s structure, although constructed to be rigid, is influenced by the interaction of the individuals within that organization. As individuals enter an organization, they learn to conform to the rules and culture within. Employees with seniority pass the rules down to new hires as will management instill the acceptable practices. The new hires will in turn follow these practices. What is understood is that each individual has different qualities and interact with others in various ways that directly influence how the structure or culture will follow.


  • Indirectly in accomplishing task, the individual(s) both support the basic structure of an organization, yet underneath that structure conforming to the culture allows the individual the ability to better accomplish their tasks an individuals or within a group. The interactions that exist between the employee and supervisor determine both the environment and how the mission is accomplished for the company.
  • The organization can not predict the behavior of the individual nor truly control the outcome. The socialization process is important when new hires start. This is the initiation process in which the new hire tries to fit into the organization and understands what is expected from them. Communication from the top of the hierarchy down the ladder is important during this process. This is the stage which an individual conforms and slightly influences the structure by their agency. Individuals are not parts of a machine, yet they are expected to replace a part within the structure. It should be understood that miscommunication and slight changes happen during this stage. The organization is only concerned that the basic structure stays intact and all the parts function smoothly.


  • The organization does attempt to control, though not possible, the flow of information, in the hopes the individuals conform within the boundaries of the organization. Structuralism is similar to critical theory in which the employee is encouraged to express their point of view. Both theories function from the standpoint that criticism leads to the betterment of an organization.
  • Critically thinking encourages input amongst workers upward through management, the same can be sad in structuralism, but such information is delivered more horizontally than vertically. Critical theory is more rigid as the employee does not have as much say in the organization as the team member in the structuration theory has in the changing of policies or ideas. Critical theory still subscribes that the employee assimilate into the system compared to the team member of the structuration theory being part of the change.


  • In the case of classical theory the employee is a part of a complex machine. The size and number of components can be infinite. In structuration theory the groups are of no more than nine individuals and the team member is not as replaceable. The group is not thought of a part as a in a machine as the structuration theory applies to the 21st century and the changing work environment. In contrast the teams feed off each other during their meetings and decide how best to tackle a project, in contrast the laborer is expected to fit into the organization and receives their initial directives through orientation, but the learning curve will be acquired from fellow employees and supervisor.
  • The structuration theory supports the very idea that through communication amongst employees and later with supervision, the core system in which the organization functions will, be maintained. Both theories accept the fact that when dealing with individuals, the outcome of interactions between employees or team members can not be predicted, but the one fact that more than likely happens is the fact that the team members/employees eventually assimilate into the culture in which they work. A type of screening process during the recruitment process informs the new hires what is expected and gives a preview of the type of culture exist once they have made it through the screening process.
  • Inadvertently or purposely in the hiring process, companies in many ways screen the types of individuals who will fit into the system in which the corporation functions. During the same screening process the potential employee becomes aware of the environment, if hired, they are entering in to. United Parcel has a system in which is his theory works very well. Once an individual successfully completes their probation period, they immediately are taken under the wing of a unionized employee; and taught the ins and outs of the company. In many ways management is demonized during this process, but at the same time tips for surviving as employees in UPS are conveyed to the new hire. These tips in many ways are the same principles that have been handed down since the earliest days of the company. The message is the same message given to every individual that entered the doors of the company, and not realizing it the union workers are reinforcing the message. The new hire is absorbing the message and at the same time understanding that to assimilate they must conform.