Difference Between Isomorphism And Contingency Theory

719 Words 3 Pages
Floris Witteveen - s2569734 Written assignment 5
Isomorphism (lecture 8, chapter 13) and contingency theory (lecture 9, chapter 14) are two alternative explanations to how organizational structure is determined. How do isomorphism and contingency theory explain organizational structure (e.g. organizational designs, forms or practices)? How would you summarize the key difference between these two explanations?
To understand how isomorphism and contingency theory are explanations to organizational structure first the two theories should be introduced and explained.

Isomorphism means that multiple kinds of organisms which are from different ancestry have a similar shape (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2011, 606). Similarly, in organizational theory isomorphism usually refers to multiple organizations which have similar organizational designs and practices (Clegg et al. 2011, 606). Isomorphism consists of 3 main mechanisms, which are normative, coercive and mimetic isomorphism.

Normative isomorphism is the process in which members of organizations, through training and socialization, are preferring certain types of organizational designs and practices over others (Clegg et al. 2011, 607). An example for this is the fact that partnerships are to be found in all kinds of organizations (Clegg et al. 2011,
…show more content…
2011, 632). The technology theory says that when organizations are using routines regarding the usage of technology, repetitions will result in the organization becoming more bureaucratic (Clegg et al. 2011, 632). The size theory says that when organizations grow, they will automatically become more bureaucratic (Clegg et al. 2011, 632). Concluding, all of these theories state that the individual factors all lead to a company becoming more bureaucratic, which in turn makes them more similar, which is what the contingency theory is all

Related Documents