7 Pages


When Miller and Rice (1967) at the Tavistock Institute embraced a systems theory approach, there developed a particular emphasis on the system itself and on the processes of system maintenance, in line with the current stress on management in organisational studies. Through this shift, particular issues within an organisation that are linked with the management of the system, such as task, role, authority, leadership and boundary, have become major foci. Their function within a system and the distortions and contradictions of these aspects in an institution are particularly looked at. One reason for this shift may have been the demand on the Tavistock Institute for consultancy work whose aim was to bring about actual organisational change, and thus led to an emphasis on the leadership and authority which must sanction and support, if not initiate, change. This different emphasis has, however, had the effect that the anxieties and conflicts that drive the distortions may not have such a central place, and are sometimes regarded simply as a category of obstacles to change.