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Normal Organizational WrongdoingA Critical Analysis of Theories of Misconduct in and by Organizations$
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Donald Palmer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573592

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573592.001.0001

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Administrative Systems

Administrative Systems

(p.126) 7 Administrative Systems
Normal Organizational Wrongdoing

Donald Palmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the administrative systems explanation of organizational wrongdoing. This explanation is the first of five alternative accounts of wrongdoing considered in the book. It is rooted in a theoretical perspective that views organizations as structures for coordinating people engaged in interdependent tasks, and depicts organizational participants as decision makers who operate within these structures to acquire and analyze information with an eye to performing their tasks in a way that optimizes efficiency and effectiveness. The chapter elaborates the two main types of administrative structures, obtrusive controls (such as rules) and unobtrusive controls (such as scripts and schemas). It then delineates how obtrusive and unobtrusive controls can facilitate organizational wrongdoing, distinguishing between instances in which they do so inadvertently and occasions on which they do so by design. The chapter concludes by offering an overall assessment of the administrative systems account.

Keywords:   organizational wrongdoing, administrative systems, obtrusive controls, unobtrusive controls, scripts and schemas

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