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Theories of Organizational Power and Authoritarian Hierarchy

1. Define critical theory, and explain how this perspective can help you understand organizational power.

2. Applying your definition of critical theory, explain how this theoretical perspective can help explain how certain organizations develop a very authoritarian hierarchical culture. Provide at least one relevant example to support your response.

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What is Critical Theory?

The simplest answer to a critical theory is that it is a kind of theory that seeks to do more than just to explain or to provide a particular perspective in terms of a phenomenon in question. Theories are established and utilised to provide an explanation, traditionally. Consider for example the Functionalist theory in sociology - it is a theory that is used to explain how society is structured - how it is arranged and how it works. While it provides an explanation the limit is just that - it is applicable for the purpose of explaining how society, nations, communities, or groups work. Critical theory goes beyond the traditional in a sense that critical theory provides a critique of society, an examination of what's wrong or what is perceived as problematic. Most of the time, critical theories offer solutions to social issues as in the case of critical social science theories. A good example of this would be the Marxist theory wherein Karl Marx theorised how society is organized in a capitalist society and argued against the injustices in a capitalist system, proposing changes that would bring about solutions to social issues. Granted, these proposals for social change are open for debate and many see Marxism as problematic too as it takes away the capacity for personal property as well as the ability of individuals to heavily invest in one's self to move forward in a capitalist society. The thing is though, Marxism offers a choice that for some, not all members of society, might be the answer. The simplest answer then is this - a critical theory is a theory that offers a critique of society and the status qou for the purpose of problem solving and 'liberation'.

A critical theorist of great repute is Anthony Giddens. He studied the connection ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in putting together the tasks set in the original problem (see above) providing sample answers to question 1 (on critical theory & organizational power) and question 2 (application of the definition). resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version of the solution is also attached.