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5. Answering the Research Questions

Research question 1:

Is Galbraith's and Mintzberg's technostructure providing a useful description of leadership and development in the modern enterprise?

Answer: Yes, as concluded in section 3.f, a combination of the two authors yields both a useful definition of the technostructure and a useful description of its goals in the modern enterprise.

Research question 2:

Can Morgan's metaphors provide new aspects on the technostructure?

Answer: Yes, as shown in section 4.j, at least five of Morgan's eight metaphors throw new light on the notion of the technostructure.

Whether the technostructure in fact is as strong as J.K. Galbraith maintains cannot be answered here it depends on an empirical study which could be both interesting and difficult:

  • Interesting, because studies of the technostructure and other kinds of business life must include the themes of power and politics. If omitted, the study will be a harmless waste of time.
  • Difficult, because empirical studies of power are always difficult to carry through. [Note 132]

5.a Considerations of Validity

As noted in section 1.c there are no data and no respondents, meaning that it is the validity and reliability that are to be considered. Here is my judgment after the actual study was carried out:

1. Validity: Is this study actually examining what it claims to study? Here are two disputed points:

  • As mentioned in section 1.c and section 3.f there could be a problem in the points of view of the authors. Galbraith describes organizations from an external, political-economical point of view while Mintzberg views organizations from within.
  • There could be a problem due to the fact that Morgan does not use the notion of "technostructure" so that the use of his text in every instance depends on an interpretation whether a white-collar worker etc. in fact is a member of the technostructure.

Answer: Yes, it seems that the study is valid. I have not found reasons to state that the author's disagreements are such that the combinations of their theories are invalid.

2. Reliability: Is the study carried out in a sufficiently exact way? Morgan's idea of using theories is referred in section 4.a:

  • "... it must be clear that no single theory will ever give us a perfect or all-purpose point of view" and
  • "In using different perspectives to create different modes of engagement we are able to tap into these and understand the same situation in many ways."

Answer: The study seems to be reliable. The combined theory of Galbraith and Mintzberg is compared to Morgan's eight metaphors. That seems to be a useful approach to understand the same situation in many ways.

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