Natural theorists note that behavior often is at odds with stated organizational
goals -- the real goals are different than the professed ones. Even if the
stated goals are pursued they are never the only ones (Scott p. 52) -- maintainence
goals are often as important as output goals (Perrrow 1970). Furthermore,
organizations not only pursue goals but are social groups attempting to
adapt and survive. Gouldner states that:
"The organization, according to this model, strives to survive and
to maintain its equilibrium, and this striving may persist even after its
explicitly held goals have been successfully attained. This strain toward
survival may even on occaision lead to the neglect or distortion of the
organization's goals. (Gouldner , 1959 -. p.405)"
Robert Michels was an earlier theorist that showed how some participants
seek to perserve the organization (and thus their power) even by sacrificing
the very goals that created it. He examined the changes in Germany's Social
Democratic Party, and proposed the famous "iron law of oligarchy"
where power in organizations shifts from the rank-and-file members to a
small group of leaders. "Who says organization says oligarchy".
The leaders initially profess the goals of the organization, but over time
increasingly become more conservative, reluctant to risk their personal
gains or endanger the party, which is their source of strength (Michels,
1949 trans). (Scott p. 52).
Nils Brunsson (1985) notes that if organizational focus is on actions than
on decisions (as in the rational system), irrational processes that quickly
limit evaluation of alternatives and overestimate success probabilities
produce better results.