Research Methods (STA-630)

Concept to be tested: Type of Literature Review

Organization theorists have defined organizational effectiveness (OE) in various ways. OE has been described in terms of objectives (Georgopolous & Tannenbaum, 1957), goals (Etzioni, 1960), efficiency (Katz & Kahn, 1966), resources acquisition (Yuchtman & Seashore, 1967), system resource approach (Price, 1972),employee satisfaction (Cummings, 1977), interdependence (Pfeffer, 1977) and organizational vitality (Colt, 1995). Cameron (1978) mentioned that there was difficulty in empirically assessing organizational effectiveness because no one ultimate criterion existed, later on, Coulter (2002) remarked, that there is little consensus on how to conceptualize, measure, or explain OE. Researchers are now moving away from a single model and are taking contingency approaches to conceptualize OE (Cameron, 1996; Wernerfelt, 1998; Yetley 2001). However they are still limiting themselves to examine the impact of dominant constituencies served and the organization’s life cycle on OE instead of taking a broader, more dynamic approach (Dahl, 2001, p.25).

What type of literature review has been conducted in given case? Support answer with logic.


The type of review used in this case I theoretical review because different theorists are comparatively addressing an issue of OE. In this case the researcher is describing the same thing of organizational effectiveness in terms of objectives, efficiency, resources acquisition, system resource approach, employee satisfaction, interdependence & organizational vitality with reference to different theorists.


Later Cameron, Coulter & others including Wernerfelt, Yetley are seemed to be more focused to examine the consistency of predictions about OE with findings, logical consistency & scope of explanation by describing OE as:

  • to access empirically concepts of OE
  • Little consensus how to conceptualize, measure or to explain it.
  • Contingency approaches to explain it.

In first phase of this case the theorists are more focused to describe the concept of OE in different ways by using the theoretical review of literature review. In second phase the late theorists are explaining the concept of OE by using this type of review but are examining the predictions about OE that it is difficult to empirically assess the OE, Coulter remarked there is no particular consensus to conceptualize, measure or explain OE, contingency approaches should be used to explain OE by Cameron, Wernerfelt, Yetley.

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