Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Organizational Dysfunctions: Sources and Areas



Objective:The purpose of this article is to identify and describe various types and sources of organizational dysfunctions.

Research Design & Methods: The findings are based on literature review and an ongoing empirical research project conducted in private sector organisations. The empirical study can be situated within interpretative approach. In this qualitative project open interviews and observations were used to collect data.

Findings: The study indicates that various types and sources of organizational dysfunctions can be identified in organizations operating in Poland. The sources of dysfunctions may be found both within the organization and its environment. Regardless of its specific features, most of the dysfunctions may be interpreted as an undesirable goal displacement. Very often areas of these dysfunctions are strongly interconnected and create a system that hinders organizational performance. Yet, it is difficult to study these phenomena as respondents are unwilling, for various reasons, to disclose the problems faced by their organizations.

Implications & Recommendations: The results imply that the issue of organisational dysfunctions requires open, long-lasting and comparative studies. Recommendations for further studies are formulated in the last section of the paper.

Contribution & Value Added: The paper provides insight into "the dark side of organising" by identifying sources and areas of dysfunctions. It also reveals difficulties connected with conducting research on dysfunctions in the Polish context.



organizational dysfunctions, pathology, sources of dysfunctions, areas of dysfunctions, goal displacement



  1. Argyris, C. (1977). Double Loop Learning in Organizations. Harvard Business Review, 55(5), 115-125.
  2. Argyris, C. (1999). On Organizational Learning, 2nd ed. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Business.
  3. Barnard, C.I. (1940). The Functions of the Executive. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Batko, R. (2013). Golem, Awatar, Midas, Złoty Cielec. Organizacja publiczna w płynnej nowoczesności. Warszawa: Sedno.
  5. Benett, R., & Robinson, S. (2000). Development of a Measure of Workplace Deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(3), 349-360.
  6. Bogle, J.C. (2009). Dość. Warsaw: PTE.
  7. Crozier, M. (1964). The Bureaucratic Phenomenon. London: Tavistock.
  8. Crozier, M. (1967). Biurokracja. Anatomia zjawiska. (The Beaurocractic Phenomenon). Warsaw: PWE.
  9. Dobrzyński, M. (2012). Doktryna szoku jako inspiracja współczesnego zarządzania. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Wydziału Zarządzania UW.
  10. Edmondson, A. (2011). Strategies for learning from failure. Harvard Business Review, 4, 48-55.
  11. Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C.L. (2005). Workplace bullying: Individual pathology or organizational culture? In V. Bowie, B. Fisher & C.L. Cooper (Eds.), Workplace Violence: Issues, Trends, Strategies. London: Willan.
  12. Finer, H. (1941). Administrative Responsibility in Democratic Government. Public Administration Review, 1(4), 335-350.
  13. Gestmann, M. (2001). Sabotaż w miejscu pracy. Cracow: Wydawnictwo Profesjonalnej Szkoły Biznesu.
  14. Glinka, B., & Pasieczny, J. (2008). Błędy menedżerskie: wybrane źródła i implikacje dla rozwoju organizacji. Problemy Zarządzania, 4, 151-168.
  15. Goffnett, S.P., Lepisto, L., & Hayes, R. (2016). Using the socio-economic approach to management to augment Lean Six Sigma. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 65(1), 80-97.
  16. Gouldner, A.W. (1954). Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy. Glencoe: Free Press.
  17. Guy, M. (1989). From Organizational Decline to Organizational Renewal: the Phoenix Syndrome. New York: Quorum Books.
  18. Jamil, I., & Panday, P. (2012). Inter-Organizational Coordination and Corruption in Urban Policy Implementation in Bangladesh: A Case of Rajshahi City Corporation. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(5), 352-366.
  19. Kieżun, W. (2012). Patologia transformacji. Warszawa: Poltext.
  20. Koźmiński, A.K. (2004). Zarządzanie w warunkach niepewności. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
  21. Koźmiński, A.K. (2008). Koniec świata menedżerów. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Akademickie i Profesjonalne.
  22. Koźmiński, A.K., & Obłój, K. (1989). Zarys teorii równowagi organizacyjnej. Warsaw: PWE.
  23. Lencioni, P. (2005). Pięć dysfunkcji pracy zespołowej. Konstancin-Jeziorna: MTBiznes.
  24. March, J., & Simon, H. (1964). Teoria organizacji (Organization Theory). Warsaw: PWN.
  25. Merton, R.K. (1940). Bureaucratic Structure and Personality. Social Forces, 18(4), 560-568.
  26. Merton, R.K. (1957). Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press.
  27. Meyer, M.W., & Zucker, L.G. (1989). Permanently Failing Organization. Newbury Park: SAGE Publications.
  28. Osborne, D., & Gaebler, T. (1992). Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Transforming the Public Sector. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  29. Pasieczny, J. (2013). Patologie w zarządzaniu (Pathologies in management). In J. Bogdanienko & W. Piotrowski (Eds.), Zarządzanie. Tradycja i nowoczesność. Warsaw: PWE.
  30. Samuel, Y. (2010). Organizational Pathology. Life and Death of Organizations. New Brunswick Transaction Publishers.
  31. Selznick, P. (1943). An Approach to a Theory of Bureaucracy. American Sociological Review, 8(1), 47-54.
  32. Senge, P. (2002). Piąta dyscyplina. Teoria i praktyka organizacji uczących się. (The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization). Cracow: Oficyna Ekonomiczna.
  33. Slatter, S., & Lovett, D. (2001). Restrukturyzacja firmy. Warsaw: WIG-Press.
  34. Stocki, R. (2005). Patologie organizacyjne – diagnoza i interwencje (Organizational pathologies – diagnosis and interventions). Cracow: Oficyna Ekonomiczna.
  35. Stocki, R. (2013). Diagnoza organizacji od A do Z. Warsaw: Wolters Kluwer.
  36. Weingast, B., & Moran, M. (1983). Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission. Journal of Political Economy, 91(5), 765-800.


Download data is not yet available.