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Organization Theory Center launched at UMT
January 17, 2012

The University of Management and Technology, UMT, Lahore, invited educationists, researchers and organizational theory experts to participate in the launching ceremony of the Organization Theory Center (OTC) at its campus. The OTC seeks the creation of contextualized knowledge, its integration and unity with other organizational fields of knowledge.

The event was organized by Rana Zamin Abbas, Assistant Prof and Editor, Organization Theory Review (OTR). Farah Naz, Assistant Prof, School of Professional Advancement, hosted the ceremony which was attended by a large number of students, faculty members and organizational theory professionals.

Addressing on the occasion, Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad said that establishing the OTC was the dream of the collective body of students doing research at the University. Dr Hasan apprised everyone that great minds are attracted to the study of organization theory which is an accepted label in academic circles and business schools. He said that organization cannot be reflected properly as a noun; it is a verb. Organization involves more than the interface hierarchy. Its complexity is revealed the moment we scratch the surface.

Dr Hasan advised all those who were present to free themselves from everything that the scholars have said about organization theory – not to belittle or demean them but only with a view to evolve a new understanding of organization that focuses on the human body.

Dr Hasan said that it is a great irony that there is a dearth of research on the human dimension of management. He added that organization theory defines the human being too narrowly and this needs to change. He concluded by saying that we need to focus on the purpose of organizations and how they are sustained. The study of organization theory should be kept open ended.
Earlier, Dr Naveed Yazdani introduced the Organization Theory Center (OTC) and explained the rational for its establishment. He said that organization theory draws upon multi-disciplinary sources and the objective of setting up the OTC is to create symmetry between these sources of knowledge, promote contextualization, and encourage interdisciplinary learning and knowledge creation.

Expressing his views, Dr Munawar Anees, Director, Institute of Islamic Banking, UMT, said that organization is a fundamental aspect of life. The origins of life from cell organization to replication manifest organization. He said that the development of organization theory started in the West as a compulsion of the Industrial revolution and as such it reflects the thought processes and value system of the Western world. The Islamic value system presents a direct contrast to this. In the Islamic work ethics, the welfare of the human being as opposed to profit maximization is given importance. Our challenge is to adapt this Islamic value system for modern times.

Dr Farzad Rafi Khan from LUMS said that organizations also reflect the structure of bureaucratic formalities and control and within such organizations there is a strand that serves power and privilege. He said that decisions in organizations are made with no regard to human beings who are treated as mere cogs in the machines. He was of the view that we must expose the mythology of power and create organizations that bring prosperity to people. He hoped that the OTC would play a role in deconstructing the lies of power and privilege and work towards propagating the Islamic model of organization that is based on the principles of baraka.

Dr Ehsan Malik from Punjab University emphasized on human dimension and successful leadership qualities in an organization. Dr Khalid Hameed Sheikh, Prof Emeritus, GCU, and Advisor Syed baber Ali Foundation, said that the ethical dimension in organizational theory and practice is very important. He added that universities should not only disseminate knowledge but they should create it as well.

Dr Athar Siddiqui from LUMS stated that we have become too influenced by foreign discourses that emphasize profit maximization. The Islamic model stresses empathy and welfare of society. These opposing world views cannot be amalgamated. He was of the view that researchers and academicians should be socially engaged. Western based value propositions should be revised and respect for our own scholarship should be increased.

Dr Azhar Hasan Nadeem, Former IG Police, said that management should be seen in the context of rule of law and good governance. He said that the greatest problem confronting our society is the disconnect between the elite and problems of the masses and this disconnect is global as well as manifested in the Occupy Wall Street protests. He said that we need bold decisions and independent thinking to cope with problems and hopefully the OTC will contribute in improving the thinking and perception of individuals who come to study here.

Dr Syed Gulzar Haider from BNU said that piecemeal knowledge should be connected to present a complete picture. Art historians writing about Islam for example, hardly ever read the Quran. They are not interested in writing from within. Dr Gulzar said that our universities must produce graduates who are capable of understanding the complete modeling of a system rather than analyzing its constituents.

Dr Firasat Ali, CEO, The Center for Change, said that both intelligence and courage are required to derive conclusions. He said that we must learn to place things in proper perspective. Dr Syed Qulb-i-Abid, Prof Khwaja Amjad Saeed and Dr Abdul Hafiz Fazli from Punjab University also spoke on the occasion.
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Event Comments
Saleem Ashraf
Jan 20 2012
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