Prior to the mid-20th century few organization theorists thought about
the broader environment in which organizations operate. Later theorists, however, began to examine the environmental factors that make organizations survive and thrive. What does the recognition that environmental differences matter mean for previous organization theories (e.g. bureaucratic or human relations theories)? Moreover, how does accounting for organization's environments influence the assertion that public organizations require a distinct and unique body of theory? What does 'public' mean in the context of environmental differences?
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