Definition of an Organization: regularized procedures that focus on a desired outcome
-examples: corporations, hospitals, churches, armies, government agencies, clubs (some)
-usually have: explicit purpose; rules, routines, meetings, and schedules; titles and job descriptions; material assets such as money, equipment, real estate
-may or may not have: formal requirements for membership; dues; oath of allegiance; uniform or dress codes; restrictions regarding behavior or speech
Informal Collectivities: the opposite of a formal organization- includes natural and spontaneously evolving associations such as groups and families. They share these features with organizations:
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-the explicit rules, schedules, and hierarchies of formal organizations seem unnatural and objectionable to many people
-human effort – often in the form of ‘management’ – must be diverted from actual ‘work’ to formulate and enforce rules; account for resources; help maintain boundaries, focus and morale
(it seems unlikely that people would adopt formal structure unless they “needed” it)
Yield Paybacks of formal organizations
-stability of leadership and membership
-maintenance of boundaries
-persistence of focus
Functional payoff: enables them to function as tools for coordinating the efforts of many people in pursuit of large-scale objectives over long periods of time
-mass production: requires stable management structure and reliable workers
-innovation: development of advanced technology requires long-term support
-specialized activity: barriers must be maintained to keep dishonest and adversely-motivated people from interfering
The world requires formal organization!
A population of 6.5 billions depends upon:
-cheap and abundant goods made possible by mass production
-extensive government operations to maintain order
-protection against epidemic disease through coordinated international efforts
why study formal organizations? Organizations need to be managed.
-coordination, cohesion, and common focus among individuals is not easily achieved.
Another reason to study organizations
Organizations may threaten the well-being of both individuals and society.
-individuals must be able to assess an organization’s ability to meet their personal needs and to operate in an ethical manner
-society must exercise surveillance over organizations to prevent subversion of social values such as liberty, democracy, sustainability, self-determination, and peace (nazi germany)
The Organizational Milieu
Factors that comprise the organizational milieu
-psychological characteristics of members
-spontaneous social ties among members and between members and outsiders (informal collectivities)
-outside social forces