Bibliographies, Syllabus, Journals,
Books on Organization, Social Network, Organizational
Social Organization - How do people organize themselves beyond the family unit? Social
organization or social institution works to socialize the groups or people in it. Social
organization are patterns of relationships organized to meet some human needs.
Sociology has approached the study of organizations in a number of
ways. Earlier studies stressed the formal features of organizations, and described their
internal functioning and the relationships among participants within the bounds of the
organization itself. Over the past twenty years or so, however, a new perspective has
emerged, one that sees the organization in the context of its surrounding environment
(Aldrich & Marsden, 1988).
are understood to be systems of coordinated and controlled activities that arise when work
is embedded in complex networks of technical relations and boundary-spanning exchanges.
But in modern societies, formal organizational structures arise in highly institutional
contexts. Organizations are driven to incorporate the practices and procedures defined by
prevailing rationalized concepts of organizational work and institutionalized in society.
There can develop a tension between on the one hand, the institutionalized products,
services, techniques, policies, and programs that function as myths and efficiency
criteria on the other hand. To maintain ceremonial conformity, organizations that reflect
institutional rules tend to buffer their formal structures from the uncertainties of the
technical activities by developing a loose coupling between their formal structures and
actual work activities. - (John Meyer and Brian Rowan, 1976)
Organizations: Two Sociological Perspectives
Much recent sociological work on the nature of organizations starts from the assumption
that organizations are best studied and understood as parts of an environment. If
organizations exist within a distinctive environment, then what aspects of that
environment should be most closely examined? Sociologists have answered this question in
two different ways: for some, the key features are the resources and information that may
be used rationally within the organization or exchanged with other organizations within
the environment; for others, the essential focus is on the cultural surround that
determines and moderates the organization's possible courses of action in ways that are
more subtle, less deterministic than the resources information perspective suggests. While
there are many exceptions, it is probably fair to say that the resources-information
approach has been more often used in analyses of commercial organizations, and the latter,
cultural approach used in studies of public and non-profit organizations. - Stephen T.
Kerr - Univ. of Washington
Defining formal organizations: What are they?
When we first begin to look at organizations, we need a framework within which we can
understand them, hence the need to define what is and is not an organization. We may use
these ideal type theoretical descriptions in comparison with real life, or look at them
from various perspectives: the individual working in it as an employee or a boss, a
structural analysis to look at how an organization wields its power within and then,
later, from without, in the playing field with other formal organizations. What is left
out in the definitions may then be pointed out.
Defining formal organizations give shape to our understanding (no doubt, an initial
understanding) of what they do, why they do it and how they do it. All of us have
encountered organizations before and may exist within a few at any one point in time. Yet,
because of their frequency, we may take it for granted that we are dealing with
organizations, not singular people, and this complexity must not be ignored. - Lim Sin
Kiao, Gwendoline Anne
A singular person may find it difficult to reach particular goals on his own and
therefore seeks to do so through the power and control of an organization we can see
formal organizations as the means to such an end. Defining organizations as activity
systems that are goal oriented point to the need to organize a group of people to attain a
common goal. Doing so requires the wielding of power and the continued hold of power
requires legitimacy. The link between society and organizations is also crucial in
understanding an organization's power to control anything for it is within society that
organizations exist and it is at the same time true that organizations constitute
Defining organizations allows us to demarcate the boundaries so that we may study
life within them. When we know what an organization is, we can then start to try to
understand life in them , their workings, the relationships within them.
Because organizations want maximum control of power inside to get their goals,
their structure is instrumental in the dissemination of this power. When we define
bureaucracies in this first topic, we are aware of the external environment within which
organizations exist, their need to overcome these ambiguities through dominance and the
way they are structured to ensure this. Aldrich and Sinchcombe mention ambiguity out there
which exists but is not within control. Here we learn that this does not matter because we
do not know how to deal with it anyway. The existence within a wider environment in
Stinchcombe's definition also means that there is a need for organizations to gain control
beyond individual organizational units.
Social organization and structure - patterns of human interdependence realized
through the actions and decisions of a society's members.
Books On Organization
of Organizations: Classic, Contemporary and Critical Readings
by Michael J. Handel (Editor) - The depth of these overview essays makes this book ideal
for use as either as a stand-alone text or a supplementary reader. After reading this
book, students will have a thorough understanding of central concepts and an appreciation
of the primary texts that are the foundation of the field.
Scholars and students in the fields of sociology, management, organizational behavior, and
organizational psychology and those within political science and economics who are
interested in how organizations function will find this work a welcome, invaluable
Social Psychology of Behavior in Small Groups
by Donald C. Pennington - June 15, 2002
Covers theories of group behavior and their application in organizational psychology and
everyday social behavior. Topics include structure, formation, roles of individuals within
groups, co-operation, conflict, teamwork, leadership, and
by John R. Schermerhorn, James G. Hunt, Richard N. Osborn - June 15, 2002
The theme of this edition is The High Performance Organization. Ethics and social
responsibility, workforce diversity,
technology, entrepreneurship, and skill-building are some of the important topics
emphasized. Schermerhorn's new edition is intended for the Organizational Behavior course
taught at most 2-year and 4-year colleges.
Psychology of Organizational Behavior: Key Readings
by Leigh L. Thompson (Editor) October, 2002
Each article in this collection of readings has been carefully chosen for its tremendous
impact on the field of organizational behavior. It focuses specifically on
micro-organizational behavior, which has almost uniquely been influenced by social
psychology. The reader is carefully structured into Sections which reflect a progression
through widening levels of analysis: the
science of organizational behavior; decision making; negotiation and social dilemmas;
groups and teams; procedural justice; relationships and trust; and vales, norms and
politics. This volume is in an attractive, user-friendly format and will make excellent
supplementary reading to courses on the social psychology, work and organizational
psychology, and business.