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What is an

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  • 1. What is an "Organization? "A group of persons with a common objective" (Neoclassical) "A structured process in which individuals interact for objectives" (Hicks, Management of Organizations, p.23) "A structure of relationships, power, objectives, roles, activities, communications and other factors that exist when persons work together" (Classical amalgamism) "A dynamic social system of cooperative interactions with the purpose of satisfying individual needs" (Chaster Barnard, 1938; = transition between neoclassical and modern; accommodating formal and informal aspects of organizations) "A set of social relations deliberately created, with the explicit intention of continuously accomplishing some specific goals or purposes" (Stinchcombe, in J.March, ed., Handbook of Organizations, 1964, p.142.) "A system of structural interpersonal relations ... (within which) ... individuals are differentiated in terms of authority, status, and role with the result that personal interaction is prescribed... Anticipated reactions tend to occur, while ambiguity and spontaneity are decreased" (R.V. Presthus) "A system consisting generally of inputs, process, outputs, feedback, and environment" (Norbert Wieners cybernetic interpretation of organization) "A set of interlocked activities under unified control" (Pfeffer & Salancik) "Every organized human activity -- from the making of pots to the placing of a man on the moon -- gives rise to two fundamental and opposing requirements: The division of labor into various tasks to be performed, and the coordination of these tasks to accomplish the activity" (Mintzberg, 1983) "The most effective organizations achieve a degree of differentiation and integration in organizational boundary-spanning functions which is compatible with environmental demands" (Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967)
  • 2. "Formal organization: "The goals to be achieved, therules the members of the organization are expected tofollow, and the status structure that defines the relationsbetween them have not been spontaneously emerged inthe course of social interaction but have been consciouslydesigned a priori to anticipate and guide interaction andactivities" (Blau & Scott, Formal Organization, 1962, p.5)"One characteristic which distinguishes organizationsfrom other collections of people is a commitment toachieving members goals by means of an explicit andstable structure of task allocations, roles, andresponsibilities. Mobs and informal groups are notorganizations. Social and service clubs, like Rotary andKiwanis, are organizations only part of the time.However, as long as one is concerned with organizationalbehavior and not with social behavior in general, oneshould emphasize the modes of behavior in whichorganizations specialize" (W.H. Starbuck, 1965)"Different types of organizational structure are suitablefor particular environmental conditions. An organizationwith well-defined tasks and a rigidly hierarchical systemof decision-taking is argued to be appropriate for stableenvironmental conditions. Where the environment ischanging, an organic form of organizational structure isdeemed more appropriate, in which tasks are flexiblydefined and participants cooperate on the basis ofexpertise and not on hierarchical positions"(=contingency view; Burns and Stalker, 1961

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