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Organizations : Rational, Natural, and Open Systems,9780130165596
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Organizations : Rational, Natural, and Open Systems

by
Edition:
5th
ISBN13:

9780130165596

ISBN10:
013016559X
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2003
Publisher(s):
Pearson College Div
List Price: $77.40
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Summary

This broad, balanced introduction to organizational studies enables the reader to compare and contrast different approaches to the study of organizations. This book is a valuable tool for the reader, as we are all intertwined with organizations in one form or another. Numerous other disciplines besides sociology are addressed in this book, including economics, political science, strategy and management theory. Topic areas discussed in this book are the importance of organizations; defining organizations; organizations as rational, natural, and open systems; environments, strategies, and structures of organizations; and organizations and society. For those employed in fields where knowledge of organizational theory is necessary, including sociology, anthropology, cognitive psychology, industrial engineering, managers in corporations and international business, and business strategists.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
About the Author 15
PART ONE AN INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIZATIONS 1(30)
The Subject Is Organization
3(28)
The Importance of Organizations
3(6)
Organizations as an Area of Study
9(9)
The Elements of Organizations
18(6)
The Capacities of Organizations
24(1)
Defining the Concept of Organization
25(5)
Summary
30(1)
PART TWO THREE PERSPECTIVES ON ORGANIZATIONS 31(92)
Organizations as Rational Systems
33(23)
The Defining Characteristics
34(4)
Selected Schools
38(15)
Summary and Tentative Conclusions
53(3)
Organizations as Natural Systems
56(26)
Important versus Distinctive Characteristics
56(5)
Selected Schools
61(17)
Summary and Tentative Conclusions
78(4)
Organizations as Open Systems
82(20)
Special Emphases and Insights
84(8)
Selected Schools
92(7)
Changing Definitions of Organization
99(2)
Summary and Tentative Conclusions
101(1)
Combining the Perspectives
102(21)
Three Attempts at Integration
103(4)
Scott's Layered Model
107(13)
Paradigm Wars?
120(1)
Summary
121(2)
PART THREE ENVIRONMENTS, STRATEGIES, AND STRUCTURES 123(202)
Conceptions of Environments
125(25)
The Analysis of Environments
126(15)
The Interdependence of Organizations and Environments
141(6)
The Evolution of Environments
147(2)
Summary
149(1)
Creating Organizations
150(35)
The Emergence of Organizations
151(18)
Creating New Organizations, Organizational Populations, and Industries
169(5)
The Mobilization of Resources
174(9)
Summary
183(2)
Boundary Setting and Boundary Spanning
185(45)
The Social Boundaries of Organizations
185(12)
Managing Task Environments
197(16)
Managing Institutional Environments
213(7)
Change Processes at Multiple Levels
220(8)
Summary
228(2)
Sources of Structural Complexity: The Technical Core
230(32)
Defining and Measuring Technology
231(2)
Technology and Structure: Rational System Views
233(13)
Technology and Structure: Natural System Views
246(12)
Professional Organizations
258(2)
Summary
260(2)
Sources of Structural Complexity: The Peripheral Components
262(29)
Size and Structure
263(5)
Environment and Structure
268(4)
Macro Structural Adaptations
272(12)
Connecting the Core and Peripheral Structures
284(5)
Summary
289(2)
Goals, Power, and Control
291(34)
Goal Setting in Organizations
292(11)
Anarchies, Adhocracies, and Learning
303(6)
Control Systems
309(11)
Critical and Postmodern Conceptions of Power
320(3)
Summary
323(2)
PART FOUR ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETY 325(48)
Organizational Pathologies
326(24)
Problems for Participants
327(13)
Problems for Publics
340(8)
Summary
348(2)
Organizational Effectiveness
350(23)
Determining Criteria of Effectiveness
351(11)
Assessing Effectiveness
362(8)
Explaining Effectiveness
370(2)
Summary
372(1)
References 373(44)
Name Index 417(8)
Subject Index 425

Excerpts

The fifth edition allows me to continue my attempt to comprehend and make meaningful developments in the study of organizations. This effort commenced over forty years ago when, in 1962, I coauthored an early text-treatise on organizations with the distinguished organizational scholar, Peter M. Blau. The field of organizational sociology was just beginning to see the light of day at that time--Blau was a member of the pioneering cohort of Columbia scholars that gave birth to the field in its modern form--and I believe that our text helped to give the fledging field some intellectual coherence and perhaps even provided guidelines for its development. ENDURING FORMAT: CHANGING CONTENT It was two decades later that I returned again to the task of codification and synthesis, producing the first edition of this book in 1981. The title and the general framework have not changed through subsequent editions up to the present because I believe that the fundamental categories--varying combinations of rational, natural and open system arguments--remain serviceable vehicles for comprehending and tracking progress in the field. I believe that my original typology still functions to tame and order a field of study that, at first exposure, appears to be chaotic and, indeed, is crowded with competing theories and paradigms. My friend and colleague Jeffrey Pfeffer, surveying the field in 1982 commented: "The domain of organization theory is coming to resemble more of a weed patch than a well-tended garden" (1982: 1) . Without denying the existence of weeds, I prefer to pick up a hoe and lay out some borders and fences. While the general intellectual framework constructed in earlier editions continues to be employed, the content of the five editions has undergone great change. A reader of previous editions would recognize the typology of theories--whose dimensions remain unchanged--but could not help but be impressed by how much has changed. The layout and "bones" of the garden have not been altered, but we observe many new plants and flowers. The number of new perspectives that has emerged, the range of new and different topics addressed, the amount of new scholarship give ample evidence of a vigorous and expanding field. Recent developments in theory that I review include the knowledge-based conception of the firm and the elaboration of institutional and ecological-evolutionary perspectives. Greater attention is given to changing labor practices as temporary, part-time and "flexible" workers and arrangements replace or supplement internal labor markets. More space is devoted to newly emerging forms such as networks and alliances. The sources of the changes that have occurred are numerous, but can be broadly partitioned into two categories: (1) changes in organizations; and (2) changes in organizational scholarship. Changes in Organizations.Organizations have spread from their early origins in governance and military operations and economic enterprise to invade every societal sector. From accounting to yoga instruction--just check your Yellow Pages--every imaginable, and some unimaginable activities have been swallowed up by organizations. No arena is immune. While this increasing range of activities has spawned diverse organizational forms, the larger process currently at work seems to be that of increasing isomorphism--organizational arrangements becoming more similar over time. Older forms, such as partnerships, are becoming more scarce as the corporate model becomes dominant, and older distinctions, such as public and private, profit and non-profit, are blurred and combined into hybrid arrangements. Market-based and managerial logics are ascendant at this time. While organizations are becoming more similar over time, the guiding models underlying modes of organizing are themselves undergoing change. The overall pat


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