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Organizations are everywhere. We meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But we rarely give much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become in the future. How and why do they have so much influence over us, and what influences them? How do they contribute to and detract from the meaningfulness of our lives, and how might we improve them so they better serve our needs and desires? This Very Short Introduction addresses all of these questions and many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from a dazzling array of subject areas, including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization.
Mary Jo Hatch is C. Coleman McGehee Eminent Scholars Research Professor Emerita of Banking and Commerce at the University of Virginia.