Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural and Open Systems Perspectives

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2006-10-05
  • Publisher: Routledge

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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.


-Pays attention to organizational strategy, organizational conflict and political views of organizations

-Expansive coverage of globalization and the effects of trans-societal frameworks and processes.

-Written not exclusively from a management perspective, this text addresses managerial concerns while recognizing that all of us are legitimate stakeholders in organizations, whether as citizens, rank-and-file participants or customers/clients.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
The Subject Is Organizations; The Verb is Organizingp. 1
The Importance of Organizationsp. 2
Organizations as an Area of Studyp. 8
Common and Divergent Interestsp. 11
The Elements of Organizationsp. 19
Defining the Concept of Organizationp. 27
Summaryp. 33
Organizations as Rational Systemsp. 35
The Defining Characteristicsp. 36
Selected Schoolsp. 40
Summary and Tentative Conclusionsp. 56
Organizations as Natural Systemsp. 59
Basic versus Distinctive Characteristicsp. 59
Selected Schoolsp. 64
Summary and Tentative Conclusionsp. 83
Organizations as Open Systemsp. 87
System Levelsp. 88
Special Emphases and Insightsp. 90
Selected Schoolsp. 98
Summary and Tentative Conclusionsp. 106
Combining Perspectives, Expanding Levelsp. 107
Attempts at Integrationp. 108
Glancing Back and Looking Forwardp. 113
Expanded Levels of Analysisp. 115
Theories at the Ecological Levelp. 120
Concluding Commentp. 122
Technology and Structurep. 124
Organizations as Technical Adaptive Systemsp. 125
Technology and Structure: Natural System Formulationsp. 137
Summaryp. 149
Labor and Structurep. 151
The Social Boundaries of Organizationsp. 151
Division of Laborp. 158
Labor Markets and Organizational Boundariesp. 164
High-Performance Work Organizationsp. 170
Problems for Participantsp. 173
Concluding Commentsp. 181
Goals, Power, and Controlp. 183
Goal Setting in Organizationsp. 183
Anarchies, Adhocracies, and Learningp. 196
Control Systemsp. 202
Critical and Postmodern Conceptions of Powerp. 215
Summaryp. 218
The Dyadic Environment of the Organizationp. 220
Why Are There Organizations, and Where Do They Place Their Boundaries?p. 221
Transaction Costs and the Origins of Firmsp. 221
How Do Organizations Manage Their Relations with Other Organizations?p. 233
Resource Dependence and the Negotiated Environmentp. 233
Summaryp. 243
Organization of the Environmentp. 245
How Do New Organizations and New Populations of Organizations Arise, and Why Do They Fail?: Ecological Perspectivesp. 246
How Are Organizations Shaped by Broader Social-Political-Cultural Processes?: Institutional Perspectivesp. 258
Summaryp. 277
Networks In and Around Organizationsp. 278
Introduction: From Metaphor to Method to Worldviewp. 278
Network Thinkingp. 279
Interorganizational Networksp. 285
Network Forms of Organizationp. 291
Sectoral and Societal Networksp. 301
Summaryp. 307
Strategy, Structure, and Performance: The Sociology of Organizational Strategyp. 310
Why Are Organizations in Some Industries More Profitable Than Those in Others?p. 313
Organizational Performancep. 326
Summaryp. 338
The Rise and Transformation of the Corporate Formp. 340
Changing Forms of Organizationsp. 343
Are Organizations Still the Defining Structures of Society?p. 361
Summaryp. 367
Changing Contours of Organizations and Organization Theoryp. 368
From Unitary to Multiparadigmp. 369
From Monocultural to Multicultural Studiesp. 374
From Present-centered to Longitudinal and Historical Analysisp. 376
From Micro- to Macro Units and Levels of Analysisp. 381
From Structure to Processp. 384
Referencesp. 391
Name Indexp. 439
Subject Indexp. 447
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

excellent book for organization researchers July 26, 2011
This is a wonderful textbook for people who are interested in organizational theories. Very fundamental. This brand new edition has added some new and prospecting materials. Great book for students in management and organization studies. The textbook was in great shape for being a used copy, great for the money; I will do business with you in the future. You delivered what you said a good product at a good price, before the estimated time! Thanks ecampus.
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Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural and Open Systems Perspectives: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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