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Definition of Organization

Organizations are considered to be type of social phenomenon, which is considered from other forms and its people. In management literature, the term ‘Organization‘ refers to both, a process of management as well as an outcome of process, that is, a structure. Bernard (1938) defined organization as ,

“A system of consciously coordinated activities…of two or more persons.”

Weber (1947) said that (corporate organizations) involve,

“A social membership which limits or closes admission of outsiders by rules……so far as its order is enforced by the action of specific individuals.”

Bakke (1959) defined organization as :

“A continuous system of differentiated and coordinated human activities utilizing, transforming and welding together a specific set of human, material, capital, ideational and natural resources into a unique problem-solving whole, engaged in satisfying particular human needs in interaction with other systems of human activities and resources in the environment.”

Etzioni (1964) denied organizations as:

“Social units deliberately constructed and reconstructed to seek specific goals.”


Features of Organizations

An Organization is a Powerful Tool Created by Human Beings

Whether this tool is applied for the accomplishment of task, or for problem solving or for whatever purpose, it is satisfying some human need. It is possible to organize the required human effort in many ways. There may be organizations that run by less than 10 people such as caterer who serves hot soup and diet snacks to the health conscious people outside a garden in the morning or mammoth organization that serves that employ thousands of people.

With their purposeful existence, strength of members and command over multiple resources, organizations become versatile entities with far greater potential than any individual. They can serve as well as harm – intentionally or unintentionally – the society from which they draw human and physical resources, though most organizations fall somewhere between the two extreme possibilities.

Organizations Live Longer

An organization strive to achieve their objectives, they may live far beyond the tenure and even the life of their individual members, unless they are severely mismanaged or are forced to close down. Organizations have their own life cycle with different phases that we can call Launch, Growth, Maturity and Pause. As organizations function during these different phases, their managers face challenges that are different in nature.

If these challenges are managed well, the organization grows and develops. Of not, it faces the possibility of closure. Even in last phase of decline, managerial effectiveness can launch the organization into the next cycle of renewal of organizational life.

Yet, Organization are Not Open for Everybody

Only its appointed members can act within and on behalf of them. Thus, organizations are different from their environments by a boundary. Within the boundaries, the members shares roles, responsibilities and entitlements associated with those rules. In acting out the roles, members enjoy access to and use of the privileges and the organization’s resources and facilities that are out of bounds for non-members.

Whom to allow access and at what level in the organization is a discretion left to the organization. All organizations are complex systems. Depending upon factors such as size, availability of other resources like technology and manpower and the organizational activity selected by the promoters, the degree of complexity of organizations differs.

Organizations are System Designed for Stability and Control

We know that organizations have stable arrangements for work and related matters. These include assignment of work to people, assignment of placed for specific activities and determining procedures that define how things should be done. These arrangements create stability – for example employees usually would not be required to fetch their designation and daily activities and related instructions from their bosses – or the bosses would not be different every day.

Organizational processes go beyond being simply rational. This is because the features of organization also include behavioral challenges. Various activities and processes are subject to ambiguity, uncertainty and the possibility of favorable outcomes. In contrast organizational members participating in these processes may prefer predictability, control, certainty and favorable outcomes. Because of the opposite forces, not all organizational activities occur in a rational, logical, personal, optimal and predetermined fashion.

Organizational Relationships are Interdependent

As structures, organizations are hierarchical, yet organizational relationships are interdependent. People with higher authority and status also need to depend on subordinates because of the work pressure, demands of various work roles and personal styles, preferences and limitations. This is why, managers not only need to manage subordinates, but also the bosses.

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About Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.