Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Organization theory examines bureaucratic entities such as firms, schools, states, hospitals, political parties, and nonprofit groups. These social collectives share explicit goals, and hierarchies and employ written documents to manage work. Researchers in this area are motivated by the ubiquity and importance of bureaucracies in contemporary society. The formal organization is used to coordinate complex tasks in a wide variety of settings, such as manufacturing, education, politics, and medicine. Organization theory addresses questions about the logical status of organizations, the relationship of individuals to organizations, the organization's legal and social environment, and the dynamics of entire industries. Scholars interested in the logical status of organization are concerned with the nature of organizations. These scholars ask whether organizations are in any sense different from the mass of individuals who constitute them. Those interested in the relationship between organizations and individuals focus on how the bureaucratic environment affects the activities and well-being ...