Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 17: The Sociology of Organization
RICHARD A. COLIGNON
The sociology of organization The literature on the sociology of organizations is vast and represents a refracted history of the study of bureaucracy. The object of study is variously labeled bureaucracy, complex organizations, and formal organizations, but the concept of organization and the notion of organizing principles subsume all these labels. Thus, according to Blau and Meyer (1987), “the concept of bureaucracy, then, applies to organizing principles that are intended to achieve control and coordination of work in large organizations” (p. 3). This vast literature will be reviewed by dividing the field into approaches distinguished by their organizing principles and discussed more or less in the chronological order of their emergence. This provides the reader with a context and addresses these organizing principles in readily digestible portions. However, the chronology does not imply that the field developed in a linear fashion, nor does the division into major approaches suggest that ...