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Organizations and Society
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Organizations and Society



June 2022 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
What are the costs and consequences of living in a society that has undergone an “organizational revolution”? To what extent is social life in the 21st century dominated by the rational control that is characteristic of bureaucratic organizations large and small? Organizations and Society addresses these broader human questions with a critical perspective, while at the same time explaining the main concepts and theories in the field. Students of all interests—those who wish to run organizations someday, study them, or simply understand their importance in the contemporary social order—will benefit from the insights and cogent arguments of this text for undergraduate classrooms.

 
PART I: Our Society of Organizations
 
Chapter 1: Introduction: A Society of Formal Organizations
 
Chapter 2: The Subject Is Organizations. The Issue Is Power
 
Chapter 3: Organizations and Inequality
 
PART II: Forging the Society of Organizations
 
Chapter 4: The Rise of Bureaucracy and the Question of Efficiency
 
Chapter 5: The Rise of Bureaucracy and the Question of Power
 
Chapter 6: Are We Beyond Bureaucracy?
 
Part III: Analyzing Organizations
 
Chapter 7: The Machine Organization
 
Chapter 8: The Human Organization
 
Chapter 9: The Open Organization
 
Chapter 10: The Limits of Rationality
 
Chapter 11: Rationality and Rationalization as Variables
 
Chapter 12: Final Reflections: Living With Organizations
Key features
The text assumes no prior experience studying sociology, and is intended both for those who plan to work within large organizations as well those who simply want to better understand the "organization revolution" that shapes so much of contemporary social life..

The overall perspective is informed by Max Weber's work on formal organizations, and looks critically at a century and a half of our increasing reliance on systems of rational control. 

Part III begins with a chapter that looks at organizations as machine-like structures, and moves on to other perspectives (The Human Organization, The Open Organization) that suggest limits on the ability of organizations to rationalize.

The final chapter reflects on lessons of the entire book, and prompts readers to ask big questions about whether organizations are compatible with Enlightenment assumptions about our ability to reason and control our own destinies.

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