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Organizations and Society

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

This fascinating textbook covers all basic concepts and theories for analyzing organizations, including classic and modern concepts. It covers a good mix of historical and current discourses on management and organizations from the sociological perspective. All chapters include beneficial lists of proposals for further reading. The volume will be even more helpful if it covers additional examples of case studies, exercises for classes, and a glossary.

Dr Andrzej Klimczuk
Social Science, Warsaw School of Economics
November 21, 2023
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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