chapter  3
38 Pages

The Functioning of Organizations

The co-operative system is incessantly dynamic, a process of continual readjustment to physical, biological and social environments as a whole. CHESTER I. BARNARD

People move in the course of their daily work from a role in one system to a different role in another system; it is essential that this be recognized and that behaviour appropriate to the role be adopted if trouble is to be avoided. WILFRED BROWN

I hope not for greater efficiency in our problem-solving but for better understanding of our problem setting. SIR GEOFFREY VICKERS

If modification of the organization is involved, an understanding of the structure and dynamics of the thing acted upon is essential so that the chain reaction of change in one part coursing through other parts can be calculated. E. WIGHT BAKKE

Most organizations most of the time cannot rely on their participants to carry out their assignments voluntarily. AMITAI ETZIONI

By beginning from, and attempting to make sense of, the definition of the situation held by the actors, the Action perspective provides a means of understanding the range of reactions to apparently 'identical7 social situations. DAVID SILVERMAN

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. C. NORTHCOTE PARKINSON

In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. LAURENCE J. PETER

Accepting the likelihood of a number of different types of organizations, as writers on structure suggest, is it feasible to think of analysing their activities? Is it possible to break down into categories what an organization does? Several theoretical schemes have been proposed for this purpose applicable both to industrial enterprises and, more generally, to all organizations. Their originators take the view that some common classification is essential to bring order to the thoughts of those who try to understand organizations.