Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sociology of Formal Organizations

Formal Organizations


There are many formal organization today in every society. A formal organization is a large social group that is deliberately and rationally designed to achieve specific objectives (Robertson, 1977). In formal organization, rights and responsibilities are attached to the office a person occupies and not to the person as an individual. Sociologists notice an ambiguous attitude toward formal organizations. Material affluence of most of the people is dependent on the performance of formal organizations. On the other hand, the size, impersonality, and power of formal organizations are often seen as dehumanizing and threatening. Formal organizations have been held responsible for the feelings of anomies and alienation.




Formal organizations are run by a hierarchical authority structure that operates under explicit rules and procedures.


Weber described the typical features of bureaucracy as a part of his analysis of bureaucracy


Informal Groups or Informal Bureaucracy


Informal networks of employees were established in the course of research carried out at Hawthorne plant of western Electric Company during 1927 to 1932. Bureaucrats are also human and they do their best to establish informal primary relationships within the hierarchical structure of bureaucracy.


For Further Reading


Blau, Peter, and Marshall W. Meyer (1971), Bureaucracy in Modern Society, 2nd ed., Random House, New York.


Etzioni, Amitai (1969), A Sociological Reader on Complex Organizations, Rinehart and Winston, New York.


Robertson, Ian (1977), Sociology, Worth Publishers, Inc., New York.

Comments and editing to improve the article are welcome.

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