Formal Organizations
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Formal Organizations : A Comparative Approach

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Description

Upon its publication in 1962, this book became one of the founding texts of organizational sociology. Bringing together diverse approaches, it presented a new focus of interest: the formal organization. Blau and Scott raised the level of analysis from attention solely on individual participants and work groups to a broader understanding of organizations as collective actors.


In the book, the authors reviewed multiple types of studies-including case studies, experimental research, and surveys-and integrated them to define new central themes. They used their own empirical studies of two social welfare agencies to illustrate the ways in which varying organizational contexts shape work group and participant attitudes and activities. Formal Organizations served to integrate research on both formal and informal systems, authority and leadership, and stressed the importance of links to the wider environment. This reissue, which includes a new introduction by Scott, makes this seminal work accessible to a new generation of scholars and practitioners.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 21.08mm | 476g
  • Palo Alto, United States
  • English
  • Twenty-Third
  • 080474890X
  • 9780804748902
  • 1,900,296

Flap copy

Upon its publication in 1962, this book became one of the founding texts of organizational sociology. Bringing together diverse approaches, it presented a new focus of interest: the formal organization. Blau and Scott raised the level of analysis from attention solely on individual participants and work groups to a broader understanding of organizations as collective actors.
In the book, the authors reviewed multiple types of studies--including case studies, experimental research, and surveys--and integrated them to define new central themes. They used their own empirical studies of two social welfare agencies to illustrate the ways in which varying organizational contexts shape work group and participant attitudes and activities. Formal Organizations served to integrate research on both formal and informal systems, authority and leadership, and stressed the importance of links to the wider environment. This reissue, which includes a new introduction by Scott, makes this seminal work accessible to a new generation of scholars and practitioners.
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Back cover copy

"This reissue of Formal Organizations by Blau and Scott is wonderful news. As
was true for the past generation, once again every student of organizations can and should read this classic text. Everyone can benefit immensely from its timeless contribution to the understanding of organizations." --Andrew H. Van de Ven, University of Minnesota
"Formal Organizations is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the roots of contemporary organizational sociology. In this book, Blau and Scott anticipated--and catalyzed--many of the perspectives on organizations that emerged in the 1970s and that continue to influence current debates in the field. This timely reissue provides a welcome reminder of the historical context for much of what we take for granted about organizational sociology today." --Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Table of contents

Contents Introduction to the Classic Edition Preface 1. Introduction 1 The Concept of Formal Organization The Study of Formal Organizations Methods in the Study of Organizations The Comparative Approach 2. The Nature and Types of Formal Organizations Theoretical Concepts Typologies of Formal Organizations Types of Formal Organizations Concluding Remarks 3. The Organization and Its Publics Professional and Bureaucratic Orientation The Public Conflicts with Clients Concluding Remarks 4. The Social Structure of Work Groups Informal Organization Effects of Group Structure The Larger Organization and Work-Group Structure Concluding Remarks 5. Processes of Communication Experiments on Communication and Performance Field Studies of Communication in Formal Organizations Variations in Communication Patterns Concluding Remarks 6. The Role of the Supervisor Styles of Supervision Supervision and Performance Hierarchical and Peer Relations Concluding Remarks 7. Managerial Control The Hierarchy Impersonal Mechanisms of Control Questioning Some Prevailing Assumptions Concluding Remarks 8. The Social Context of Organizational Life The Social Environment of Organizations Organizational Analysis Interorganizational Processes Concluding Remarks 9. Organizational Dynamics Organizational Development Emergent Patterns Dilemmas of Formal Organization Dialectical Processes of Change Appendix. Description and Comparison of the Two Welfare Agencies Bibliography Index of Names Index of Topics Tables 1. Location of Reference Groups and Graduate Work 2. Type of Orientation and Professional Characteristics 3. Type of Orientation and Loyalty to the Agency 4. Type of Orientation and Criticism of the Agency 5. Type of Orientation and Criticism of Administrative Policies 6. Seniority, Informal Acceptance, and Orientation to Clients 7. Seniority, Popularity, and Reference Group 8. Group Climate, Individual's Orientation, and Attitudes 9. Group Climate, Acceptance, and Individual's Orientation 10. Group Cohesion, Popularity, and Reaction to Clients 11. Reciprocity in Consultations, Work Pressure, and Per Cent Regularly Consulting Colleagues 12. Reciprocity in Consultations, Self-Confidence, and Per Cent Regularly Consulted 13. Worker Visits to Recipients and Orientation of Supervisor 14. Supervisor's Self-Confidence, Supervisor's Approach, and Worker Loyalty Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Comparative organization, Associations, institutions, etc
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Review quote

"This reissue of Formal Organizations by Blau and Scott is wonderful news. As was true for the past generation, once again every student of organizations can and should read this classic text. Everyone can benefit immensely from its timeless contribution to the understanding of organizations." -Andrew H. Van de Ven, University of Minnesota "Formal Organizations is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the roots of contemporary organizational sociology. In this book, Blau and Scott anticipated-and catalyzed-many of the perspectives on organizations that emerged in the 1970s and that continue to influence current debates in the field. This timely reissue provides a welcome reminder of the historical context for much of what we take for granted about organizational sociology today." -Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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About W. Richard Scott

Peter M. Blau was Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina. W. Richard Scott is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Stanford University.
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