Understanding Organizations

Understanding Organizations

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Description

Social life is a collective process, and virtually all of social life in contemporary industrial nations is shaped by formal organizations and recognized social institutions. One can no longer hope to understand a complex society without understanding its organizations, any more than one can fully understand organizational life without grasping the social processes that shape it. Understanding Organizations takes a fresh look at the sociology of organizations, blending classic theories of industrial society with contemporary cultural studies, labor studies, social movement theory, and the role of nonprofits. In each chapter, Lune describes the major ideas and the new work that define the topic, as well as asking how these assumptions came about and how they impact us in our daily lives. This book will be the ideal companion to courses on organizations across the social sciences, and has insights to offer all students of organized life, whether one is interested in entering the corporate world, starting an arts organization, or mobilizing for social change.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 168 x 244 x 18mm | 662.24g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0745644287
  • 9780745644288

About Howard Lune

Howard Lune is Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Applied Social Research Program at Hunter College, CUNY.
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Review quote

"Organizations structure our daily lives, but few of us recognize their powerful influence. In this book, Lune offers a clear and accessible introduction to organization studies. With its mix of classical theory, contemporary research, and vivid real-life examples, Understanding Organizations will enlighten students and professionals alike. Read this book to unlock the mysteries of complex organizations." Christine Williams, University of Texas at Austin "Understanding Organizations is the most comprehensive, historical, and accessible treatment of the social science of organizations available now. It asks insightful questions, provides theoretically informed answers, will inspire students to study organizations and lay readers to critically evaluate the organizations surrounding us." Kevin T. Leicht, University of Iowa
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Back cover copy

Social life is a collective process, and virtually all of social life in contemporary industrial nations is shaped by formal organizations and recognized social institutions. One can no longer hope to understand a complex society without understanding its organizations, any more than one can fully understand organizational life without grasping the social processes that shape it.



Understanding Organizations takes a fresh look at the sociology of organizations, blending classic theories of industrial society with contemporary cultural studies, labor studies, social movement theory, and the role of nonprofits. In each chapter, Lune describes the major ideas and the new work that define the topic, as well as asking how these assumptions came about and how they impact us in our daily lives.



This book will be the ideal companion to courses on organizations across the social sciences, and has insights to offer all students of organized life, whether one is interested in entering the corporate world, starting an arts organization, or mobilizing for social change.
show more

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables vii Acknowledgments viii 1 Introducing Organizations 1 What is an organization? 1 The organizational society 8 Key Readings 17 2 Classic Theories of Organizations 19 Weber bureaucracy and beyond 20 Durkheim and the division of labor in society 28 Karl Marx and the spirit of capitalism 32 Conclusions 37 Key Readings 38 3 Management and Administration 40 How work works 41 Rational systems Fayol, Ford, Taylor 42 Organizations as human systems 54 Key Readings 60 4 Culture in Organizations 61 What workers want 63 The TVA and the hearts of men 67 What workers feel 69 Bureaucracy as a culture 71 Organizational cultures at work 76 Culture shift 78 Dress for success 81 Conclusions 82 Key Readings 83 5 Organizational Dysfunctions 85 Everyday dysfunction 86 Built-in failures 96 Disasters 99 Key Readings 104 6 Organizations and Environments 105 Defi nitions and assumptions 105 Relations among organizations 111 The neo-institutional model 125 Key Readings 131 7 The Non- profi t Sector 132 Defining the non-profit sector 133 Why is there a non-profit sector? 135 How are NPOs different? 140 Commerce and community at an arts organization 144 The three sectors intersect 145 Key Readings 153 8 Organizing for Social Change 154 Community-based non-profits and the state 155 Social change organizations 161 Key Readings 171 9 What's Next for the Sociology of Organizations? 173 Which way is forward? 173 Organizations are at the heart of sociology 187 Now that you know this ... 191 Glossary 193 References 198 Index 211
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Review Text

"Organizations structure our daily lives, but few of us recognize their powerful influence. In this book, Lune offers a clear and accessible introduction to organization studies. With its mix of classical theory, contemporary research, and vivid real-life examples, Understanding Organizations will enlighten students and professionals alike. Read this book to unlock the mysteries of complex organizations."
Christine Williams, University of Texas at Austin
"Understanding Organizations is the most comprehensive, historical, and accessible treatment of the social science of organizations available now. It asks insightful questions, provides theoretically informed answers, will inspire students to study organizations and lay readers to critically evaluate the organizations surrounding us."
Kevin T. Leicht, University of Iowa
show more

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