As a result of mastering the material in Chapter 1, the student must:


• Specificity of social organization as a social group, as well as specificity of the sociology of organizations as a branch of sociology;

• the process of forming sociology of organizations, the most important classical and postclass organizational and managerial theories;

be able to

• Recognize typical organizational problems;

• Identify mechanisms for optimizing organizational structures for their survival and effective functioning;


• skills in the search, generalization, systematization and critical analysis of information about life, structure, sources of development, the behavior of social organizations, as well as inter-organizational relations and relationships.

Subject of sociology of organizations

As you know, society as a complex social education has a structure, as elements of which can act as social spheres and social communities. The isolation of these social structures is possible because people who make up each of them have similar value orientations, similar or interdependent status prescriptions, demonstrate similar patterns of behavior and tend to gravitate towards each other. At the same time, each particular social individual is always, permanently or temporarily, "implicated" to the functioning of several social structures.

Social spheres differ in the leading types of human activity, satisfying its basic needs - economic, political, spiritual and everyday. These spheres can also be called social mega-institutions, which, in turn, include institutions of lower levels with the corresponding institutional, as a rule, dual statuses (husband-wife, teacher-student, seller-buyer, etc.)

Social communities are a collection of people who have one or more common socio-demographic status characteristics. Communities can unite people with the same prescribed status, the main of which are sociobiological - sex-age, racial-ethnic (closely related to confessional) and family-related, as well as the same status achieved, mainly related to income, power, education and prestige. In principle, the factors of the last group in a harmoniously developed modern society are related to each other, but there is an opinion that the ones allocated for one of the community factors should be called strata, and groups of people with similar status profiles form all social factors - the higher, middle and lower ones.

Thus, the generalities formed by the prescribed statuses constitute, or in the absence of selective discrimination, horizontal social structures, and the achieved statuses and the corresponding strata are vertical structures.

As in the framework of social institutions, and within the framework of social communities, social groups function that are sets of really and normatively acting and interacting individuals in accordance with their common interest. In institutions, group interest is associated with the implementation of any institutional activity, in communities - with the process of social interaction (communication) itself, as well as with the maintenance or change of the position of the group in society, determined by its status, access to resources, social security and some other factors . In this case, primary and secondary groups are distinguished, as well as temporary and relatively stable (in comparison with communities) groups. Relatively stable groups can be unorganized and organized; the latter are also called organizations.

In primary groups (for example, in small production groups) interactions are carried out on a basis, or include personal relationships, in secondary groups (for example, in large enterprises) - are provided functionally, i.e. status prescriptions, which are systems of interrelated rights and duties.

Temporary social groups are vehicle passengers, exhibition visitors, buyers in the queue, etc. Despite the fact that time groups spontaneously arise and quickly break up, they are still called groups, since they satisfy the above definition. People who make up temporary groups pursue interest (transportation, inspection, purchase) and implement it in accordance with established formal (rules for using a certain mode of transport) or informal (rules of conduct in cultural or trade institutions) norms. At the same time, in such groups, the normative regulation of behavior in certain (eg, extreme) conditions can give way to the socio-psychological patterns of crowd behavior.

The crowd itself as a random accumulation of people on an unplanned occasion in one physical space, as well as non-contact audiences, for example, a certain telecast, should be referred to quasigroups (prefix "quasi" means falsity or imaginary). Despite the presence of common interest among people, their constituents, the behavior in the crowd is not regulated by specific social norms, and the behavior of non-contact audiences, moreover, does not contain direct social interactions.

Unorganized groups of different degrees are friends, colleagues, people who solve a social problem (social movements) occupying a certain position in society (social circles) having the same hobby (interest groups). These groups can be either large enough or small; can be independent or formed in organizations; develop specific norms of social interactions; as a rule, have leaders, leaders, spokesmen of a common opinion; can disintegrate or be formalized, turning into organizations.

Organizations are social groups that have a formal structure designed to achieve a specific goal. The formal structure fixed in the documents (legally formalized norms) regulates the activity and business relations in the organization, which ensures the necessary level of social order and creates the prerequisites for successful, purposeful collective activity.

The formal structure of the organization includes vertical and horizontal levels. Vertical levels represent a hierarchy of management, according to which the distribution of authority and responsibility from the superior to the lower ones is carried out. Horizontal levels reflect the main activities of the organization and the division of organizational work - its differentiation and specialization. In the simplest case, the formal structure of an organization can include one level of management, i.e. manager and employees with certain responsibilities.

Organizations can be primary and secondary social groups. The functioning of primary organized groups (independent and included in secondary groups) is due to the fact that, in addition to formal impersonal structures, informal personal structures are formed in them. They are formed as for organizational activities, since no formalization can regulate all of its (activities) aspects, and about out-of-work social and psychological relations of employees. Informal organizational structure, as a rule, assumes the emergence of the phenomenon of informal leadership.

People join organizations or create them to achieve their own, group (organizational) and social goals, which, at least potentially, are related. Even those who are involved in organizational activities, pursuing primarily their own goals, must obey the organizational prescriptions, and therefore simultaneously realize the goals of the organization, which in turn are related to the goals of social development. Hence, firstly, the mediator position of an organization that connects the interests of the individual and society is obvious, and secondly, the need to harmonize individual, organizational and public interests.

By type of activity and the potential or expected relationship of the "organizational person" economic , administrative and public organizations can be singled out for one or another purpose. Through membership in economic organizations, people realize, first of all, their own interest, because typical economic behavior (both individuals and collective actors) is aimed at gaining (compensation, profit) from the use of limited economic values. Although this does not exclude, and ideally even suggests loyalty to the people of their organization and the social responsibility of its business. People who are included in a public organization realize primarily group or public interest. For example, political parties, as socio-political implementations, by definition, are fighting for power to implement their political programs that reflect the interests of large social groups. Although this again does not exclude the aspirations of individuals to a political career and to receive the privileges that power gives. The administrative organizations of the executive and administrative authorities should integrate the various interests to the greatest extent, since their main task is to transfer the authorities "social order", to implement the authoritative decisions taken in accordance with it and receive feedback. And this mission of administrative organizations should be separated and professionally implemented by their personnel.

Thus, organizations are a sort of intermediary between individuals and society that channel individual efforts for the realization of various goals. At the same time, organizations pursuing similar goals compete with each other, which ensures the continuous improvement of the goal-setting processes. The more complex and diverse the society, the more organizations enter into its structure and the more goals they realize.

Organizations are complex social formations in which most aspects of social life are reflected.

The organization simultaneously includes both rational and irrational elements. Although the formal structure of the organization is a rational project of its creators, who are trying to find the means most adequate to the goals, the real behavior of both managers and staff is culturally and socially conditioned and emotionally mediated. Rationality of human behavior is also limited information and cognitive (personal and ontological).

The organization also combines formal and informal aspects of social life, which is manifested in the existence of such dichotomies as structure and collective, organizational and non-organizational interests and connections, position and personality, leadership and leadership, governance and self-government. Hence, there is a need to synchronize formal and informal structures in the general organizational interests.

The organization, being an integral entity and having a specific goal, in most cases is a departmentalized structure, each department and each level of management of which can have their own goals. Therefore, the social order and cooperation that contribute to the goal-setting are supplemented by social tensions and conflicts, in some conditions increasing the effectiveness of collective activities, and in others, not.

Despite the fact that ideally the goals of the organization should maximize the satisfaction of the needs of the staff, and the staff must separate and support the organizational goals, the person in the organization loses some of his independence and is subject to organizational discipline. In turn, the objectives of the organization should be consistent with the system objectives of the external organizational environment. Nevertheless, both members of the organization and the organization as a whole have an active potential and can influence the internal and external environment and change them.

The organization is constantly facing mutually exclusive problems of preserving its own identity and development. Development is necessary for the survival of the organization in a complex and highly dynamic external environment, but it breaks the balance and integrity of the organizational system, resulting in, albeit temporarily, its effectiveness, and consequently, its survival. Organizational development can be associated with both initiatives and regulations "from above", and with wishes, innovations and deviations "from below."

Private sociological science, sociology of organizations, is engaged in these specific organized social groups. The subject field of sociology of organizations includes learning:

• evolution, the modern nature and development trends of organizations;

• Features of organizational structures of different forms and types;

• the structure of the organizational environment;

• internal organizational processes and their relationships with processes in the external environment;

• interaction of organizational and other social structures;

• interaction of elements, social and non-social (economic and technological) structures of the organization;

• regulation of organizational behavior through organizational culture;

• The mechanism for managing organizations and power in organizations;

• organizational dysfunctions and the possibilities of their elimination;

• patterns of development of organizational structures. The specifics of the subject matter of the sociology of organizations will make it even more bold to imagine the definition of its place in the structure of sociological knowledge. The structure of sociology can be represented in the form of a system that includes subsystems of different levels (Table 1.1).

Table 1.1

The structure of sociology

Theoretical sociology

General sociology

Special sociological theories

Theories of social institutions

Theories of social groups

Applied sociology

Empirical case studies

Practical sociology

The fundamental level of sociology is theoretical sociology, which includes the methodological foundations of science (including the definition of its subject, conceptual categorical apparatus, functions and place in the system of other sciences), the most general concepts (theories) on the functioning and development of society, as well as the history of the emergence, development and institutionalization of these representations, i.e. history of sociology.

The second, more specific level of sociology, general sociology - includes theories (sociology), developing ideas about individual aspects of social life and revealing the basic concepts and categories of science. The main groups of theories of general sociology include the theory of social structure, social processes, social changes, personality, social behavior, social management. These groups can include various theories, for example, in the theory of social structure - the theory of social institutions, social stratification and social mobility, etc.

The third level of sociology is made up of special sociological theories. Based on the fact that social spheres and communities can be considered as elements of society as a system, we will single out two groups of special sociological theories (sociologies) corresponding to these elements. The first group should include theories of the main spheres of society - economic (economic sociology), political (political sociology), "cultural" (sociology of culture or the sociology of spiritual life) and everyday (sociology of life) institutions, each of which includes even more specific theories. So, within the framework of economic sociology, theories of markets (economic exchange), property, production, consumption, etc. develop. The second group of special sociological theories are the sociodemographic theories (gender sociology, sociology of youth, etc.), social class (sociology of wealth and socially-professional (sociology of professions), social-territorial (sociology of city and country), ethnic (ethnosociology) communities, quasigroups (sociology of crowds), social groups (sociology is small x groups, sociology of organizations).

The fourth level of sociology - applied, in which two groups of theories and methods of practical activity can also be distinguished. The first group of theories and methods is referred to as the methodology (technique and technique) of empirical (concrete) sociological research, the latter can be called practical sociology, which aims to create technologies for the design and development of social systems (social forecasting and planning, social engineering, management consulting, social work and etc.), including organizations.

The mechanisms of interaction of the above levels of sociology are generally understandable and have been repeatedly described in the context of the selection of theoretical and empirical, fundamental and applied fields of science, as well as macro- and microsociology. Therefore, we will specify the content of these mechanisms only for the second and third levels we have identified. Essentially, the level of general sociology is a theory that studies the various elements of the social as such. These theories allow us to cognize the specificity of social manifestation in various social groups and social institutions, in our case in organizations. The interrelationships between the two groups of special theories contribute to the formation of boundary theories between them, for example the theories of political and other specific organizations. In turn, the generalization of studies conducted within the framework of special sociological theories, allows enriching sections of general sociology.

Thus, the sociology of organizations, like any other private sociological theory, is closely related to the sociological theories of the more "high" and more low levels. At the same time, the theoretical propositions developed by the sociology of organizations are integral parts of the organizational and managerial sciences, which attempt to give a holistic view of the nature and interaction of complex systems, their structure, external and internal connections, purposeful development and self-development. Among these sciences dealing with the study of social phenomena, the most developed are the theory of social management and the theory of organization.

The theory of social management is a branch of scientific knowledge about general laws, principles and methods of purposeful subject-object interaction of social systems and their elements, as well as composition, principles of creation and regularities of the functioning of the social management system itself. The theory of social management, on the one hand, uses more general and more abstract provisions of cybernetics, the theory of operations research and other system theories, as well as elements of computer science and mathematics. On the other hand, the theory of social management is a general methodological science for more private disciplines - sociology of management, management psychology, state and municipal management, etc. - and strives to integrate their achievements for the development of theory and solving practical social and management problems.


Theory of Organization is a science that studies the principles and patterns of the emergence and evolution of social organization as phenomena, the mechanisms of its functioning, changes and developments, the structure and interaction of its elements among themselves, as well as with the external environment to achieve organizational goals. Like the theory of social management, the theory of organization interacts with general system approaches (for example, with systems analysis and system engineering), informatics, as well as with private social and human sciences - psychology, social psychology, sociology, jurisprudence, economic theory, cultural studies.

To this we should add that in the process of development in the theory of organization a special direction developed, and then a complex applied science about the specifics of the behavior and interaction of individuals and groups in the organization - organizational behavior. Organizational behavior as a science , studying the problems of motivation, organizational morality, group pressure, styles and influence of leadership and leadership, intergroup interaction and other organizational and behavioral phenomena, relies on the provisions of neobievorizma, social psycho ogy and cultural approach to the study of collective effects in the organization.

Formally, the sociology of organizations should be considered a division of the theory of organizations. However, the relationships sociology of organizations with organizational and managerial sciences, which are inseparably linked (management is always an organization, and the organization involves management), depend on an understanding of the nature of the organization. If we consider that an organization is an artificial system that is sufficiently freely and rationally designed and redesigned by the manager to achieve organizational effectiveness (goals), then the sociology of organizations probably equally tends to both the theory of organization and the theory of social management. There is a view of organization and as a phenomenon that has a natural nature. Here the organization is understood as a special social organism, which, of course, is subject to management, but "lives" by its specific laws, not contradicting, however, the laws of the existence of the social environment. Adopting the socio-natural nature of the organization brings the sociology of organizations closer to the theory of organization to a greater degree.

As a special branch of sociological science, the sociology of organizations was formed by the end of the 1950s. in the USA, and in Western Europe and our country has been developing since the late 1960s - early 1970s. However, the foundations of the sociology of organizations were laid back at the beginning of the last century thanks to the creation of systemic meta-sciences, as well as the classical school of scientific management, the school of human relations and the system-situational paradigm in management. Let us trace how these scientific ideas about organizations arose and developed.

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