Why do we need organizations?
Organizations must meet a number of tasks, for example, provide a workplace, are a piece of life, but often also places of fear.
They should coordinate actions to create stability and routine. They are a non-homogeneous, diverse and varied flow of materials, people, money, time, solutions, problems and decisions. People transfer their resources to the organization and expect their coordination.
Organization is therefore more than just an institution and a process. It is "... the machine that implements ...". Organizations network worldwide and show their own dynamic with which they enforce the functional systems of society. Here is an example:
The organized schoolyard
During a parents' meeting - we overpowered parents meet us every two months, sometimes in the sports hostel, sometimes in the China restaurant - we are echauffieren either on the inability of the school or the entire Bavarian school system. Incidentally, we are brought up to date by the parent speaker.
This time the sponsoring association needs money. A dedicated youth social worker wants to redesign the schoolyard - and it costs. Great thing, I think, but then I learn the background. In the (much too short) big break, some children are often jostled by others, while the break bread falls down already. Now it has been discovered that some children play during the break, while others run wild and just want to eat the rest in peace.
I ask if that was not always the case. Yes, of course, everyone confirms. And the children have organized themselves. There were conflicts and discussions, the bigger ones put pressure on the smaller ones, and from time to time the break supervision had to intervene. Nevertheless, an order for any - mostly unconscious - decisions and procedures emerged.
What are the organizational phenomena?
But that is exactly what the youth worker no longer wants to rely on. He wants to set up a formal system and divide the school yard into three zones: a play area, an exercise area and a relaxation area. Then everything would probably be organized. And the break supervision would have a clear and unambiguous set of tools on hand to deal appropriately with “non-zone-appropriate use”.
And best of all: This organization was devised without the time-consuming process of student participation - according to the rational adult logic. Two organizational phenomena become visible. One is the self-organizing interaction between people that occurs in the “unorganized” schoolyard, spontaneously and somehow. An organization that has always existed.
The organizational form of industrialization
We have only known the second one relatively recently. The term “organization” is derived from the Greek “organon”, which means “tool”, “instrument” or “organ”. It was primarily related to biological processes, which were then transferred to the state as a body.
Only in 19. Century, along with industrialization, organization was understood in the modern sense. And it is precisely this structural framework that occupies us below.
“The ubiquity of organizations is not the… main reason they are important…. From the point of view of the social psychologist, we are interested in the influences that affect the individual from his environment and how he reacts to these influences. For most people, formal organizations represent a large part of their environment. "
The organization permeates all areas of our lives
In other words, what the two “founding stones” of organizational research, James G. March and the Nobel Prize winner Herbert A. Simon, describe here: Modern man - at least the industrial one - is constantly or consciously confronted with organizations. We work, learn and train in organizations. Without organizations that ensure our daily care, we would probably only survive for a very short time.
And even when we go out into nature or spend our free time - in gyms, clubs, amusement parks or cultural centers - everything is organized! Gradually, organizations interfere with play, friendship and even love. In virtual forms of communication, organizations such as the Playhouse Group, Facebook, or FriendScout24 determine how people come together under what rules.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965961562
English version: ISBN 9783965961579 (Translation notice)
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