Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change

Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change

Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change

Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change

Excerpt

The intensification of global interdependencies and the consolidation of the global as a social horizon—both captured in the now popular term globalization—have provided fertile ground for the creation of new organizations and the expansion of existing ones. With globalization, much human activity has spawned a growing set of universalized rules and standards. The older protective armor provided by the sovereign national state and society has weakened, so much local activity become linked into the global web of organizations and institutions. In this context, both risk and opportunity are now conceived as worldwide, and forms of behavior and action are assessed in global terms. The result has been a worldwide explosion of organizations and organizing. This book provides an analysis of how and why this expansion has happened.

The global expansion of the formal organization, the focus of this book, is generally perceived and defined in the modern social world. We, as researchers, do not impose our definition on an innocent phenomenon, decoding some components of social life as something we decide to call organization. Organizations as social entities, and the term organization, are common creatures of our time. Every imaginable social group—economic, ethnic, political, religious, educational, medical, or scientific—is likely to claim explicitly and self-consciously to be an organization. What they mean by claiming to be organizations and what they are distancing themselves from through this claim are main keys to understanding this great social movement. In modern life and usage, the core meaning of the term organization seems to sharply focus on the idea of actorhood. The organization is a collective actor, not simply a servant of some other sovereign such as a state, a profession, or an owning family. An organization in this sense is to be seen as distinct from, and in partial opposition to such traditional structures as bureaucracy, professional association, family or family firm, and perhaps other structures. Although formal organizations have existed during much of human history—universities are thought to be the oldest form of . . .

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