The Organizational Society: An Analysis and a Theory

The Organizational Society: An Analysis and a Theory

The Organizational Society: An Analysis and a Theory

The Organizational Society: An Analysis and a Theory

Excerpt

T HIS BOOK is an interdisciplinary analysis of big organizations and their influence upon the individuals who work in them. Conceptually, the analysis operates at three distinct but interrelated levels: society as a whole; the big, rational organization; and the individual. Organizations are defined as "miniature societies" in which the dominant values of society are inculcated and sought in a more structured, spatially restricted context. A major object is to show how individuals work out an accommodation in this milieu, and to develop a theory of organizational behavior that posits three ideal types of accommodation to big organizations: "upward-mobiles," "indifferents," and "ambivalents." It must be said that I am under no illusion that the mass of evidence cited throughout the book validates this theory. Such evidence can only be illustrative. The difficult task of testing the theory by empirical research remains.

The analysis and the theory draw upon several social sciences. My own discipline, political science, contributes the grounding in the democratic-humanistic values that provide the normative framework of the book. Political science also contributes a conception of power in its various forms, as well as considerable data about the structure and processes of political organizations. Economic theory and research provide the major source of information about the changing structure . . .

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