What Are Organizations?

There are many definitions of the term organization. In an early definition Chester Bernard labeled it "a system of consciously coordinated activities of two or more persons." Hari Das said, that "an organization is an abstract social entity." Social entity is "a structured group of two or more people brought together to achieve certain objectives". According to Howard E. Aldrich,

"An organization can be conceptualized as a collection of individuals deliberately structured within identifiable boundaries to achieve predetermined goals."

  • Organizations are social entities
  • All organizations have a structure
  • Organizations are designed to achieve specific goals
  • Organizations have identifiable boundaries
  • Organizations exist in a relatively permanent basis
  • All formal organizations use specific knowledge (or technology) to perform work-related activities.

These features are visible in most organizations. In general, formal organizations are the means by which we produce and supply a variety of goods and services. In this text, I also use the terms "enterprise," " corporation," "firm," and "company," synonymously, although I recognize that each has a particular legal connotation.


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Introduction To Management
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