Category : Articles
Evolution of Formal Organizations
By Brian Morris
July 30, 2009
In the world of formal organizations such as large corporations and businesses that do nationwide and worldwide business there is a lot of structure involved in these companies. Both types of organizations have rules and guidelines they follow according to a basic layout or chart. Many large organizations or businesses of any type use a format or structure to follow to set this into motion. Without these rules the company would not have any type of organization or structure to follow and be considered a reputable company of any kind. Certain requirements must be met and followed by the employees to ensure they are doing a good job for the company. As both types of structure have rules one is more defined than the other in this case the bureaucratic organization has a different much more alienated view than the formal structure of a basic company.
A business ran like a bureaucracy can alienate people from within the company or the customers it is meant to serve a purpose much like the gears in a machine. This makes the company profitable and keeps production levels or sale at a good return while the infrastructure for any change needed is slow at work within the company. This weighs heavy on the shoulders of the employees and makes them work hard to ensure they keep their jobs while again the requirements of the company as far as requests for equipment and other job demanding necessities falls way behind in the ???red tape??? as some call it. This does not benefit the employees in any way, shape, or form and can inevitably slow down the work process in the long run. These structures have been created to get a job done in an efficient manner rather than any other purpose in the design of the company.
In the formal more basic structure of a company things can be less complicated and run at a different pace then the bureaucracy type of business. Many join these types of organizations to achieve a goal or have a purpose in mind to focus on rather than having the feeling of being told what to do and feel the pressure from the supervisors within the company. This can have a big impact on many with the same purpose in mind where everyone feels involved at the same level and has a similar goal such as helping the needy if the group is a volunteer based organization rather than a profit geared one. A basic formal structure can have a common goal without the format of a select group with a particular one sided very targeted goal in mind which is usually profit driven in most cases. Even government groups have certain diversified goals in mind such as the CIA and the Tax Bureau. These groups are part of a common government but have completely different focuses in mind and the job at hand. It can be believed by many that the government is a whole, but not understood that so many aspects of it have been broke down by structure and formal organization over time that has created so many government agencies in general. Even events such as the World Trade Center Attack on 09/11/01 created the Homeland Security agency to protect the nation from terror attacks in the future.
In the summing up table on page 121 located in the research from this chapter, it explains the characteristics for formal organizations. This chart is a good reference to look at when needed to explain details about certain groups and formal organizations. Each group has distinguishing things that can be used to determine how each social group is compared to a formal group as well. Activities are explained and compared to each other where the social grouping has the same for all activities compared to the formal groups being distinguished and highly specialized. Along with the separation of hierarchy in the social group where the hierarchy can informal where as the formal group has a clearly defined purpose. The norms of each group again are different and defined in the social group being general rules and not formally enforced the formal group has a set of clearly defined rules to follow and regulations set by the structure of the company or organization. Membership criteria has defined differences as well such as the social grouping being variable on many distinctions and the formal groups requiring technical obligations to follow aside from any social group or association. The relationships in each group again have unique differences that set them apart from each other. The social group has primary situations and the formal groups have secondary relationships with a primary goal in mind rather than a social attention. Communications have again distinct differences such as the social group being a casual face to face type of communication and the formal groups communicate by writing or formal types of communication such as emails and letters delivered in a proper manner whereas the social group can just pass the word along and talk to each other directly to discuss an issue. The focus in each of the social and formal grouping can have a difference just the same. This is the difference of the social group having a person oriented or driven purpose and the formal group being task driven or oriented.
In Micah??™s situation the formal group can take the guidelines or rules of the social driven groupings and utilize how the social groups bond compared to the formal more commonly known format that the company is currently on track with. The daily activities have to change such as the level of communication and how people within the structure of the company or organization interact with each other. This would be a start along with activities such as a scheduled break where associates can communicate on a social level rather than always being task driven and goal oriented. This is a good way to socialize within a company along with after work events and social gatherings such as sports events and even casual social gatherings. This can continue to follow along the path of the social structure and follow the organization in this way to increase socialism within the company.
In the future of Micah??™s situation a lot can evolve from following a few basic rules or guidelines based on social groups rather than formal organizations and how the company interacts within. This would be a huge improvement in the future and progress of this company as a whole and help the groups focus on improving the social skills and the task driven skills as well. Communication would be the key in the improvement of the social aspects of the company or organization. Any type of outside socialism would greatly help the organization and improve the flow of communication within the realm of work and the tasks or goals at hand.
D.G., Caldwell, D.F. (1992), “Demography and design: predictors of new product team performance”, Organization Science, Vol.3, pp 321-41
goodstein J., Gautam, K., Boeker, W. (1994), “The effects of board size and diversity on strategic change”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol.15, pp 241-50
Nancy C. Morse and Robert S. Weiss, ???The Function Meaning of Work and the Job,??? American Sociological Review, 1955, 20, 191-98.
Herzberg, ???One More Time: How Do You Motivate Your Employees??? Harvard Business Review, 1968, 46, 53-62