The Review of' Foundations of the Theory of Organization' and Bureaucracy

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Foundations of the Theory of Organization
In this reading, organization is defined by Selznick as “a system of consciously coordinated activities or forces of two or more persons.” Usually, an organization can be viewed either as an economy, or an adaptive social structure. For Selznick, to view the organization as an economy is scientific and measurable, while an adaptive social structure leans toward the non-exact behavioral sciences. He thus advocated the wide adoption of ‘structural-functional analysis’ as the basis of theory and method of analysis of organization, which addresses the composite of mechanical structures and individual personalities that make up the cooperating, structured system of organization. The three major ideas in his theory of organization based on this reading are: organizations as cooperative, adaptive social systems; the conflict of personal and organizational goals and needs; and controlling conflict for the good of the organization. Finally, he talks about co-optation, which is a method of protecting the organization and its mission by inviting threatening elements into the policy making process.
From my perspective, Selznick seems to overemphasize the rational structures and mechanistic processes of organizational activities. What is clear in examining this reading is the idea that a well-functioning organization has to proceed in unison-as a whole unit rather than as individual parts attempting to meet individuals’ goals. The whole organization functions like the human body that when any of the elements within the structure begins to fail, it must has a deleterious effect on the entire body. And, like when our body is experiencing a conflict of some sort, it tells us by our experiencing pain or discomfort, the organization, as an adaptive structure, is elaborated to preserve and maintain its stability and continuity mechanically…...

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