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  • Understand the different types of formal organizations
  • Recognize the characteristics of bureaucracies
  • Identify the concepts of the McJob and the McDonaldization of society

A complaint of modern life is that society is dominated by large and impersonal secondary organizations. From schools to businesses to healthcare to government, these organizations, referred to as formal organizations    , are highly bureaucratized. Indeed, all formal organizations are, or likely will become, bureaucracies    . A bureaucracy is an ideal type of formal organization. Ideal doesn’t mean “best” in its sociological usage; it refers to a general model that describes a collection of characteristics, or a type that could describe most examples of the item under discussion. For example, if your professor were to tell the class to picture a car in their minds, most students will picture a car that shares a set of characteristics: four wheels, a windshield, and so on. Everyone’s car will be somewhat different, however. Some might picture a two-door sports car while others picture an SUV. The general idea of the car that everyone shares is the ideal type. We will discuss bureaucracies as an ideal type of organization.

Types of formal organizations

Figure a shows a float made by Girl Scouts. Figure b shows the hallway of a correctional facility.
Girl Scout troops and correctional facilities are both formal organizations. (Photo (a) courtesy of moonlightbulb/flickr; Photo (b) courtesy of CxOxS/flickr)

Sociologist Amitai Etzioni (1975) posited that formal organizations fall into three categories. Normative organizations , also called voluntary organizations , are based on shared interests. As the name suggests, joining them is voluntary and typically done because people find membership rewarding in an intangible way. The Audubon Society and a ski club are examples of normative organizations. Coercive organizations are groups that we must be coerced, or pushed, to join. These may include prison or a rehabilitation center. Symbolic interactionist Erving Goffman states that most coercive organizations are total institutions (1961). A total institution is one in which inmates or military soldiers live a controlled lifestyle and in which total resocialization takes place. The third type is utilitarian organizations    , which, as the name suggests, are joined because of the need for a specific material reward. High school and the workplace fall into this category—one joined in pursuit of a diploma, the other in order to make money.

This table shows Etzioni’s three types of formal organizations. (Table courtesy of Etzioni 1975)
Table of formal organizations
Normative or Voluntary Coercive Utilitarian
Benefit of Membership Intangible benefit Corrective benefit Tangible benefit
Type of Membership Volunteer basis Required Contractual basis
Feeling of Connectedness Shared affinity No affinity Some affinity

Bureaucracies

Bureaucracies are an ideal type of formal organization. Pioneer sociologist Max Weber popularly characterized a bureaucracy as having a hierarchy of authority, a clear division of labor, explicit rules, and impersonality (1922). People often complain about bureaucracies––declaring them slow, rule-bound, difficult to navigate, and unfriendly. Let’s take a look at terms that define a bureaucracy to understand what they mean.

Questions & Answers

how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
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ninjadapaul
20/(×-6^2)
Salomon
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ninjadapaul
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ninjadapaul
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
Salomon
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Salomon
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ninjadapaul
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ninjadapaul
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ninjadapaul
Commplementary angles
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The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Al
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Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
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No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
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Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
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AMJAD
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AMJAD
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Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
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Azam
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Prasenjit
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Azam
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Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
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Source:  OpenStax, Studying social life. OpenStax CNX. Sep 21, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11889/1.1
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