Welcome back to organizational analysis. In this second lecture, you will identify some core analytic features of organizations. These analytic features give us a language or terminology we can use to make sense of firms, their various forms, and their prevailing problems. Organizations are complex, so it helps to have a concept space, or a set of things and elements to focus on in discussing them. This requires some abstraction from the details of our own personal experiences in firms. Richard Scott, in his writing, reviewed the history of organizations research, and identified a finite set of organizational elements for us to consider and focus upon. In this diagram, an organization is represented as having a boundary and being placed in a wider environment. Every organization has certain elements and has a set of social actors or participants, a social structure by which they interrelate, a goal or mission, and a set of technologies or tasks that performs to render inputs into desired outputs. Let's take each of these elements of an organization in turn. First, we have an organization's participants. They're the firms social actors, employees, and stakeholders. Participants are social actors that make contributions to, and derive benefits from the organization. For schools, the social actors are adults and children. And they typically assume roles like administrators, for example, superintendents and principals. they can also be roles, like teachers, students or staff and, and a staff can vary from custodians to councellors, nurses, cafeteria workers To even administrative assistants. schools also have parents and politicians connected to them in various ways. Participants can also be organizational actors, like firms in a field. If you recall, we noted that organizations are often things listed in contracts and legal documents. They're, they're considered unitary actors in many cases. In the technology industry, firms often have relations with one another, like partnerships, or even being on shared boards of directors. they influence one another's affairs in this manner. Second, we have an organization's social structure. This concerns features that regulate and establish the usual pattern of relationships between participants, so social structure concerns the persistent relations existing among participants within an organization. These social structures can vary in form. Some organizational charts are, are highly vertical with many levels. Others are horizontal, with many different departments. And yet, others are matrix forms that have both levels and departments, and projects that may span across them, like a layered organizational structure. These can vary in degree of formality, Formal organizational structures entail clearly prescribed and demarcated, social positions, while informal structures emerge in our unplanned relations that persist. In a school, for example, the formal structure might reflect the prescribed rules we briefly mentioned above, such as principals, assistant principals, department chairs, teachers, students, counselors. Etcetera. All rules with relational obligations. The informal structure within a school might be the actual advice relations, and friendship relations, that arise between participants. For example, some teachers may be popular, and a locus of authority even though they lack such a formal position. Likewise for students, some may hold undue authority and influence, they may influence the manner in which curriculae are taught. Social structures are more than just recurring behavioral patterns, they're also cultural systems that entail normative principals and cognitive beliefs. In fact these cultural aspects of social structure often guide behavioral patterns. For example, adults in classrooms often follow norms and ideals concerning how a teacher or manager should interact with others. That is we have a sense of better and worse role performances and organizations tend to reward performance that most coincides with the ideal. Social structure can run even deeper, and reflect cultural cognitive beliefs and understandings. For example, we find it hard to imagine schools without teachers and students. And this belief is distinct from our sense of a better or worse way, to perform those rules. The belief that every school has to have these rules, is a deeply ingrained one. The belief may invoke particular behavioral norms of teaching, say traditional or progressive norms of teaching. And in turn this may partly shape the behavioral patterns witnessed in an organization like a school. But it need not do so perfectly. Other social structures are at play like those of gender roles, class differences, peer cultures and so on. And they can cloud the clean appearance of prescribed forms of behavioral coordination. So, what principles and beliefs give shape to these structures, so, people's behaviors adhere to them? Is it one of authority and control on the formal organizational chart? Or is it one of task adaptation from the informal organization? It's not clear. Third, organizations have goals and these goals are desired ends that participants attempt to achieve through the performance of task activities. For example, for schooling the goals are technical and moral socialization of youth or the development of achievement skills or cognitive skills in youth as well as kind of the development of them into good citizens. Now if we focus on faculty in universities like Stanford we see this historical change in what the goals are. early on it was all about student training to becoming an elite institution. It was about research production to now one of resource acquisition. Whether that's through gifts and endowment or grants. there's even a function of community service or the fact that this university tries to have research and kinds of scholarly production that relates to social problems. as well as to town-gown relations, how we relate with the local community. So, many organizations have multiple goals, and it's possible that they can come into conflict. As one strives for achievement you may find that the effort at equality is diminished. So rules and goals can come into conflict, depending on which ones are put in place and emphasized. If we look at concrete missions. we can see that they vaguely relate to some of these ends that we just mentioned. He are a few examples of company mission statements where they make vague references to the general goals of the organization. And the examples I'm showing in this slide are for Citibank, Levi Strauss. And the motorcycle company, Harley-Davidson. But organizations also vary in the extent to which their goals are focused or multifaceted. They vary in the extent to which they are clear or ambiguous. For example, let's take a, a look at two schools that I work in, the Graduate School of Business and the Graduate School of Education. Here, we have a very succinct kind of mission statement for the Graduate School of Business, and a longer multifaceted one for the Graduate School of Education. Fourth, an organization has a technology. technology is often a confusing term, but what we mean by it is that. it's a means by which organizations accomplish work or render inputs into outputs. So, by technology, it's synonoymous with the notion of tasks. We call tasks technology because often machines and factory lines accomplish these tasks. a computer or a, FMRI machine often is technology that, that translates an input into an output and therefore we use the term technology sometimes instead of tasks. But you as a, as students, should think of them as synonymous. When we think of technology, we think of what is being processed is varying from material inputs of manufacturing equipment To people being processed, or educated. even people being coordinated to become more knowledgeable, active citizens. So in schools, technology can be lesson plans, curricula, courses, or even kind of technological interface of a computer. Last is the environment, the physical, technological, cultural and social context in which an organization is embedded. What is the environment a school confronts. Schools are often depended upon state and city governments for resources and funds. They rely on trained workers and teachers from local universities. They depend on neighborhoods. That they're situated in for clients and student populations and so on. A lot of organizations are embedded in this way. So it's not just schools. But it's an example we can all relate to. Environments can vary culturally, in the sense that Euro Disney initially didn't work. Because an American version of Disneyland, couldn't just be plopped down in Europe without some changes. Environments can vary technologically as well. Such as having an office in Silicon Valley, where everything is wired for internet access and video conferencing. In comparison to, say, my parent's home, where they're still figuring out a CD player. Physical environments also matter. Consider for a second, something as basic as your firm's location in a cold region. Versus a hot desert. Very different pressures emerge because of these distinctive physical environments. All of the internal features of an organization can come into relation with elements of the environment. Let's take each in turn. First, let's consider the participant environment linkage. How porous is the boundary for participants in a school? Is it a total institution like a boarding school where everybody is clustered within that building or a monastery or is it open like a loose commuter campus. Second, technology environment linkages. No organization develops all of its own tasks and technologies, they borrow them. Also they have to adapt to the norms and pressures of larger occupational structures and professions. Does the school get most of its curricula from textbook publishers or university faculty or practitioners in other schools? Goal environmental linkages also exist. The social value we attribute goals varies. In some communities, the safety of students may be of greater value than achievement. In our local area, concerns of suicide matter. it's a high achieving climate where there's lots of stress placed upon these students. Therefore, that's a distinctive kind of concern than say achievement would be in other school. Other schools It may be a, a problem of equal opportunity, or inequality's the greatest problem that a district confronts. Often, many of these same goals arise, but they vary in saliance from environment to environment, or from context to context. Social strucutre and environment also have a linkage. Most schools look the same in terms of roles. But different communities espouse different beliefs and norms about how these roles should be performed. Elite schools may worry about stress and progressive models of teaching, while struggling schools may see the best teachers as the ones who meet standards. And in some immigrant communities, the ideal may be rote learning and traditional modes of instruction, where test scores are the greatest kind of indicator. So we have all these elements, and they tend to have various relationships, like a system of interdependencies. So we have a system of these elements, and the elements relate in various ways with the environment. these abstract elements are seldom clean or simple features when we observe real world cases. In fact, ambiguity is more the reality. For example, schools are often described as having uncertain technologies, or uncertain tasks for accomplishing moral and technical socialization of youth. We have courses or course labels, but it's far from clear that particular tasks and lessons lead to certain desired outcomes, and which of those do so more effectively over others. Also, we have ambiguous indicators of accomplishing said goals. Achievement tests or citizen tests. Are they biased or accurate? there's much debate about whether our indicators are even reflective or accurate in terms of these outcomes. Furthermore, participants can belong to multiple organizations, so the question becomes, which organization most influences them? Children spend most of their day in school. So it's more of a contained environment than other organizations. None the less, they bring with them all sorts of baggage and experiences from elsewhere, like from the family, and that can influence their behavior in the school. So the reality of organizations is a little more complex and ambiguous. than the simple theories and analytic frameworks were providing. But they become kind of a foundation upon which we can elaborate and discuss these complexities.