January 16, 2017

Organization as a Social Group - Insights of Sociologists - in Management of Organizations

Koontz and O'Donnell described Chester Barnard as the spiritual father of this school of thought - organization is a social group or system.  Barnard developed the theory of cooperation pointing out the need of individual to offset through cooperation, the biological, physical, and social limitations affecting him and his environment.  Barnard described formal organization as a cooperative system in which people are able to communicate with each other and are willing to contribute action toward a conscious common purpose.

Herbert Simon also at one time defined human organization as system of interdependent activity, encompassing at least several primary groups, and usually characterized, at the level of consciousness of participants, by a high degree of rational direction of behavior towards ends that are objects of  common knowledge."

The school has made many noteworthy contributions to management. The recognition of organized enterprise as a social organism, subject to all the pressures and conflicts of the cultural environment has been helpful to both theory development and practice of management. The social organism quickly results in development of informal groups and bonds of organization.

Basic sociology - analysis of social behavior and study of group behavior in the social systems - does have great value in the field of management.


Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod
Liliya Erushkina
Sociology of management - Manual
Recommended by the Methodical Commission of Management and Business
for international students, studying in the B.Sc. programme 010400  «Information technologies»

Management sociology, its concept and reasons for its appearance

 The management sociology is the boundary synthetic science studying sociological aspect of administrative activity. This science was generated on a joint of two independent disciplines: sociology and management.

Sociology is a science about a society as complete system and about social institutions, processes, social groups, relations between a person and a society, laws of people mass behavior. It is well-known that the primary goal of sociology is an objective analysis of social human relations in order to reveal laws of management of a society.

 The term "management" has several meanings. Management in all business areas and organizational activities are the acts of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives efficiently and effectively.

Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.

Because organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to 'manage' oneself, a prerequisite to attempting to manage others.

Management can also refer to the person or people who perform the acts of management.

The problems studied by sociology of management:

Control systems as social systems from the point of view of their functioning;
Selection, arrangement, education of the staff;
The relations developing between people with administrative functions;
Statement and realization of the social purposes of management;
The analysis of social consequences of administrative decisions;
Research and making system to consider interests and opinions of workers Purposeful influence on operated subsystems and connected with it issues of discipline, responsibility and sense of duty;
Intragroup regulation and social self-organizing in groups and at the enterprise;
Interrelation of management and a level of society development.

Object, subject and methods of sociology of management

Object of sociology of management is the administrative processes which take place in a society and considered here from the point of view of the system approach, as a set constantly co-operating and making influence on each other subsystems (political system, economic system, social system); or processes in the organization which can be considered and interpreted from the point of view of people’s interaction, as all people participate in different groups (family, professional, territorial etc.) and are included in diverse processes of rivalry, competition, cooperation and etc.

 Subject of sociology of management is the evaluation, studying, perfection of managerial processes in various types of social societies, the social organizations, the social institutes, all society, each of which represents specific system of social interactions of people and their groups.

According to A.V.Sergejchuk’s opinion subject of sociology of management is social systems with a hierarchical characteristics of the organization. Sociology of management allows us to see management with the eyes of the sociologist.

 Methods of sociology of management combine approaches not only sociological research, but also campaigns of other sciences. All using methods can be divided into three basic groups.

The dialectics considering processes and the phenomena in their interrelation and development
Sociological Social - philosophical, assuming all-round studying of a society as complete social system;
Structure functional analysis according to it each social structure is understood through the analysis of carried out functions;
Gathering and processing of the information characterizing social interrelations of a society (social polls, supervision, experiments, modeling, the analysis of documents).
Specific Structure organizational (organization knowledge through its structure);
Technical (through requirements of technology of its activity);
Communication (organization studying through system of communications formed between its members);
Innovative (organization knowledge through its development).

Problems, functions and principles of sociology of management

The primary goals of sociology of management are:
1. Studying of the real facts making a live and constantly developing matter of administrative activity where we can see the interactions of the people belonging to different layers of an administrative pyramid.
2. Revealing of the most important, typical and irrational facts, and on this basis detection of tendencies of development of managerial processes depending on changes of conditions.
3. Explanation of appearance of innovations in the system and structure of administrative activity.
4. Working out of the directions and the most probable scenarios of development of administrative activity, forecasting of consequences of its realization either for the managing director or for operated managerial process subsystems.
5. Formulation of the scientific bases of recommendations about control system perfection and increasing of efficiency of administrative activity as a whole.

The basic functions of sociology of management as sciences are:

1. Informative. Its main objective consists in studying of features of management as specific sphere of work activity. And also in definition of a role and value of this sphere in development of a society, its subsystems, organizations, groups.
2. Estimating. It estimates harmony and correlation between management system and basic tendencies of a society (for example: to social expectations, interests and requirements of the majority of the population). To estimate, whether the system is democratic, totalitarian or authoritative on the basis of a scientific substantiation of socially-ethical, sociopolitical, social and economic criteria, whether management system can develop individuals’ initiative or not.
3. Prognostic. It is directed to reveal the most probable consequences in administrative activity within short-term, intermediate term and long-term prospects.
4. Educational. Spreading of knowledge about the primary goals, functions and mechanisms of management of administrative systems on the basis of definition and an evaluation of the importance of various administrative concepts, tendencies of development of administrative activity.

The main principles of management sociology are following:
1. Systematic – perception of investigated object as systems of the elements, corresponded to each other and forming structure of the whole system;
2. Integrated approach – all-round coverage of the investigated phenomena taking into account tendencies of development and interaction with environment;
3. Objectivity – real display of the investigated phenomena;
4. Concreteness – consideration of investigated processes and the phenomena in a context of a concrete environment;
5. Historicism – object research in dynamics of its development;
6. Unity of the theory and practice – acknowledgement of theoretical positions in practice, as the theory without practice - a hypothesis.

Joint Article for Revision: Mathematical Models and Optimization of Production and Distribution Systems

January Month Management Knowledge Revision Plan

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

Updated 19 January 2017,  20 Jan 2016, 30 Dec 2014

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