You are here

Social Organizations
Share

Social Organizations
Interaction Inside, Outside and Between Organizations


August 2012 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Combining the insights of organizational theory with the traditional concerns of social theory, Göran Ahrne makes an original and creative contribution to both fields by sketching his organizational theory of society. Using a broad definition of organizations--including not only business enterprises but also nation states, families, and volunteer associations--he shows that what goes on inside, outside, and between organizations is central to understanding social relations. Organizations provide people with resources and motives and they set the stage for human action. Although organizations do not themselves form societies or systems, society is shaped and changed by the interaction between them. Social Organizations illustrates the potential of Ahrne's theory to illuminate current areas of sociological interest including agency and structure, and the processes of globalization. Drawing from such facets of organizational theory as contingency, institutional, ecological, and economic, the author demonstrates how a synthesis with social theory clarifies the nature and effects of organizational interactions. Accessible and thought-provoking, this book will be essential reading for all those interested in social theory, organizational theory, and the sociology of organizations. "Goran Ahrne has written a delightful book, building on the premise that human actions are transformed into social processes through organized interaction. From that simple statement, Ahrne weaves a compelling argument, challenging us to look at organizations again, as if we had never seen them before. I mean this literally--his first question brought me up short: 'Why do you go home?' Why indeed? Ahrne's book is filled with such startling questions, and his penetrating insights reminded me of a great deal of Erving Goffman's work. He asks us to take nothing for granted and to question self-evident practices. Because Ahrne takes a very inclusive view of organizations, this book should appeal to nearly all the social science fields concerned with organized action, including public administration, organization studies, the sociology of the family, economic sociology, and social psychology." --Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 
Organized Individuals
 
Organizational Centaurs
 
The Organized Transformation of Action into Process
 
Outside Organizations
 
Inside Organizations
written with Roine Johansson
Between Organizations
written with Apostolis Papakostas
In the Thick of Organizations

`In Social Organizations Ahrne's main idea is: action and structure are brought together in organizations, but organizations do not form societies or systems. The main purpose in Ahrne's book is to present more arguments supporting the idea that organization theory may contribute to social theory. To do this, the author deals with several theories relevant to the support of his main argument.... Important themes in the different chapters are: the universal pattern of organization, how individual interaction is transformed into organizational action, the limits of organizations, the main types of organizations in existence today, the relation between organizations and institutions and networks, how constellations of organizations are constituted. The exposition is very clear.... Despite the many themes with dealt with in only 170 pages, Ahrne binds the themes together by relating them to his main argument. In sum, the book presents a convincing argument for the relevance of utilizing organization theory in order to make social theory less abstract' - Acta Sociologica

`Ahrne's exposition is deceptively simple and clear. He reconstructs social theory, untangles many major problems, and sets us all on the right track. Ahrne's writing reminds me of Erving Goffman, simple, elegant and profound' - Arthur L Stinchcombe, Northwestern University, Illinois

`Goran Ahrne has written a delightful book, building on the premise that human actions are transformed into social processes through organized interaction. From that simple statement, Ahrne weaves a compelling argument, challenging us to look at organizations again, as if we had never seen them before. I mean this literally - his first question brought me up short: "Why do you go home?" Why indeed? Ahrne's book is filled with such startling questions, and his penetrating insights reminded me of a great deal of Erving Goffman's work. He asks us to take nothing for granted and to question self-evident practices. Because Ahrne takes a very inclusive view of organizations, this book should appeal to nearly all the social science fields concerned with organized action, including public administration, organization studies, the sociology of the family, economic sociology, and social psychology' - Professor Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

`The exposition is very clear. Each chapter deals with important questions relevant to Ahrne's intent.... In sum, the book presents a convincing argument for - at least - the relevance of utilizing organization theory in order to make social theory less abstract' - Acta Sociologica

Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780803989214
$56.00

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.