The readings collected in Organizational Sociology are organized so as to direct attention to the six major theoretical traditions which have emerged since the 1960s to guide research and interpretation of organizational structure and performance. The traditions reviewed are: Contingency theory, Resource dependence. Population and Community ecology, Transactions costs economics, Neo-Marxist theory and Institutional Theory. Major statements of each theory are presented together with examples of related empirical research. A concluding section provides examples of recent attempts to combine and integrate two or more of these theories, as analysts attempt to account for some aspects of organization. Rather than pitting one perspective against another, contemporary analysts are more likely to selectively combine elements from several theories in order to better understand the phenomenon of interest.
Contents: Introduction: Contingency Theory: Organization design: an information processing view, Jay R. Galbraith; Organizational structure, environment and performance: the role of strategic choice, John Child; Alternative forms of fit in contingency theory, Robert Drazin and Andrew H. van den Ven; Organizational structures in Japanese and US manufacturing, James R. Lincoln, Mitsuyo Hanada and Kerry McBride. Resource Dependence Theory: The business firm as a political coalition, James G. March; A strategic contingencies theory of intraorganizational power, D.J. Hickson; C.R. Hinings, C.A. Lee, R.E. Schneck and J.M. Pennings; Merger as a response to organizational interdependence, Jeffrey Pfeffer; Testing a structural theory of corporate cooptation, Ronald S. Burt, Kenneth P. Christman and Harold C. Kilburn Jr. Interorganizational Directorate Ties as a Strategy for Avoiding Market Constraints on Profits: Population and Community Ecology: The population ecology of organizations, Michael T. Hannan and John Freeman; The ecology of organizational founding: American labor unions 1836-1985, Michael T. Hannan and John Freeman; The 2 ecologies: population and community perspectives on organizational evolution, W. Graham Astley; Technological discontinuities and organizational environments, Michael L. Tushman and Philip Anderson. Transactions Costs Money: The economics of organization: the transaction cost approach, Oliver E. Williamson; Organizational structure and economic performance: a test of the multidivisional hypothesis, Henry Ogden Armour and David J. Teece; A transaction cost approach to make-or-buy decisions, Gordon Walker and David Weber; Price and authority in inter-profit center transactions, Robert G. Eccles and Harrison C. White. Neo-Marxist: Towards a sociology of organizational structure, Graeme Salaman; The deskilling controversy, Paul Attewell; Corporate control and corporate rule: Britain in an international perspective, John Scott. Institutional Theor