2007-11-06 - There are formal and informal institutions o...

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There are formal and informal institutions o All bureaucratic organizations are either or The relative proportions of these varies from one organization to another – overall some bureaucratic organizations are more formal than others o What is the formal structure It is the organization that closely follows its rules, regulations, and procedures Organizations use codified documents, charters, manuals – these constitute the formal system Also called its official side of the system The side that it presents to the outside What the casual outside observer sees at a distance The formal structure is the “front stage” Front stage o The stage that is presented to outsiders, its public staging Casual observer or inspectors It uses front stage to present itself It uses the front stage to defend itself when under scrutinization It must justify and defend itself against public citation It is trying to show that its decisions were made in accordance with its official legal procedure It uses the formal system show a rationalized front stage of itself Similar to what persons do when they are under attack and are forced to justify their behavior o People and organizations - Show a published rationale for the actions they have taken Persons and organizations act on a front stage in front of audiences, especially when under scrutiny If all you know of a organization is its formal system, then you don’t know all that much There is an informal system o The informal system Not as easily visible as the formal system, especially to outsiders An outside observer usually only sees the front stage, the formal system Especially true when the organization is observed from a large distance Not every one is allowed back stage In order to be backstage one must have special permission It is hidden from outside view Therefore it is only accessible to insiders
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It is accessible to only those who work for the organization, who are present everyday, and not those who observe from a distance Loose Coupling The behavior of the informal system cannot be formally predicted from the formal system Even if you knew all there was to know about the formal system, you would not know much about the informal system The informal system is about the day to day organization The informal system parts from its rules and regulations This is visible to a insider participant or a participant observer o Participant observer Person who observes by participating in day to day activities How does the informal system emerge Encounters and groups The informal system consists of networks of encounters and groups The organization itself is neither an encounter nor a group
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course SOC 302 taught by Professor Fuchs during the Spring '07 term at UVA.

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2007-11-06 - There are formal and informal institutions o...

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