SOC 100 Chapter 6 - FORMAL ORGANIZATIONS
Pervasiveness: How much are our lives touched by large formal organizations?
e.g. UAB, the power co., the auto manufacturer, the dealership, the gov’t that built the
roads, the publishers of your text, etc.
As early as 5,000 years ago they became essential because of decisions required
for water distribution through irrigation.
The Egyptians had a version of the IRS as early as 2500 BC. They kept copious
records of crop size, inventories, and harvests. They started making paper from
papyrus around 3000 BC. (The word
comes from the Greek word for
papyrus [Smithsonian, March, 1989]).
is a coordinating mechanism created by people to achieve stated
e.g. all of the above
They have a life apart from the individuals who form and occupy them.
Large organizations dominate our lives today and many span the globe.
III. The Multinational Corporation
Corporations that own or manage businesses in more than one country with
headquarters in another
; i.e. they own or control production and service facilities in
countries other than the one in which their headquarters are located.
e.g. Mercedes Benz and Honda make cars in Alabama, while Dutch-owned Philips
Corp. makes televisions in Tennessee and Honda makes cars in Ohio and ships them
to Japan (
The Wilson Quarterly
, Spring 1990:15).
is a legally recognized organization whose existence, powers, and
liabilities are distinct from those of its owners and employees.
The UN estimates there are 35,000 MNCs.
Many have budgets larger than most countries.
World’s Largest Corporations (Fortune’s Global 500 for 2005)