Organization or organizing ( gr ὄργανον organon 'tool' ) can be translated as " effecting " the truest, but clear definitions do not exist. In the sciences, the term can be attributed to three general meanings: as a tool, as a function and as an institution.

Word Meaning

Etymology of " organization " gem. Duden "organize" derived from the verb ( " to plan organize, create, set up, establish " ), on the French institutions ( " tool; provided with organs; together into a viable whole" ) back.

Organization also stands for the process of organizing, are joined by the continuous independent actions at reasonable consequences, so that reasonable results are obtained. or be joined together so that they lead to desired goals and results.

An organization can be a social structure that emerges from the systematic and goal-oriented interaction of people, differentiating itself to the environment and - can interact with other actors - as corporate actors ( Coleman ).

In biology we know organizations in the form of " community building ", " team building " (eg Horde) or " nation-building " (eg ants, also referred to as super-organism ).


Both in common parlance as well as in science (such as sociology, political science, business administration, computer science ) used the term ambiguous and changing aspects. Organization referred to an a ' structure ', on the other hand a ' process ', which are assigned to each of purposive-rational structures and actions.

In colloquial language, for example, is to "organize" (after ) as veiling term for " something [ to not quite lawfully ] raise " known.

Instrumental and functional view

The instrumental approach sees organization as the totality of all regulations that relate to the distribution of tasks and responsibilities and the execution of work processes. It is used primarily in business administration application.

The functional or procedural view regarded organization as actions of organizing, ie the distribution of tasks to members of the organization ( division of labor) and their alignment with overarching goals (coordination).

Karl Weick defined as the procedural aspect: "Organizing is, continuous, independent actions at reasonable consequences together, so that reasonable results can be achieved ." His image is an organization organizational psychological observation, in which the organization refers to a group of people who are trying to make sense of the events that happen around them.

Instrumental and functional view thematize rules to establish an order. One can also say that a system has an organization.

Structural View

On the other hand, there is a structural understanding, which is based on the organized structure. From a structural aspect of the organization is " a structure of interdependent actions " that are " of labor and cooperation [ interdependent ] Coordination [ ... ] purposefully linked " in. Every organization is a system, but the reverse is not every system organization. The social sub- systems business, politics, science, for example, consist of organizations, professions and institutions.


As any science usually a specialized point of view, the different meanings of organization, it is correspondingly difficult to use the term to face the of the institution. In some cases one can find analogous meanings of institution, both as a set of rules (eg, the institution of marriage ) or as an organized entity (eg, a court ).

In contrast to the everyday language used is clearly delineated in the social sciences, the term organization from the notion of institution: An organization is a consciously created, goal-oriented entity that founder and also a founding date has. Each organization has members. Institution, however, was a " rules " of behavior patterns and norms that from the social coexistence of people, that is, from the regularities of their behavior, is as it were " natural growth " emerged (eg, the institution of the competition, the hospitality, the wedding, the funeral ).

There also remained institutions, especially legal, which were deliberately created and are equipped with the force of law, such as Erbregelung, marriage, ownership, participation, right to vote. Often these are linked to the institutions resulting in practical life context.

For institutions is generally true that they are inconceivable without members. Thus, for example, the University on the one hand as an organization and on the other hand describe as an institution: As an organization it is a social structure consisting of teachers and students as well as researchers, administrators and other staff who act in a division of labor, well-planned interaction with each other; as an institution it is a social institution that serves the exchange, handing down and generate practical and orientierendem knowledge.

Notwithstanding the social science distinction of the two concepts subsumes the New Institutional Economics and organizations under their concept of institution.

Organizational theories

Organizational theories have the aim of the basic elements and functions of organizations to understand their origin and their ( continuing ) stock in dynamic environments and explain. There are a number of different theories of organizations who wish to respond to the fact that organizations are highly complex structures. All theoretical approaches is the object area - the organizations and their objectives - the same, but they cover only certain aspects of the broad subject area. Major organizational theories are:

The classical theories

  • Theory of bureaucracy
  • Scientific Management
  • Human relations approach
  • Situational approach
  • Socio - technical approach
  • Behavioral Decision Theory
  • Systems theory

More recent theories

  • Garbage-can model
  • Self-organization
  • Political Economy of organization
  • Structuration
  • Sociological neo-institutionalism

Economic approaches

  • Transaction cost theory
  • Principal-agent theory
  • Property Rights Approach
  • New Institutional Economics
  • Evolution Theoretical Approach

Organization in the Business Administration

In business economics, the three term occurrences are recorded as follows:

  • Instrumental view

The instrumental view was for decades the dominant understanding of the organization concept. With the aim of structuring based on specialization and coordination of people, property, resources and information for the purpose of achieving the company's goals.

There are two classic forms. Firstly, the functional concept by Erich Gutenberg and on the other the configurational design by Erich Kosiol.

In this context, elements such as Formal Organization and Informal organization come into play.

  • Institutional point of view

Organizations are social, temporally relatively stable systems, which consist of individuals that pursue common goals.

Often organizations are classified according to general target systems as follows:

  • Organizations whose goal is to provide benefits in the form of goods and services to achieve ( production companies and service companies ), or certain external effects (for example, administrative authorities, police, political parties, interest groups, trade unions, etc. );
  • Organizations whose goal achievement is directed to the change of people (for example, schools, universities, hospitals, counseling centers, prisons, etc.). This target type is usually called non-profit organization.

Organization in the field Organizational Behaviour

The interdisciplinary field Organizational Behavior is concerned with the analysis of human behavior in organizations and ways of targeted influencing it. Among others social rules, processes, functions, structures, as well as various other contexts are considered on their behavior -controlling effects (eg, expectations, behavior or sense) out.

Therefore Marketable organizations mainly consist of communication from and about decisions, each individual decision follows on previous decisions and itself is a prerequisite for subsequent decisions. In view of the effective mutual references of decisions on other decisions in the interfaces along the division of labor in value added processes results in a recursive decision composite, whose self-reflection is based internal decision-oriented communication processes.

Organization in sociology

Sociology looks at the organization as a genuine object of their field. Talcott Parsons saw in the organization, " the most important mechanism for a highly differentiated society to the system ' keep going ' and to attain objectives that exceed the capabilities of the individual ." Although Max Weber has asked the bureaucratic organization as one of the first sociologists to the center of his sociology, came only through the detour of American sociology, Weber had discovered as the first organization sociologists, after the Second World War, the sociology of organizations to Germany, examples of this are the works of Renate Mayntz who had studied in the U.S..

Organization in political science

A separate political science organization theory is - not yet implemented - despite the exploration of, for example parties. But opening up with the 21st century due to the growing importance of NGOs ( nongovernmental organizations ) new fields of research. They range - for example - the Red Cross up to al - Qaeda.