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Environments of Organizations

Environments of Organizations The relationship between organizations and environments has drawn increasing attention in the recent literature of the sociology of organizations. We consider the subject of interorganizational relations to be a special case of the more general study of organizations and their environments. Dimensions of interorganizational rela­ tions have been listed (Marrett 1971), and partially developed paradigms for analyz­ ing organization-environment relations have been proposed. The natural selection model, developing the strongest argument for an environmental perspective, posits that environmental factors select those organizational characteristics that best fit the environment (Hannan & Freeman 1974, Aldrich' 1971b). A complementary model, variously called a political economy model (Benson 1975, Wamsley & Zald 1973), a dependence exchange approach (Jacobs 1974, Hasenfeld 1972), and a resource dependence model (Pfeffer 1972b), argues for greater attention to internal organiza­ tional political decision-making processes and also for the perspective that organiza­ tions seek to manage or strategically adapt to their environments. The two models agree on the importance of organizational environments for understanding organizational decisions and structures, but differ in their evaluation of the importance of the role of environmental selection. Current literature has elements of both incompletely developed perspectives and the shape of organiza­ tional sociology http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

Environments of Organizations

Annual Review of Sociology , Volume 2 (1) – Aug 1, 1976

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1976 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
DOI
10.1146/annurev.so.02.080176.000455
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The relationship between organizations and environments has drawn increasing attention in the recent literature of the sociology of organizations. We consider the subject of interorganizational relations to be a special case of the more general study of organizations and their environments. Dimensions of interorganizational rela­ tions have been listed (Marrett 1971), and partially developed paradigms for analyz­ ing organization-environment relations have been proposed. The natural selection model, developing the strongest argument for an environmental perspective, posits that environmental factors select those organizational characteristics that best fit the environment (Hannan & Freeman 1974, Aldrich' 1971b). A complementary model, variously called a political economy model (Benson 1975, Wamsley & Zald 1973), a dependence exchange approach (Jacobs 1974, Hasenfeld 1972), and a resource dependence model (Pfeffer 1972b), argues for greater attention to internal organiza­ tional political decision-making processes and also for the perspective that organiza­ tions seek to manage or strategically adapt to their environments. The two models agree on the importance of organizational environments for understanding organizational decisions and structures, but differ in their evaluation of the importance of the role of environmental selection. Current literature has elements of both incompletely developed perspectives and the shape of organiza­ tional sociology

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 1, 1976

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