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 relaÂ tions have been listed (Marrett 1971), and partially developed paradigms for analyzÂ 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 organizaÂ tional political decision-making processes and also for the perspective that organizaÂ 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 organizaÂ tional sociology
Annual Review of Sociology – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 1, 1976
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