Organizations as Rational, Natural, and Open Systems


The importance of organizations in modern society is an inevitable fact. They are “the principal mechanism by which, in a highly differentiated society, it is possible to ‘get things done,’ to achieve goals beyond the reach of the individual” (Parsons, 1960, p. 41). Already in ancient civilizations, organizations play an import role in society. Greek and Roman empires, for example, had institutions for public administration or tax collection. And while these empires came and went, some organizations such as the Catholic Church are still present today (cf. Kieser, 1989). However, the modern organization is a relatively young phenomenon. Scott remarks

Even though organizations are now ubiquitous, their development has been sufficiently gradual and uncontroversial that they have emerged during the past few centuries almost unnoticed. The spread of public bureaucracies into every sector and the displacement of the family business by the corporation “constitutes a revolution” in social structure, but one little remarked until recently. (Scott, 1998, p. 4)


Tacit Knowledge Organizational Learning Explicit Knowledge Management Science Organization Theory 
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© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

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