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Groups and Organizations

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Social Group
Two or more people who identify and interact with one
another.

Not every collection of individuals forms a


group.
Many people with a status in common
women, homeowners, soldiers,
millionaires, college graduates, and
Roman Catholicsare not groups, but
categories.
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Not Quite a Social Group


Crowd
Temporary cluster of people
A group can have temporal status

A crowd can become a group, then a


crowd again.
A large gathering of people at a football game
A crowd that begins to riot might be
considered a group.

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Primary Groups
Small social groups whose members share personal,
lasting relationships.

Traits
Small
Personal orientation
Enduring

Primary relationships
First group experienced in life
Irreplaceable

Assistance of all kinds


Emotional to financial
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Secondary Groups
A large, impersonal social group whose
members pursue a specific goal or activity.

Traits
Large membership
Goal or activity orientation
Formal and polite

Secondary relationships
Weak emotional ties
Short term

Examples
Co-workers and political
organizations
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Summing Up
Primary Groups and Secondary Groups
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Group Leadership
Two roles
Instrumental: Task-oriented
Expressive: People-oriented

Three leadership styles


Authoritarian: Leader makes decisions;
Compliance from members
Democratic: Member involvement
Laissez-faire: Mainly let group function on its
own
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Group Conformity Studies


Aschs research
Willingness to compromise our own
judgments
Line experiment

Milgrams research
Role authority plays
Following orders

Janiss research
Negative side of groupthink

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Figure 7.1
Cards Used in Aschs Experiment in Group Conformity
In Aschs experiment, subjects were asked to match the line on Card 1 to one of the lines on Card 2. Many subjects agreed with the wrong answers given by
others in their group.
Source: Asch (1952).

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Reference Group
A social group that serves as a point of reference in
making evaluations and decisions

Stouffers research
We compare ourselves in relation to
specific reference groups.

In-groups and out-groups


Loyalty to in-group
Opposition to out-groups

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Group Size
The dyad
A two-member group
Very intimate, but unstable given its size

The triad
A three-member group
More stable than a dyad and more types
of interaction are possible

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Figure 7.2
Group Size and Relationships
As the number of people in a group increases, the number of relationships that link them increases much faster. By the time six or seven people
share a conversation, the group usually divides into two. Why are relationships in smaller groups typically more intense?
Source: Created by the author.

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Social Diversity:
Race, Class, and Gender
Large groups turn inward.
Members have relationships between themselves.
Heterogeneous groups turn outward.
Diverse membership promotes interaction with
outsiders.
Physical boundaries create social boundaries.
If segregation of groups takes place, the chances
for contact are limited.
Networks
Web of weak social ties, people we know of or who
know of us
Sociology, 13 Edition by John Macionis
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Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Global Map 7.1


Internet Users in Global Perspective

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Formal Organizations
Large secondary groups organized to achieve goals
efficiently; date back thousands of years.

Utilitarian
Material rewards for
members

Normative
Voluntary organizations
Ties to personal morality

Coercive
Punishment or treatment
Total institutions
Sociology, 13

Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Summing Up
Small Groups and Formal Organizations
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bureaucracy
An organizational model rationally designed to
perform tasks efficiently

Max Webers six elements to promote


organizational efficiency:

Specialization of duties
Hierarchy of offices
Rules and regulations
Technical competence
Impersonality
Formal, written communications
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Organizational Environment
Factors outside an organization that
affect its operation:

Economic and political trends


Current events
Populations patterns
Other organizations

Informal side of bureaucracy


In part, informality comes from the
personalities of organizational leaders.

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Problems of Bureaucracies
Bureaucratic alienation
Potential to dehumanize individuals

Bureaucratic inefficiency and ritualism


Preoccupation with rules, interferes with meeting
goals

Bureaucratic inertia
Perpetuation of the organization

Oligarchy: The rule of the many by the few


Helps distance officials from the public.
Michels: Concentrates power and threatens
democracy
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Evolution of Formal Organizations

Scientific Management
Application of scientific principles to the
operation of a business or large
organization
1. Identify tasks and time needed for tasks
2. Analyze to perform tasks more efficiently
3. Provide incentives for worker efficiency

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

New Challenges
to Formal Organizations
Race and gender
Pattern of exclusion
Female advantage

Japanese organizations
Value cooperation
Organizational loyalty

Changing nature of work


Information-based organizations
Creative autonomy, competitive work teams,
flatter organization, and greater flexibility
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Figure 7.3
U.S. Managers in Private
Industry by Race, Sex, and
Ethnicity, 2005

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Figure 7.4
Two Organizational Models
The conventional model of bureaucratic organizations has a pyramid shape, with a clear chain of command. Orders flow from the top down, and reports of
performance flow from the bottom up. Such organizations have extensive rules and regulations, and their workers have highly specialized jobs. More open
and flexible organizations have a flatter shape, more like a football. With fewer levels in the hierarchy, responsibility for generating ideas and making
decisions is shared throughout the organization. Many workers do their jobs in teams and have a broad knowledge of the entire organizations operation.
Source: Created by the author.

Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis


Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

McDonaldization of Society

Efficiency: Do it quickly
Predictability: Use set formulas
Uniformity: Leave nothing to chance
Control: Humans are most unreliable
factor

Each principle limits human creativity,


choice, and freedom.
Weber: Rational systems are efficient but
dehumanizing.
Sociology, 13 Edition by John Macionis
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Future of Organizations:
Opposing Trends
Movement toward more creative
freedom for highly skilled information
workers
Movement toward increased
supervision and discipline for less
skilled service workers
Sociology, 13h Edition by John Macionis
Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.