What exactly is an organisation?
August 30, 2006
What is an organisation? The definitions are fascinating: Argyris describes it as
- A plurality of parts
- Maintaining themselves through their interrelatedness, and
- Achieving specific objectives
- While accomplishing 2 and 3 adapt to the external environment, thereby,
- Maintaining their interrelated state of the parts (Argyris, 1960: 27-28)
Others suggest that organisations don’t exist at all but are social constructs (a view I happen to agree with – where, for example do you find organisations? – you don’t – you find buildings, people, tasks, uniforms etc).
Someone else once said to me that a family was like an organisation but without the capacity to think so my favourite definition of an organisation is
A family system – with the capacity to think – kinda covers all the bases doesn’t it?