What is an Organization?

I have created a Glossary section to help the reader understand the unique lexicon of organizational change management (OCM). However, there are a few terms that are fundamental to understanding the change management process. First and foremost is understanding the word organization. Before we can change something, we must understand what that something is. A common conceptualization is that organizations are social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of specified goals (Handel, 2003, p. 11).

      However, there a various ways to describe the form and function of organizations. In the fields of psychology, sociology and political science, the are thousands of books, essays and dissertations written about the distinctions and between the individual and collectives of individuals called organizations. There is no more fundamental aspect of our humanity than what we do together when we form an organization to do something. I am not being flippant when I say that an organization is a bunch of people doing something. From the beginning of humanity's origins, people worked together to meet the basic physiological and safety requirements of Maslow's Hierarchy. They worked together to hunt for food, to create shelter against the environment, and to defend the tribe against existential threats.

      In the end, I had to devote an entire page to grappling with the concept and reality of the question “What is an Organizations?

© 2018 by Richard H. Carson,  PhD, MPA           Mobile:  (503) 396-9764