A concise introduction to organizations

I recently wrote a series of posts laying out some basics on how I think about organizations. I’ve collected links and summaries here.

How to think about organizations

According to sociologist Richard Scott, “Organizations are groups whose members coordinate their behavior in order to accomplish shared goals or to put out a product.”

Loosely, I think about organizations through three lenses: the market-based view, the managerial view, and the sociological view.

How are organizations organized?

A quick tour of the difference between functional and divisional structures, plus matrix structures, the employee-centric model, and the crowd-centric model.

What makes an organization succeed?

You need to offer something people want; sell it for more than it costs to provide; and have some reason you can’t be copied. Plus: a very concise description of good management.

What are organizations for?

It’s a mistake to answer this question by jumping into the debate over shareholder capitalism. The broader purpose of organizations is to organize resources in a way that helps achieve some social goal. Profits are supposed to be an incentive to do that.

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