As is known, in sociology there are various approaches to the definition and understanding of the essence of organizations. A similar situation is observed in the typology of organizations. For example, N. Smelzer singles out voluntary associations, total institutions and bureaucracies among organizations, while in Russian sociological science and practice it is traditionally to distinguish, first of all, formal and informal organizations. The basis for this distinction is the degree of the existing links formalization, interactions and relationships in them. It follows from here that most of the existing organizations are formal; in particular, they include previously mentioned maternity hospitals, hospitals, schools, shops, factories, government institutions and many others.
Modern organizations, and especially formal ones, are impossible without a special kind of activity - managerial, aimed to transform various aspects of the life of the organization. This activity is extremely diverse and contradictory. Its complexity, in particular, is shown by the fact that many management concepts are adopted and used in practice. Researchers at present do not have a common opinion on the essence of the management process and management functions.
However, all researchers of organizations agree that the basis of management is the achievement of the organization's goals by optimal means. Practice shows that the optimal achievement of goals is achieved by creating within the organization a special body that implements the management impact and is not directly involved in the production of the product, but is kind of over it. For example, management - the administration of an excavator plant, should monitor the activities of all departments and divisions of the enterprise, not executing their functions.
In the most general form, the management process is presented as a set of actions of a special organ of the organization, aimed at changing the existing state of the organization or its parts in the direction of achieving its goals and balance with the external environment.
The main task of management is to keep the controlled parameters within the permissible limits, i.e. actions of individual departments of the organization and organization as a whole in the direction of achieving the set goals. The impact on controlled parameters is achieved through a change in the situation or through incentives. To solve this problem, managers should focus not only on the controlled parameters of the managed object, but also on the relationship of this unit or the organization as a whole with the external environment.
The issue of management in organizations is directly related to the problem of bureaucratization of organizations.
The most important feature of all modern formal organizations is their bureaucratization. The term "bureaucracy" (from the French bureau - bureau, office and Greek kratos - authority), which appeared in the XVIII century, means the power of officials. Initially, it was applied only in relation to government institutions, but gradually its significance expanded and it began to apply to any large organizations.
In literature, one can find extreme points of view on this social phenomenon. In one case, it has a negative color and is associated, first of all, with red tape, inefficiency and wastefulness, while in the other case it is regarded as a positive phenomenon, which is a sample of thoroughness, accuracy and efficiency of administrative management. M. Weber demonstrated the more balanced approach to the characterization and evaluation of the bureaucracy. In his opinion, the spread of bureaucracy in society is natural and logical, since it is the only way to adequately respond to the challenges of the times and the ever-complicating social life. This can be illustrated by the following example: the emergence of monopolies causes the need to support free competition, as a consequence - supervisory bodies that are new bureaucratic organizations appear.
To describe the characteristic features of the bureaucracy, Weber used its ideal type, or model. As is known, the model never corresponds exactly to the specific situation of the real world, but it makes it possible to generalize the social phenomenon. Weber, thus, distinguished the following main features of an ideal bureaucracy.
1. The presence of a hierarchy of power, in which tasks in the organization are distributed as "official duties". The bureaucracy has the appearance of a pyramid, in which the position, meaning the highest power, corresponds to the top. There is a "chain of control" from the top to the bottom, which allows to make coordinated decisions. Each higher layer directs and controls the layer, that is situated a step below in the hierarchy.
2. The established rules determine the behavior of officials at all levels of the organization.
3. Officials are employed full time and get a salary. Each workplace in the hierarchy implies a certain wage. It is expected that the individual will make a career in the organization. Promotion is carried out on the basis of abilities, seniority or a mixture of both.
4. There is a division between the duties of officials within the organization and his or her life outside it.
5. None of the members of the organization owns the material resources that he or she manages.
All this, taken together, according to Weber, makes the behavior of the organization's employees predictable, helps the leadership coordinate the activities of employees that, in turn, contributes to the improvement of labor efficiency. Weber believed that the closer the organization to the ideal type of bureaucracy is, the more effectively it can cope with the tasks for which it was created. At the same time, he recognized that the bureaucracy creates the problem of the "formalism", and assumed that bureaucratic procedures are tedious and discourage the use of creative abilities.
Some researchers have found Weber's concept of bureaucracy too simplistic. Being an ideal model, it assumed that those who direct the bureaucracy clearly realize its goals and implement them in a reasonable way. However, the real life, as is known, is much more complicated. As a counterweight and compensation for the formal organizations disadvantages, informal organizations are formed and function in society. These include voluntary associations, charitable organizations and mutual aid organizations. The most revealing, in this sense, in the Anthony Giddens’ opinion, are precisely the organizations of mutual aid, strikingly contrasting to bureaucratic systems.
Over the past hundred years, the number and diversity of self-help groups has increased significantly. There are associations of homeowners, anonymous alcoholics, drug rehabilitation groups and many others. Some of them have a hundred-year history, the others have emerged quite recently.
Mutual help groups are made up of people who are in the same situation and come together to help each other in the realization of common interests or to cope with common problems. As a rule, such groups are non-hierarchical; there are no fixed posts associated with bureaucracies. The membership in groups is often unstable; group members can visit one or more meetings, and then leave the group. Usually these groups depend on membership fees or donations and do not have fixed types of income. If there are paid functionaries, then their earnings, as a rule, are small compared with the earnings of their colleagues in orthodox organizations. Members of an informal group are usually associated with certain moral principles.
Thus, summing up, it is necessary to emphasize that in complex societies there is a need to create many organizations or large secondary groups formed to achieve specific goals.
Among all the components of the internal structure of the organization, a special place is occupied by the goals, since for the sake of their achievement all of its activities are carried out. An organization that has no purpose is meaningless. An equally important component of the organization is its social structure, which is a system of orderly aligned positions of organization members, which includes a set of interrelated roles, ordered relationships between members of the organization, primarily relations of power and subordination.
A distinctive feature of all modern formal organizations is their bureaucratization. Bureaucracies are a special management system, which is characterized by a separation of roles and a hierarchy of power.
Contrary to the many shortcomings inherent in the bureaucracy, many researchers believe that the existence of modern society is impossible without it, so in the future it should be further expanded.
As a counterweight and compensation for the formal, bureaucratic organizations disadvantages, informal organizations appear and function in society. These include voluntary associations, charitable organizations and mutual aid organizations.