Chapter 5: Groups and Organizations
Chapter Summary

Chapter 5

1. Social groups are building blocks of society that join members as well as perform various tasks.

2. Primary groups tend to be small and person-oriented; secondary groups are typically large and goal-oriented.

3. Instrumental leadership is concerned with realizing a groups goals; expressive leadership focuses on members' morale and well-being.

4. Because group members often seek consensus, groups can pressure members toward conformity.

5. Individuals use reference groups—both ingroups and outgroups—to form attitudes and make evaluations.

6. Georg Simmel characterized the dyad as intense but unstable; a triad, he added, can easily dissolve into a dyad by excluding one member.

7. Peter Blau explored how group size, internal homogeneity, and physical segregation of groups all affect members’ behavior.

8. Social networks are relational webs that link people who have little common identity and limited interaction. The Internet is a vast electronic network linking millions of people worldwide.

9. Formal organizations are large secondary groups that try to perform complex tasks efficiently. They are classified as normative, coercive, or utilitarian based on their members’ reasons for joining.

10. Bureaucratic organization expands in modern societies to perform complex tasks efficiently. Bureaucracy is based on specialization, hierarchy, rules and regulations, technical competence, impersonal interaction, and formal written communications.

11. Technology, economic and political trends, population patterns, and other organizations all combine to form the environment in which a particular organization must operate.

12. Ideal bureaucracy promotes efficiency, but bureaucracy may generate alienation and oligarchy, and contributes to the erosion of personal privacy.

13. Frederick Taylor’s “scientific management” shaped U.S. organizations a century ago. Since then, organizations have evolved toward a more open and flexible form as they have (a) included a larger share of women and other minorities, (b) responded to global competition, especially from Japan, and (c) shifted their focus from industrial production to postindustrial information processing.

14. Reflecting the collective spirit of Japanese culture, formal organizations in Japan are based more on personal ties than their U.S. counterparts.

15. The “McDonaldization” of society involves increasing automation and impersonality.

16. The future of organizations will likely involve opposing trends: toward more creative autonomy for highly skilled, information workers and toward supervision and discipline for less-skilled, service workers.

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