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organization

a social grouping designed to achieve certain goals. In the modern world much of the provision of goods and services is undertaken by organizations, and they are the main providers of paid employment. The core features of the modern organization were outlined by Max Weber (1864-1920) in his analysis of BUREAUCRACY. In his view the bureaucratic organization was the dominant mode of organization in modern industrial societies. Organizations of this sort are often also called formal organizations since they exist independently of the individuals who belong to them at any given time, and the roles and activities of organization members are formally prescribed at least to some extent. Informal organization, by contrast, is where the differentiation of roles (for example leader, follower) is not formally specified and where roles emerge naturally Small GROUPS are often referred to as informal organizations. They can be a source of difficulty within formal organizations because their respective roles and goals may conflict.

All formal organizations have a structure of roles and a set of arrangements to achieve the organization's objectives. This is known as the organization's design. It embraces the distribution of tasks that organization members perform and the mechanisms of coordination and control. Design is thus more than the simple lines of AUTHORITY and ACCOUNTABILITY shown in the ORGANIZATION CHART. In ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS three dimensions of structure are usually seen as fundamental:

  1. centralization: the number of levels in the HIERARCHY and the extent to which decisions are taken at the top of the organization;
  2. specialization: the extent to which the total activities of the organization are broken down into specialized jobs for individuals. See JOB DESIGN AND REDESIGN;
  3. standardization: the extent to which the conduct of activities necessary to achieve the organization's goals are controlled and coordinated by standard, written rules.

Organizations differ along these dimensions. Small dynamic organizations in high growth sectors are often characterized by low centralization, specialization and standardization; by contrast, public administration often exhibits the opposite (see MECHANISTIC AND ORGANISMIC ORGANIZATIONS). See WORK ORGANIZATION, ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE, PRODUCT-BASED STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURE, MATRIX STRUCTURE, H-FORM, TALL ORGANIZATION, FLAT ORGANIZATION.

organization

the structure of authority or power within a FIRM or public body. Generally, there will be a number of management levels in an organization, with a chief executive at the top of the pyramid-shaped organization and increasing numbers of senior, middle and junior managers further down the hierarchy, operatives, sales people and clerks forming the base of the pyramid. Lines of authority are established by the organization's structure, with orders being transmitted downwards in increasing detail and information feedback being transmitted upwards.

In the traditional THEORY OF THE FIRM, such organizational details are ignored, the firm being portrayed as a simple decisionmaking unit that responds exactly to orders initiated by its controlling ENTREPRENEUR. In practice, the structure and operations of large, complex organizations themselves will affect the decision-making process and the specification of organization objectives. See ORGANIZATION THEORY, BEHAVIOURAL THEORY OF THE FIRM, MFORM ORGANIZATION, U FORM ORGANIZATION, CORPORATE RE-ENGINEERING.

References in periodicals archive ?
Clearly, a major criticism of pro forma disclosures to date has been their one-sided nature.
In its recent "Pro Forma Financial Information: Tips for Investors," the SEC cited this measure as one that "can be misleading unless the company clearly describes what transactions are omitted and how the numbers might compare to other periods."
"Given all this, it can indeed rightly be asked, not so much what the words 'pro multis' in the consecration mean, but rather given all this evidence, why 'pro omnibus' is not explicitly said.
"1) in the primitive Palestinian Church, considering both their soteriology and their Semitic mind-set, there was no misunderstanding that had to be avoided by employing the formula 'pro omnibus.' They could freely keep the traditional 'pro multis' because those Christians sensed and marveled at the beauty of that original formula 'pro multis.'
"As the primary foundry partner for Xilinx, we are pleased that our companies' collaborative efforts have again paid off with the introduction of their newest family of Virtex-II Pro X devices."
Xilinx Virtex-II Pro X FPGAs incorporate up to 20 RocketIO multi-gigabit transceivers, supporting operating ranges of 2.488 Gbps to 10.3125 Gbps per channel.
Howard (Lefty) Brown * Born July 17, 1936 in Saginaw, Mich.; turned pro in 1960; joined the PGA Tour in 1969.
FileMaker Developer 5.5 provides in-depth documentation and examples for XML, which is quickly becoming the preferred method of exchanging data across applications; JDBC, allowing for easier ways to build Java front ends to FileMaker Pro databases; and ODBC allowing for access to a FileMaker data source remotely, for easy back-up of mission-critical data on back end systems.
We chose the ATI RADEON 9600 PRO and RADEON 9800 PRO graphics cards to deliver a similar leap in 3D graphics performance," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Hardware Product Marketing.
Profit Pro Inc., a privately-held company founded in 1990, is a leading supplier of point-of-sale and business management software, electronic parts cataloging, e-commerce technology, and Internet solutions to the automotive aftermarket.
Wolf says that for him, pro bono work "comes closest to the reasons I went to law school." And he knows that it also makes it easier, psychologically, for him to stay at the firm.
Maintenance performed under the PROS II program is solely repair and return.