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Chapter 1

ADMS 1000 – Chapter 1.docx

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York University
Administrative Studies
ADMS 1000
Eytan Lasry

ADMS 1000 – Chapter 1 1/17/2013 11:49:00 AM Organization As an Open System What is an Organization? 3 categories: 1) public/gov organizations providing goods/services without generating a profit 2) private/non-gov organizations providing good/services without generating a profit 3) private organizations producing goods/services for profit and benefit of owners/shareholders - organizations also carry characteristics that are common to all types 1) They are social entities : common element of people, generated and maintained by people, involves the level of interaction 2) Created to achieve goals : goal directed, whether (non)profitable, designated to reach a common ground 3) Interact with the environment : obtains output from its environment (people, raw materials, tech, financial capital) transformed into outputs: goods/services/knowledge generated. Using Metaphors to Describe Organizations Notion of organizations – social construction (giving tangible name to something we take for granted) Words, names, concepts, ideas, facts, observations do not denote external “things” as conceptions of things activated in the mind Not the reality of what is “out there” but what we “perceive” to be out there Creative form producing effect through crossing images (ex. Between A and B we come across a generated new meaning) Ultimately shape what we mean/see/conceptualize We have organizations as… a machine, living organism, political system, theatre, sports team, family. Guiding our thinking in area of Management Philosophy Ex) “organism metaphor” conception of organizations as systems of mutually connected and dependent parts constituted to share a common life - try to advance our understanding of what organizations represent Organizations as Open Systems characteristic as “system” guides understanding of how they operate and sustain themselves interdependent elements working together to achieve a goal(s) intends to guide our understanding of what organizations are about, how they function and survive “open system” assets that organizations are entities embedded in/dependent on exchanged with environment which they operate in. “social system” people constituting the basic elements “closed system” : fully self-sufficient entities requiring no interaction with environment metaphor/theory where survival depended on ability to remain divorced from environment (challenging to find in practice) approach failed to recognize the role that external environment can have in operations Structure of Open System Input  physical resources (plant, capital, materials) human resources (people, knowledge) and technology  Process  transforming good/services generated by organization (eg. Manufacturing process)  Outputs  goods/services generated  Feedback goes to Inputs when environment became volatile and complex, theorists recognizing its futility on outlook of organizations as closed systems. Therefore, became necessary to embrace open system metaphors and knowledge of the impact it has in connection to organizations: we need input from the environment, to give output back to it Organization’s environment represents all elements that exist outside the organization and those that could affect the organizations KEY FACTS: emphasis on relationship with environment without obtaining necessary inputs, whether suitable employees/raw materials, organizations cannot function likewise, failure to generate types of products/services sought by environment then it too cannot function ultimately, environment determines the fate of the open system organization, its response to the environment and the notion of own business strategy External Context of Business external context  environment 2 dimensions: 1) specific or task environment external stakeholders have direct influence on organization’s ability to obtain resources and generate outputs interest in organization and could include parties such as customers, suppliers, labor pool within which the organization obtains  employees, competitors, unions, distributors, creditors, local public and gov. don’t always influence but are potential types of factors that constitute a specific environment of an organization 2) general environment sphere surround the organization’s specific environment forces making up the general environment shape the specific one of the organization consequently, also influence’s organization’s ability to obtain resources general environmental factors include economic, compe
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