Important structural characteristics of advanced societies are reflected in various terms used by social scientists for the emerging social order. These include ‘The Acquisitive Society’ (Tawney 1921), ‘The Consensual Society’ (Shils 1961), The Organisational Society’ ( Presthus 1962), ‘The Employee Society’ (Drucker 1963), ‘The Administrative Society’ ( Gross 1964), ‘The Consumer Society’ (Jones 1965), ‘The Mass Society’ (Giner 1976), ‘The New Acquisitive Society’ (Zweig 1976), and ‘The Professional Society’ (Perkin 1990). The theory of ‘post-industrialism’ (Bell 1976), while being equated with ’Information Society’ (Webster 1966), is seen as the one giving rise to the ’Network Society’ (Castells 1997). Considering the universal nature of social organisations which provide the social fabric for many of the relationships in which we engage and the choices we make (Parker et al 1972). It may be said that complex organisations constitute one of the most important elements which make up for the social web of modern societies.
Inasmuch as our society is seen as an ’organisational society’ (Presthus 1962), besides being an ‘imperatively coordinated group’ (Dahrendorf 1958), organisations may be defined as social units deliberately designed to seek specific goals (Parsons 1960). The objectives of formal organisations are therefore explicit, limited and announced and are so structured to attain a particular type of goal (Parsons 1960). According to Silverman (1970) the goals may be placed in the category of ‘cultural objectives’ which members use for purposes of accountability. He goes on to add that the organizational goal needs to be treated as an on-going consensus. Keeping the aspect of ‘consensus’ in view, organization is designated as ‘cooperation of two or more persons’ (Barnard 1969) since it involves a clear division of integrated activities (Gouldner 1955). Cyert et al (1963) examine the role of decision-making and emphasise on the need for decisions to be made to achieve organizational goals. ‘Trust Investment behaviour’ and ‘price and output determination’ are shown by them as examples of important decisions taken by the organization. Simon (1969) defines organizational goals as ‘value premises that can serve as input to decisions’.
Though ‘primacy of orientation to the attainment of specific goals’ (Parsons 1969) needs to remain pronounced, the concept which Parsons uses to make the system remain coherent is ‘the central value system’
or ‘shared orientation towards action’
(Parsons 1960). For Dunlop (1958), who borrows from Parsons, the idea of an industrial relations system implies a unity, an interdependence, and an internal balance which is likely to be restored as and when the system is displaced. He goes on to add that while harmony is reinforced by ideological consensus, a set of ideas and beliefs commonly held by the actors helps to bind and integrate the system together as an entity. In a similar vein, it is observed that a predictable pattern of consequences termed as ‘logic of industrialism’ (Kerr et al 1960) need application of rational values to achieve economic gain and progress (Bendix 1956). ‘Industrialism’ being the key sector of modern society (Homans 1960), is a product of complex cultural changes (Kerr et al 1960). Since all distinctive forms of production is characterized by its specific culture
and institutions (Castells 1997), culture
of an organizational context within which organisations are embedded is seeen as essential to have an understanding of organisations (Bendix 1956, 1970). While Bendix focuses on ideology
as a key aspect of culture
, Crozier (1964) identifies an enterprise based in the social system framework with the assumption of a distinctive culture
- a system of shared values
-which is shown to determine to a significant extent the pattern of interaction in any part of the social system.