Structural-Functional Theory

Please answer all questions in short answer format with properly written and structured sentences.


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The reading comes from the book “Organization Theory and Public Management” by Jonathan R. Tompkins. Chapter #10 is needed to answer these questions it is attached.

Tompkins- Structural-Functional Theory, Chapter 10

(Structuring of Organizations)

Tompkins leads off this Chapter with understanding organizations through the eyes of a sociologist. Merton begins the chapter with his understanding between theory and research. He developed what is known as “middle range theories,” that is, the boundaries of a new field of research on organizations by compiling theoretical and empirical materials with various aspects of organizations. Importantly, with students at Columbia, Selznick, Gouldner and Blau, Merton set off for a series of path-breaking and influential case studies of diverse types of organizations was begun including the Tennessee Valley Authority (Selznick), a gypsum mine and factory in New York (Gouldner) and a federal law enforcement agencies (Blau). Formal social structure of an organization is important. Merton noted that facilitates the interaction of occupants of offices despite the private attitudes toward each other. Organizations may discourage the development of positive sentiments mong employees for fear that it may affect discipline and judgment. The Chapter also covers the studies of Selznick, Gouldner and Blau, and interweaving of their concepts with Weber and others.


Which of the following are components of “middle-range” theories.

a. Examination of aspects of social life

b. Discovery of common patterns

c. Developing concepts to identify and explain commonalities

d. All of the above

Construct structures in the left column with those functions in the right column.

Structure Function

Marriage Resolving disputes

Courts Guiding procreation

Religious Institutions Social-recreational outlet

Taverns Channeling group beliefs

Which of the following examples demonstrates the concept of manifest and latent functions.

a. Productivity programs that increase output at expense of quality

b. Religious orders that provide a career path for behavior other shunned by society

c. Charities that enrich those that administrate them

d. All the behavior

Identify the process of absorbing new elements into the leadership of policy-determining structure of an organization as a means of averting threats to the organization’s stability or existence.

5. According to Selznick, what are the maintenance needs of an organization?

The studies of Merton and his students suggest that organizations are rational rather than adaptive. Contrast the difference.

7. Which of the Models of Organizational Effectiveness does the structural=functional school promote?

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