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Date Submitted: 11/22/2012 10:30 AM

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Chapter 1

What is organization?

Organization happens when people work together to accomplish

some desired end state or goal. It can happen through intentionally

designed activity, spontaneous improvisation, or some

combination of the two, but it always depends upon coordinated

effort. As a simple example, think about the goal of moving a large

stone, too big for one human working alone to push uphill

(Figure 1a). Two or even more won’t budge it either (Figure 1b),

unless they coordinate their efforts (Figure 1c).

But people often pursue more complex goals than pushing a stone

uphill. Putting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

meant coordinating everything from cleaning offices and buying

paperclips to training the astronauts and designing, building, and

launching their spacecraft. Supplying the Tsukiji Fish Market in

Tokyo (Japan) that serves the restaurants and fishmongers of the

world depends on the coordinated efforts of fishing crews that sail

off the coasts of Cartagena (Spain), Halifax (Canada), Boston (US),

and Pusan (South Korea), and on the mostly Japanese buyers who

fly to these places to survey the catch, purchase the best fish

available, and crate and ship them to Tokyo. As these examples

show, the coordination of human interests and activities can range

from the simple to the massively complex, and its goals from the

mundane to the exotic.








1. Getting organized: The person in a) confronts a problem too big to

handle alone, moving a large stone to the top of a hill; b) finds help

but does not use it in a coordinated way and so the stone remains at the

bottom of the hill; c) organizes the actions of those who came to help

and achieves the desired outcome

A little history

Organizing has been with us a long time. Prehistoric humans

organized to hunt and gather food, find shelter, and protect and

raise their children. To nurture their souls they made art and


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