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An organization (or organisation — see spelling differences) is a social arrangement which pursues collective goals, controls its own performance, and has a boundary separating it from its environment. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon. There are a variety of legal types of organizations, including: corporations, governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, armed forces, charities, not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and universities. A hybrid organization is a body that operates in both the public sector and the private sector, simultaneously fulfilling public duties and developing commercial market activities. As a result the hybrid organization becomes a mixture of a government and a corporate organization.

In the social sciences, organizations are the object of analysis for a number of disciplines, such as sociology, economics, political science, psychology, management, and organizational communication. The broader analysis of organizations is commonly referred to as organizational structure, organizational studies, organizational behavior, or organization analysis. A number of different perspectives exist, some of which are compatible:

  • From a process-related perspective, an organization is viewed as an entity is being (re-)organized, and the focus is on the organization as a set of tasks or actions.
  • From a functional perspective, the focus is on how entities like businesses or state authorities are used.
  • From an institutional perspective, an organization is viewed as a purposeful structure within a social context.


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