For the past half-century, the study of organizations has been an active area within sociology. I provide an overview of the emergence of this specialty during the second half of the twentieth century, its relation to the larger field of organization studies, and the important theoretical advances associated with the adoption of an open system framework during the 1960s. Among the recent trends I describe are changes in our conceptions of organization boundaries, strategies, and controls, and the beginning of a shift from an entity-based to a process-based view of organization. Evidence of success—the number of sociologists now employed in professional schools—simultaneously raises concerns about the source of future organizational sociologists.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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