Formalization

Degree of formalization is the extent that roles are independent of specific personal attributes of individuals occupying the roles. Formalization tries to standardize and regulate behavior.

It also is an attempt to make structure of relationships more visible and explicit (Scott 31). Diagrams and work flows, org charts are examples. Gouldner notes that a rational model implies a mechanistic model (Gouldner, 1959).

In the rational perspective, organizational structure is an instrument that can be modified to improve performance. MBO, PPBS (planning, programming, budgeting systems ) PERT (program evaluation review techniques) are examples of rational decision making support systems.

Prior formalization can also reduce the stress of trying to build relationships between participants, and make roles and relationships more objective and external to participants.

Formalization is an alternative to the information sociometric structure. It can in some instances separate personal feelings between participants from the work activities (in fact, some companies actively try to separate the two). Scott p. 33

Formalization allows succession to be routinized and make personal abilities like charisma less critical to performance in a certain role. Wolin (Scott p. 33) says "organization.. .. is predicated on "average human beings" (Wolin, 1960).