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).