Recruitment Criteria

Still, most organizations define their boundaries through differentiation of members from non-members via some criteria.

For rational theorists, organizational boundaries contribute to organizational rationality. Udy studied 34 companies in 34 different societies (Udy, 1962) and found that the more an organization was socially isolated from is social context (i.e., kinship ties, etc.) , the more rational it's structure (i.e., limited objectives, rewards based on performance, specialization, etc.).

Weber (1947) also stated that in bureaucracies appointed officers consider that job to be their sole employment and career. Other factors such as gender, race, ethnicity often set up obligations and expectations that may conflict with their role in the focal organization (Scott p. 184).

While the external "faces" of organizational participants are of little interest to rational theorists, natural theorists often focus on the impact of external roles on individual behavior. Though some organizations attempt to eliminate these external roles (mental institutions, prisons, monastaries, army barracks, etc.) most don't erect such barriers. People thus participate in organizations with a multitude of identities, values, and interests. Often this source of individual diversity is an asset to the organization.

Organizations often select their members to possess certain characteristics (PhD's for professors, licensed nurses, CPA's) that bring certain socialized values, skills, and legitimacies to the organization. Sometimes the member is purposively selected for their external contacts (e.g., board of directors). Avon and Tupperware explicitly rely on external social contacts to generate much of their business.

Social Isolation and Social Engulfment
"The strategic question facing all organizations is how to recruit participants and harness their roles and resources in the service of organizational goals (whether goal attainment or survival), while avoiding or minimizing the danger of becoming captive to participant's external interests or personal agendas." (Scott p. 186). Organizations can be too loose and suffer from corruption or nepotism, or be too strict and overly control the social lives of their workers (Whyte 1956 Organization Man is a good example).

Organizations are currently experimenting with changes like flextime, daycare, and telecommuting to change how the organization impacts on external social life.