A Sociometric Approach to Organizational Analysis

by J. Murray

Fall 1970

Volume 13
Issue 1

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The basic building blocks for any organization depend on the individual and individual behavior, but many researchers feel that neither the causes nor the effects of individual behavior in organizations are readily observed or easily understood. However, organizations do find that distinct structures evolve over time, and that the operation of the business may be under the direction of a system entirely different from the one designed as the "formal chart" by management. Change within the operative organization can take place without the knowledge or sanction of the manager, as a result of behavioral patterns unrecognized on the surface. This alteration may be beneficial, although it is just as likely not to be, and where control in organizational change is possible it should be intelligently implemented. The use of sociometry is not intended to be a single source of organizational analysis; however, it has proved to be a helpful tool when used in a supportive role in auditing the modern organization. Sociometry does not purport to answer all organizational problems; in fact, it will usually bring many to the surface, which, initially, were unknown or impractical to answer. In addition, it will indicate natural flows of communication, which at times by-pass rigidities of the formal structure.

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