Common Features or Characteristics of Organizations

Organization can be defined as a group of people whose activities are consciously coordinated towards a common objective or objective. In a related definition, organization is a collection of people who have united together to pursue and achieve a common aim through collective effort and the pooling of resources.

From these definitions, you will agree with me that organization is important to the existence of mankind. The question one may ask is ‘What are the features or characteristics of organizations?

Common Features or Characteristics of Organizations

The Features or Characteristics of Organizations: when something is termed as an organization, you expect to see some basic features such as:

  • Two or more people: Membership of organization starts from two people who are conscious of their interaction towards the achievement of set goals.
  • Planning, Programme and Method: Members plan, design programme and devise methods for executing the plans and programme designed.
  • Shared Objectives: Existence of one or more objectives that are shared by members.
  • Resources: Availability of resources necessary to fulfill set objectives.
  • Division of Labour: Members are entrusted with different tasks based on their expertise to accomplish set objectives.
  • Dependence on Environment for Survival: Organization has to depend on the environment for survival. These include; economic, political, cultural and legal environment.
  • Coordination of Activities (Management and Administration): People’s activities are coordinated through effective management and administration. This is made possible through leadership.

Major Types of Organization

There are different types of organizations, depending on objectives, structure, composition or ownership. Based on ownership, it can be categories into:

  • Private organizations
  • Public organizations

1. Private Organizations

These are owned, financed and controlled by private individuals. Therefore, in an educational setting, we may refer to private educational institutions as those owned, financed and controlled by private individuals, corporate bodies, and missionaries.

2. Public Organization

Some of us are products of public schools; primary, secondary and even tertiary institutions, and some of us still patronize public hospitals. These organizations, i.e. schools and hospitals are called public because they are owned, financed and controlled by the government on behalf of public.

In most cases, services rendered by public organizations are tagged as social services. This is because the prices are subsidized so as to make the services available to all citizens.


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