The Power of Organizations: A New Approach to Organizational Theory

Heather A. Haveman | 2022

How organizations developed in history, how they operate, and how research on them has evolved.

Organizations are all around us: government agencies, multinational corporations, social-movement organizations, religious congregations, scientific bodies, sports teams, and more. Immensely powerful, they shape all social, economic, political, and cultural life, and are critical for the planning and coordination of every activity from manufacturing cardboard boxes to synthesizing new drugs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To understand our world, we must understand organizations.

The Power of Organizations defines the features of organizations, examines how they operate, traces their rise over the course of a millennium, and explains how research on organizations has evolved from the mid-nineteenth century to today.

Heather Haveman shows how almost all contemporary research on organizations fits into three general perspectives: demographic, relational, and cultural. She offers constructive criticism of existing research, showing how it can be remade to be both more interesting and influential. She examines how we can use existing theories to understand the changes wrought by digital technologies, and she argues that organizational scholars can and should alter the impact that organizations have on society, particularly societal and global inequality, formal politics, and environmental degradation.

The Power of Organizations demonstrates the benefits and dangers of these ubiquitous foundations of modern society.


Haveman, H. (2022) The Power of Organizations: A New Approach to Organizational Theory. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

A Place like No Other

Anthony R.E. Sinclair with René Beyers | Princeton University Press

Discovering the Secrets of Serengeti

With its rich biodiversity, astounding wildlife, and breathtaking animal migrations, Serengeti is like no other ecosystem on the planet. A Place like No Other is Anthony Sinclair’s firsthand account of how he and other scientists discovered the biological principles that regulate life in Serengeti and how they rule all of the natural world.

When Sinclair first began studying this spectacular ecosystem in 1965, a host of questions confronted him. What environmental features make its annual migration possible? What determines the size of animal populations and the stunning diversity of species? What factors enable Serengeti to endure over time? In the five decades that followed, Sinclair and others sought answers.

What they learned is that seven principles of regulation govern all natural processes in the Serengeti ecosystem. Sinclair shows how these principles can help us to understand and overcome the challenges facing Serengeti today, and how they can be used to repair damaged habitats throughout the world.

Blending vivid storytelling with invaluable scientific insights from Sinclair’s pioneering fieldwork in Africa, A Place like No Other reveals how Serengeti holds timely lessons for the restoration and conservation of our vital ecosystems.