Menu Close

Organizations in America: Analyzing Their Structures and Human Resource Practices


Kalleberg, Arne L.; Knoke, David; Marsden, Peter V.; & Spaeth, Joe L. (1996). Organizations in America: Analyzing Their Structures and Human Resource Practices. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.


This book is an analysis of results from the 1991 National Organizations Study (NOS). The study resulted from interest in the efects on the American workplace of the business mergers, consolidations, reengineering, downsizing, decentralization, termination and the reduction or abandonment of long-term company commitments to employees that took place in the 1970s and 1980s. The changes presented organizational researchers with prime opportunities for developing and testing ideas about the changing structure of the American workplace. The problem researchers faced was the lack of data from which broad generalizations could be made. Previous studies tended to be single or multiple firm case studies or single-type or restricted surveys of diverse organizations. Because of limitations inherent to each, none of the research models was capable of yielding findings that could be broadly generalized. The NOS was conceived to help fill this vacuum. The survey instrument was developed in the belief that it was desirable to construct a national database on organizations based on a probability sample that would incorporate a diverse population of U.S. organizations without limits on type, geography, size, or any other dimension. The resulting study would be a multipurpose, multi-investigator survey of the structure, context, and personnel practices of a large number of diverse organizations as they existed at the time of the survey. Nothing like it had ever been attempted on a national scale in the United States before.


Reference Type

Edited Book

Article Type


Year Published



Kalleberg, Arne L.
Knoke, David
Marsden, Peter V.
Spaeth, Joe L.