Ambiente e confini organizzativi

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Environment and organizational boundaries

Franca Cantoni, Roberto Albano, Barbara De Micheli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] In the social sciences the concept of environment has established itself since the positivism of the 19th century. Comte and Spencer attributed to the physical and biological environment the value of the determining cause of the products of human ingenuity, from literature to politics. The same conception of the relationship between human beings and the environment was supported in the second half of the nineteenth century in Germany in the context of geographical determinism. The latter was opposed by the coeval "possibility" of the French geographer Paul Vidal de La Blache, according to which man is not rigidly bound by the physical environment, but is in turn a geographical factor capable of modeling and modifying the territory. Environmental determinism, however, assumed the prevailing character of the various social disciplines. In France, the literary and philosophical work of Hippolyte Taine contributed greatly to its diffusion, which broadened the concept of the environment, also including the social dimension: defined as a scenario in which the social life of individuals, groups and communities interacts with the physical context, transforming itself unceasingly, the environment is seen by this author as a necessary and sufficient cause of all the products and values of the individual. Since then, the concept of environment as an unintended and long-term outcome of the encounter between numerous anthropic, abiotic and biotic factors has remained central in social disciplines; however, the idea that the relationship between the environment and the voluntary activity of the individual or social group (oriented on a time scale much lower than that of environmental transformations) sees the primacy of the environment has been increasingly made - in discussion: if every intelligent being depends on the environment in which he lives, there is no doubt that to some extent he contributes to the more or less desired transformation of the latter. In organizational theory we find three different ways of conceiving the environment and its relationship with the organization.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Environment and organizational boundaries
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationOrganizzazione: parole chiave
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • confini organizzativi


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