Classifying and Factor Analysis

Variables of Work Organisation

Most analysis has a hunch that is a hypothesis, perhaps developed with some initial small sample test or short observation research. The deductive method then sets out to test the hypothesis. The hypothesis usually pushes an overall perspective from a particular angle. Yet, for some analysts, there are complex different factors to analyse organisations. They may prefer an inductive method - looking at the evidence without presumptions - to build towards any hypothesis. At the simplest inductive level is aiding understanding by classifying into summary words and phrases. Word lists, however, do need explanation: words are very ambiguous alone. So subsections are a good idea as well as explanatory remarks. Factoral analysis then can mean using statistical methods of interactivity also without assumptions. Pugh and Hickson list variables for such classifying analysis with factoral potential, and there are explanatory elements:

Pugh and Hickson in developing their theoretical approach from observation saw no reason to differ from E. Wight Bakke (1950) in the activity variables.

He was interested in the sociological analysis of integration within organisations, but also in the development of linguistic tools for meaningful categories (as happens with Pugh and Hickson). This is a matter of research findings given structure and going from beyond business to all organisations (sociology to have this more generalising appeal).

If an organisation is classed as a setting for differentiated and coordinated human activities then these need classifying. He had various headings for activities related to resources used by purposeful organisations:

From resources, all organisations have these activities categories which are to do with being a competent and capable continuing organisation:

Pugh and Hickson, and Bakke, whom they incorporate, are in part looking for clarity through naming. Classification is intended to clear thinking. Then it is possible to ask how each of these relate to each other, perhaps in a mathematical sense, in a series of interrelationships.


Parker, S. R., Brown, R. K., Child, J., Smith, M. A. (1967), The Sociology of Industry, London: George Allen and Unwin, 73-74.

Refers to (here referred):

Bakke, E. W. (1950), Bonds of Organization, Harper & Row.

Bales, R. F. (1950), 'A Set of Categories for the Analysis of Small Group interaction', American Sociological Review, Vol. 15, 257-263.

Bales, R. F. (1951), Interaction Process Analysis: A Method for the Study of Small Groups, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Press.


Pugh, D. S., Hickson, D. J., Hinings, C. R. (eds.) (1971), Writers on Organizations, Second Edition, London: Penguin, 75-79.

Refers to:

Bakke, E. W. (1933), The Unemployed Worker, Yale University Press.

Bakke, E. W. (1950), Bonds of Organization, Harper & Row.

Bakke, E. W. (1953), The Fusion Process: An Interim Report, Labor and Management Center, Yale University, 1953.

Bakke, E. W. 'Concept of the Social Organization', in Mason Haire (ed.) (1959), Modern Organization Theory, 16-75, Chapman & Hall, also published by the Labor and Management Center, Yale University (revised edn).