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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Soma Hewa

Ponders on whether Abraham Flexner was responsible for the change in medical education in North America in the early 20th century, owing to his report of 1910. Tries to…

Abstract

Ponders on whether Abraham Flexner was responsible for the change in medical education in North America in the early 20th century, owing to his report of 1910. Tries to demonstrate that medical education in the USA was part of a greater whole of major changes at that time. Concludes, though there was a philanthropic influence, Flexner (who refused to accept credit for change) was not the father of the medical reform plan.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Soma Hewa

In a recent essay entitled “Value‐relevant Sociology”, David Gray (1983:405–416) argues that if sociology has to be socially relevant, “it is essential that sociology…

Abstract

In a recent essay entitled “Value‐relevant Sociology”, David Gray (1983:405–416) argues that if sociology has to be socially relevant, “it is essential that sociology becomes consciously value‐relevant, not value‐free.” He maintains that sociologists cannot analyse the consequences of social structure, forces, and change in a value‐free context if their works are to be relevant for social policies. He then goes on to say, “Between the extremes of value‐free, non‐relevant, sometimes trivial, sociology on the one hand, and immediate response to pressing socioeconomic problems and prevailing political winds on the other, where does the significant sociology lie?” (1983:406). For Gray, both extremes are inappropriate for a worthy academic discipline.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 13 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Robert W. Hetherington

This study examines the impact of bureaucratic structure on morale among hospital staff. Hypotheses are drawn from Hage's axiomatic theory of organizations, including the…

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Abstract

This study examines the impact of bureaucratic structure on morale among hospital staff. Hypotheses are drawn from Hage's axiomatic theory of organizations, including the predicted negative impact on morale of formalization, centralization and stratification, and the positive impact on morale of task complexity. Contingency hypotheses involving structure and task complexity are also examined. Results indicate morale is either positively affected or unaffected by structure, and negatively affected by process. Some evidence of contingent effects are found. The findings are discussed within the broader context of Weber's theory of bureaucracy. This paper addresses the relationship between several structural features of bureaucracy and workers' morale in a hospital setting. It examines these relationships from broadly defined theoretical perspectives. In this connection, Weber's theory of bureaucracy is treated, as was the case in his original, as part of his general theory of rationalization in modern western society. The study considers the relationship between: 1) Formalization and morale, 2) Centralization and morale, 3) Stratification and morale, 4) Complexity and morale. These structural features of bureaucracy—formalization, centralization, stratification and complexity‐are treated as the means at the command of management for attaining organizational objectives. Worker morale is often referred to as the “level of feeling” about themselves among workers or about the work they perform (Revans, 1964; Veninga, 1982; Simendinger and Moore, 1985; Zucker, 1988). In effect, the term is used in stating that morale is high or low to suggest that something is right or wrong about the organization. Surprisingly, many of these studies do not explain why they are suggesting a particular state of morale, but only that the state of morale is crucial to the performance of the organization. In essence, morale is the level of confidence of the employees. It can vary from one department to the other due to specific or overall structural conditions of the organizations; without giving it routine consideration, performance will degenerate (Nelson, 1989).

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Soma Hewa

Recounts Rockefeller philanthropy and the role it has played in shaping the development of medicine in the USA and elsewhere. Questions why social scientific research was…

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Abstract

Recounts Rockefeller philanthropy and the role it has played in shaping the development of medicine in the USA and elsewhere. Questions why social scientific research was not included in Rockefeller philanthropy in its formative stages. Investigates the role one Frederick T. Gates played in Rockefeller philanthropy and, particularly, his opposition to the creation of an institute of economic research. Sketches a biography of Gates, covering his professional career and the development of the philosophical views he held. Explores his approach to wholesale giving and scientific philanthropy as he gained more and more influence over Rockefeller’s business interests. Mentions William Lyon Mackenzie King (who later became Prime Minister of Canada) and his role within the Rockefeller philanthropic set‐up – to investigate labour relations – as a key factor in later obtaining support from the Rockefeller Foundation for social scientific research.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 18 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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