The historical overview in Chapter Two explained why the organizational environment became an important concept in the study of organizations. The early contributors to the study of organizations concentrated on the middle parts of the framework in Figure 1.1. They placed little emphasis on an organization's environment. Contemporary researchers and experts now regard an organizational environment, and its dimensions, as crucial to analyzing and leading organizations. Public organizations are generally subject to more direction and intervention from political actors and authorities. Many public organizations serve the public directly; service organizations have high levels of permeability given their close proximity between frontline employees and citizens (Subramony, 2017). Community influences, such as demographic composition, education levels, crime levels, and socioeconomic factors, affect organization–citizen relationships (Subramony and Pugh, 2015, p. 360). Management experts exhort managers to monitor and analyze their environments, and consultants regularly lead executives and task forces through such analyses as part of strategic planning sessions (described further in Chapter Seven).
Public organizations are often embedded in larger governmental structures. The Food and Drug Administration, e.g., operates as a subunit of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which in turn is a component of