According to Robbins (1998), an organization is "a consciously coordinated social unit composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals" (p. 2). Our organizations have emerged in response to our environment. These organizations have essentially created sub-environments that shape us and prepare us to meet the challenges of the external world.
Through families and clans, to nations and multi-national corporations, humanity has risen from the dust of the earth to dominate the globe through organization. Can our ability to organize save us from an Orwellian future? Can our organizations help us to circumvent world crisis? Can humanity organize for a more populist-friendly future?
The question is: what vehicle could lend itself to such tasks? What environment could encourage a more reciprocal altruistic side to human nature, and potentially spread a more reciprocal altruistic culture worldwide? This environment would, presumably, have to be fundamentally altruistically oriented, possessing a worldwide scope, and major economic significance. It would likely involve all races, religions, classes, and it would transcend national boundaries. Focused on the concerns of the many, it would operate closely with the many in order to provide fertile ground for widespread participation in solving the problems of the many.
Ironically, such an environment may be right under our noses. It has emerged in response to the failure of governments to propagate a more altruistic society, and as a counter force to the growing dominance of industry the world over. The environment that is being alluded to here is the nonprofit or not-for-profit sector.
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