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Related to Formalization: departmentalization, centralization



the representation of some body of knowledge—such as the arguments, proofs, or classification and information-gathering procedures of a scientific theory—as a formal system, or calculus.

Formalization is based on definite abstractions, idealizations, and artificial symbolic languages. It is used not only in mathematics (seeFORMALISM, MATHEMATICAL) but also in those sciences that have a sufficiently sophisticated mathematical apparatus. Formalization involves a strengthening of the role of formal logic as the foundation of theoretical sciences; the heightened rule of formal logic is necessitated by the insufficiency of formalized theories based on an intuitive belief that a certain line of reasoning is in accord with rules of logic learned through an acquired capacity for correct thinking. Only elementary theories with a simple logical structure and a small stock of concepts can be completely formalized; examples are elementary geometry in mathematics and the propositional calculus and the restricted (first-order) predicate calculus in logic. In principle, if a theory is complex, it cannot be completely formalized (seeCOMPLETENESS and META-THEORY).

Formalization permits the systematization, refinement, and methodological clarification of the content of a theory. Moreover, through formalization the interrelationships between the theory’s various assertions can be ascertained. Formalization also makes possible the identification and formulation of unresolved problems.

Formalization as a cognitive device, particularly formalization in the narrow mathematical sense, bears a relative character in the sense that a theory can be simultaneously both the means of formalization (of some other theory or domain of phenomena) and the object of formalization (in a more formal theory). Thus, traditional “formal” logic is a formalization with respect to the set of relationships of human thought reflected in it; with respect, however, to its own (axiomatic) formalization it constitutes a meaning-based theory of formalization.


Tarski, A. Vvedenie v logiku i metodologiiu deduktivnykh nauk. Moscow, 1948. (Translated from English.)
Kleene, S. C. Vvedenie v metamatematiku. Moscow, 1957. Subsec. 15. (Translated from English.)
Church, A. Vvedenie v matematicheskuiu logiku, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. Introduction (Translated from English.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Formalization can be referred to as the red tape that can serve as a restriction on the exercise of authority (Tata & Prasad, 2004), and which limits employees' decision-making discretion that is related to the self-determination dimension of empowerment.
It is an illuminating example of how actors deal with conflicting institutional demands, and it provides new insights into actors' responses to increased purchasing formalization (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007).
Proposition 1: Formalization has negative relationship with perceived innovation.
Let us anticipate our conclusions: formalization of mathematics could be interesting where there are discrepancies among computer and theoretical results (or when some computer results cannot be confirmed nor refuted by alternative theoretical methods) as well as when mathematical software is applied to real- life problems, where computer results should be provable reliable enough.
Thus, we show how the level of formalization of a firm's overall organizational structure may influence the relative contributions of "softer" aspects of organizational social capital (trust and goal congruence) to a key firm-level outcome such as EO.
Thus, formalization of an informal system of law refers to creating an objective legal language, a set of axioms, and definite rules of inference, such that all results are conclusive deductions solely from the system's axioms and rules of inference, while retaining the system's basic properties.
In offering both theoretical and operational definitions, Bozeman, Reed, and Scott stress the importance of distinguishing red tape from formalization.
1999), such formalization is useful in consulting and law firms, as well as other organizations that deal with confidential information about their clients.
The approach is something we call incremental formalization.
1988) study results indicated that higher levels of organizational formalization are associated with less work alienation and greater organizational commitment for purchasing employees and sales representatives.
The purpose of this study is to empirically consider these three types of discretion and their relationship with organizational structure in the form of formalization and centralization, and organizational support in organizations from two different service industries (banking and insurance).
We focus on workflow formalization and reserve for the conclusion some thoughts on how our analysis can be extended to encompass other dimensions of bureaucracy.