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Related to Formalization: departmentalization, centralization
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Further, bureaucratic work environments, which entail high centralization and formalization structures, have been argued to increase participation in deviant acts due to the organizational structures' hindrance of employees' action and loss of power (Raelin, 1994).
Therefore, to address the existing gaps in the literature, our aim in the current study was to examine the mediating role of empowerment in the link between the organizational structures of centralization and formalization, and employee innovative behavior.
Importantly, our intention is not to take a stand for or against formalization. That, we believe, is up to the individual organization after careful analysis and assessment of its unique situation and needs.
Studies by Lewis, Welsh, Dehler and Green (2002) suggests that formalization discourages idea generation due to inflexibility that constrains creativity.
Formalization elements include working rules, goals and policies, duties, procedures and methods (Rezaiyan, 2013, p.31).
The recent news about the soontobesigned revised IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of the Small Scale Mining Act of 1991, which promises to help in the formalization of the industry, will need to be closely examined if indeed it will address the pressing issues of the sector or if it will just perpetuate the untenable status quo.
One possible reason for this situation is that the very name of the discipline (formalization) reminds foundations of mathematics (and mathematicians, if they do not work in logic, tend to scape from foundations ...).
Hopkins identifies the subject matter of his book as "the view that formalization is the fulcrum for an unprecedented transformation in how the science of the so-called West forms its concepts." Klein, it is argued, is the first major proponent of this view in the twentieth century.
This study considers the mediating role of internal knowledge sharing in the relationship between two critical aspects of organizational social capital (trust and goal congruence) and entrepreneurial orientation (EO), as well as how this role might be moderated by the firm's level of formalization. It shows that higher levels of internal knowledge sharing relate to stronger EO, and such knowledge sharing in turn results from higher levels of trust and goal congruence.
The claim that FOL-theorems are implied by all theories once we have formalized them in FOL is almost vacuous in the debate, as that very formalization is the issue of contention.