Moscow school of social organization


The article considers Moscow Sociological School of the 1960s - 1970s, which originated on the basis of the research project “Social Organization” developed by talented Moscow sociologists and philosophers. Under the leadership of N.I. Lapin, they made a methodological breakthrough that was not correctly understood at that time and is still underestimated. The concept “labor collective” used by the overwhelming majority of Soviet scientists to describe personnel of an industrial enterprise or a working team had a huge ideological potential and was politically engaged. This concept helped not to explain the empirical data, but rather to demonstrate the high socialist morality of the working class and its solidarity with the leading party cell. The sector for the study of labor collectives was established in 1968, and in 1969 it was transformed into a department focusing on the world science achievements. Due to the thorough study of such innovations, the concept “labor collective” gradually evolved into a more fruitful and promising concept “social organization”. Such a methodological move allowed to use the system approach that was popular at that period, to rely on the findings of Western sociology, mainly on the structural-functional analysis, and on the motivational models of social interaction developed in management. In just five years, participants of the project conducted 28 empirical studies of 100 objects. The total number of respondents was about 25 thousand. The list of publications of the project participants consists of 35 monographs, 10 thematic collections and more than 50 articles (more than 600 publications in total). The team of scientists was dismissed for political reasons.

About the authors

A I Kravchenko

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
GSP-2, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119992, Russia


  1. Social'naja organizacija promyshlennogo predprijatija: sootnoshenie planiruemyh i spontannyh processov na predprijatii (General'nyj proekt IKSI AN SSSR, 1968—1973 gg. Pervaja publikacija) [Social Organization of an Industrial Enterprise: The Relation of Planned and Spontaneous Processes]. Sost. i obsch. red. N.I. Lapina. Moscow; 2004 (In Russ).

Copyright (c) 2017 Kravchenko A.I.

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