In general, we can distinguish between these two terms based on the intention shared by a group of people. Typically, an organization has several people with specific roles within a company. Still, associations share a more personal matter with a particular intention.
The main difference between an organization and an association is that an organization is a group of people within a company who perform a specific function or role. On the other hand, an association is a group of people who have a common interest that brings them together for a particular purpose.
We have divided ourselves into groups or subgroups with various responsibilities or objectives in society. This article will discuss the main differences between these terms and when to use them, depending on the situation.
What Is An Organization?
An organization is a group of employees in a company with an administrative or functional task defined, with a purpose, and a variety of objectives within the firm. To reach these objectives, the organization will divide the work among the staff members, and each task will be assigned accordingly.
This is a very important component of administration. It will allow the company’s aspirations and purposes to function smoothly, reducing risks and mistakes. The structural idea of responsibilities needed by each staff member will be combined and turned into what we call an organization. As a result, each effort will come together toward achieving a predetermined goal.
An organization’s principal goal is to establish a shared plan. This could be produced with each member of the organization depending on their needs, and it’s usually given as a statement that will be reviewed through the planning process.
Socially speaking, an organization’s objectives also analyze numerous disciplines because of how they are structured. In addition, there are a number of different approaches that line up to work on other areas like economics, psychology, sociology, and much more as all of these disciplines have to work together and contribute their effort to overcome an established goal.
All elements and structural ideas must be present throughout each organization. This will involve clear communication, autonomy, and action norms for the events required to maintain a successful organization’s viability.
We can find two types of organizations: formal and informal.
Formal organizations will have a clear and defined objective of what they want to accomplish. They have a structured approach with subdivided goals, which are reflected in the organizations. The group of people involved will be separated by departments, sections, jobs, and work structure. There are certain levels in the organization, and each member will receive a salary depending on the role they are performing.
Types of levels in the organization:
- The most common one is the line organization which will have a supervisor looking over a subordinate to make sure the job is done right.
- A functional organization will be operated by a management team directing their employees as per their functions or duties.
- The functional and staff organizations are similar to the line organization, in which supervisors oversee their subordinates. However, the functional organization will be accompanied by another member that will also have some authority.
- The project management organization will work directly with the operational organization staff on a plan or strategy that needs to be followed.
The other type of organization we can find is the informal kind. This organization will concentrate on the goals and intentions of each member individually, taking into consideration their plan of action. This type of organization is common in modern society because it will emerge all in one. It will identify the need of each community to provide protection and maintenance. But most importantly, their members will have the feeling that their ideas count.
What Is An Association?
An association, in general, is a group of people that share the same interests and work together to achieve them. However, the definition may vary depending on the intention. For example, some associations could have the same purpose, but different groups will function differently to achieve that goal. Meaning, the strategic plan could be different for each of them, unlike the organizations where one person creates a project and the rest of the staff follows it.
It is essential to mention that most associations are nonprofit, which means that the members could receive tax exemption from the US government if they require to. Basically, they will benefit from receiving donations, creating different activities, getting sponsors, and much more.
On the other hand, profit organizations get their funds from someone else’s company and investors. However, with an association, people will be motivated to come together and combine all of their energy and resources to make an idea come true. This will be done with a group of people selected to coach and organize sporting facilities and equipment to make it happen.
These people who will be coaching are selected carefully from the members of the community or board. The person who leads is commonly known as the president, followed by a committee of other members with the roles of vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
In an association, no one gets paid, as opposed to an organization where each level is compensated differently. Moreover, in associations, the members are primarily volunteers.
Meaning they do it out of the kindness of their hearts without waiting for anything in return.
Aside from doing activities to earn funds for their plan, most associations receive their funds from the community members. Therefore, they establish a payment method that could be compensated with money, fundraising, or any other activity that could help obtain funds. However, most of their revenue could also be obtained from events, conferences, and affiliate programs to assist with supplies and donations.
After an association incorporates following several different systems and rules, it can become a legal entity that the government will support.
Types Of Associations
Everyone who has a vision of the association comes up with a clear purpose or intention so that they can build plans that could assist others in making them. There are, however, three most common associations:
- Clubs: are formed by a group of people who share a similar interest in activities like sports, fashion, or reading.
- Trade association, which is known for working directly with businesses and companies to help them operate.
- Voluntary association. Most people use this group since it is made up of people who are willing to donate time to a cause that matters to them.
Organizations Vs Associations: A Summary
To establish a better understanding of the difference between these two terms, it is safe to say that an association could also be a type of organization. Nevertheless, people will have more mutual interest in achieving a created plan. This is because people in organizations only follow the goal that one company makes instead of their own.
When we talk about the association, we mainly refer to a group of friends or people who promote a solid idea or objective. It will incorporate alliances, cooperatives, conferences, and unions to support the cause of interest.
On the other hand, organizations are groups of people who follow a particular purpose without necessarily being shared or liked. Entities like corporations, governments, charities, and even universities are well-known organizations. However, this word could have different meanings depending on the context. For example, we can have society organizations that work with individuals, religious and business type organizations.
They are very typical for having a solid structure and functions for each member that will get compensated. But in general, we can say that both these terms are very alike. They will emerge after all groups of people with one goal depending on their desire, is liked by them or not.
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He’s one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don’t even want to know what he calls pancakes.