Association is also based on this co-operation. When some people cooperate with each other for a specific purpose and form an organization this organized organization is known as association. Association has a definite purpose and any one can leave it after the attainment of his objective.


  • According to Bogardus, An association is usually a working together of people to achieve some purpose.
  • A connection or cooperative link between people or organizations.
  • The process of forming mental connections or bonds between sensations, idea or memories.
  • A connection or relationship between things or people.

Association is a mental connection between ideas or things. Association usually seek particular goods or perform specified activities. An association is a social organisation purposefully created to attain specific goals. These goals may be very broad and abstract such as healing the sick, eliminating poverty, making a profit. They may also be quite precise and limited, such as manufacturing bicycle bearings, teaching people the basics of computers, or counselling unwed mothers.

The goals sought by associations and hence their organisational characteristics very almost infinitely. Some common forms of associations include government departments and bureaus, business and factories, school and college, labour unions and professional associations, hospitals and medical clinics, civic and welfare agencies, police and fire department, etc. One way of classifying this diverse array of associations into meaningful categories is to focus on who benefits from the attainment of their dominant goals. Mutual benefit associations such as labour unions and special interest associations seek to promote the particular concerns of their own members. Business associations, such as industries and stores, operate to provide financial and other benefit to their owners.

Characteristics of Association

  • Membership to association is formal. One has to apply for membership and members often have to pay membership fee.
  • Association has officials who are elected for a definite time period.
  • Fixed and written rules are there to be followed by members of the association.
  • Associations are formed deliberately to achieve definite goals and protect the interest of their members.
  • A part from political and economic association today’s society has associations dedicated to serve humanity in the field of education health and social welfare.


Association and formal organisations are nearly similar. All associations have a formal organisational aspect but all formal organisations such as bureaucracy and the army cannot be called associations.

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