Difference Between Institution and Organization

Institution vs Organization

When we talk about institutions, we know that we are dealing with structures or tools that have been put in to place to govern the behavior of human beings in a particular society. Organization is a grouping that comes into being to achieve some shared goals of individuals. There are many similarities in the two concepts that create confusion in the minds of people. However, there are many differences between these two concepts that will be highlighted in this article.


Marriage is an institution, and so is democracy. While marriage is an example of a social institution, democratic institutions in a society help keep democratic values alive and evolving in any society. There are educational institutions such as colleges and universities and there are also religious, judicial, research, medical, and many more kinds of institutions operating in various fields of a society.

Marriage is an institution that has helped in the development of family as a building block of the society and controls and regulates the behavior of members of a family that emerges as a result of a marriage between a woman and a man. If we talk about educational institutions, the main purpose is to provide education in various subjects a to individuals so as to make them learned and also to prepare them for their future lives.

Institutions are man-made and deliberate. They serve the basic needs of a society. Church is an institution that serves the religious and psychological needs of people in a society and affects their customs, traditions, habits, and even the whole culture.

Money in modern societies is also an institution in itself. It serves many important functions and needs of the people and life without money cannot even be imagined today. As an institution, money has given birth to many organizations such as banks, financial institution, stock markets and even currency markets.

It has to be understood that the real meaning of an institution is much deeper than a physical campus or the people operating an institution as is the case with large universities or churches. The real meaning lies in the values incorporated in these institutions and the manner in which they control and regulate our behavior.


As described earlier, an organization is a social grouping formed by likeminded people coming together to fulfill shared goals. One of the best examples of an organization is the World Health Organization that is an international body involved in providing health solutions to the poor people and countries around the world. It becomes clear that an organization is a body made up of members that have united for a special purpose. The organization is founded to serve a purpose. From the structural point of view, there are office holders given different responsibilities and rewards for discharging their duties. Organizations often have an address as an office in the form of a building that becomes their identity. The virtues of method and organized things are found in an organization.

Institution vs Organization

• Institution is bigger and deeper concept than an organization

• Institutions guide human behavior while organizations are formed to achieve special goals and purposes

• Marriage, democracy, colleges, and churches are examples of institutions while charities, companies, businesses etc are examples of organizations

• Institutions have a bigger role to play in social lives in comparison to organizations

  • David Delly