Boundary maintenance activities are studied in a public welfare agency as a means of establishing the relationship between the nature of these activities and the essential character of a formal organization. Assaults on the agency are observed through a period of social change, in this case an extreme of racial succession among the staff and administration of the agency. Conclusions point to congruence between the character of the organization and its boundary maintenance activity. Skewed or incongruent boundary maintenance produces disorganization and confusion among participants. In the context of racial succession, universalistic patterns are recommended as a solution to the confusion.

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