Merwill has pointed out the following characteristics of institutions.
1. The first characteristics of Social institutions, these are patterns of behaviour grouped about the central needs of human beings in a society.
2. In all societies the institution of family plays an important and central role.
3. Social institutions are the social patterns directing human behaviour in the performance of basic activities.
4. Social institutions provide better chances for human survival.
5. The central aspects of institutions are the, functions and the roles carried out by their members.
8. The basic cultural values of a society are embodied in its institutions.
9. The claims of the institutions upon the members are known as loyalties.
10. The institutions of a society are connected in across and interdependent pattern.
11. Institutions are connected through the status and role of the members.
12. In personality development institutions play a vital role.
13. Social institutions are the great provisions for the transmission of cultural heritage.
14. Cultural heritage is thus transmitted through social interaction in an institution.
15. The moral values of the society are embodied in its institution.
16. One characteristics of social institution is each institution is a center of complex cluster of social norms.