These values include four "deference values" (power, respect, rectitude, and affection)
and four "welfare values" (well-being, wealth, skill, and enlightenment), but of course even
the latter will often be translated into political influence.
This is even true of the organizational factors emphasized by the "power resources"
school of political economy ( Korpi 1983), which have proven to be much less useful in the
international economic environment of the 1980s and 1990s ( Canova 1994).
It should be noted that the members of composite actors need not be individuals but
will often be lower-order composite actors.
A recent example of a downward spiral under conditions of differentiated preferences
is provided by the self-destruction of polyclinics in the East German health care system.
Even though a large majority of the physicians employed there had expressed a preference
for continuing in their present role, practically all of them were in fact in private practice
within a year after German unification. The explanation, apparently, is not a change in the
intrinsic preferences of the majority. But when the minority of doctors who always had
wanted to set themselves up in private practice began to do so, the viability of some polyclinics seemed uncertain, so that more ambivalent staff members saw reason to follow suit,
which again influenced the expectations of others, until, in the end, everyone feared being
left behind in doomed polyclinics while in the meantime most patients would have become
attached to those doctors in private practice who had started early ( Wasem 1992).
The distinction of different orientations does not coincide with the standard economic distinction between "private goods" and "collective goods;" which is based on the
"objective" criteria of rivalry in use and excludability.
Movements directed by a charismatic leader are an entirely different matter with regard to their strategic capacities as collective actors. Analytically, they may be treated as
Nevertheless, members may retain control over some critical action resources. In collective-bargaining conflicts, for instance, the employers' association is legitimated to make
binding decisions on conflict strategies, but lockouts must still be implemented by individual firms. On the union side, the same is true of the implementation of strike decisions.
Observed actions are explained by preferences that in turn are inferred from observed action.
Nevertheless, the occupants of leadership positions are also constrained by the functional requirements associated with such positions. Among these are the need to maintain
the revenues of the state and other action resources ( Levi 1988) and, of course, political requirements expressed best in Lyndon Johnson's famous dictum that"you've got to be reelected to be a statesman."
We have no difficulty with the assumption of methodological individualism that
the force driving organizational self-interest must be the self-interest of the individuals
whose livelihood and career opportunities depend on the organization. But knowing the
source of energy does not yet tell us the direction in which the organization will be driven.
Individual actors have of course much greater freedom in defining their own selfinterest in idiosyncratic ways, and they may even ignore basic survival interests (which biologists would in any case locate not at the level of the individual but at the level of the
gene -- see, for example, Dawkins 1976; Campbell 1986).