The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations

By Gene W. Dalton; Louis B. Barnes et al. | Go to book overview

that they sought to use the approach on more of their operating problems.*

In one sense, this part of the internalization process may be termed reality-testing, but this is not to say that uniform views of reality prevail. Indeed, an individual's perception of reality may be distorted, but for an individual to integrate the new construct into his system of beliefs he must validate it through his perception of reality.


SUMMARY

Examining each of these preconditions and dimensions separately makes it easy to lose sight of the whole. This is unfortunate for it is the total process that is important. The features described do not exist separately in the actual situation. A brief summary of these features of the process of change may serve to re-emphasize that they are parts of a single phenomenon.

Two prior conditions are necessary to facilitate the initiation of change: (1) the presence of tension, and (2) a powerful influencing agent. If an individual is experiencing tension, if he is dissatisfied with the status quo, or if he is unsuccessful in achieving his aims, he is much more likely to be influenced successfully by a respected, prestigeful individual,

____________________
*
In each of the above instances, the new scheme found confirmation in the individual's experience, but there is also the other side of the coin. One of the striking outcomes of the Chinese thought-reform program among western prisoners is that, among most returned prisoners, it did not produce long-range ideological changes independent of the external support provided in the prison setting. Only a very few former prisoners maintained an espousal of the ideological position "taught" in the prison after they had had time to re-evaluate the prison experience and had new sources of information which they could check. ( Schein and Bennis, op. cit., pp. 157-166.) What would have happened to these prisoners had they returned to a Communist society is impossible to say, but where the viewpoint of his captors failed to find validation in the prisoner's experience after the prison experience, it was not internalized. Of course, in those areas where the Chinese captors' schema did continue to be congruent with their experience, the change in the ex-prisoners' attitudes and behavior continued to be affected.

-146-

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The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • TABLE OF Contents xi
  • List of Tables xiii
  • LIST OF FIGURES xiii
  • Chapter I- Formal Organization in Research and Practice 1
  • Chapter II- Case History 9
  • Summary 33
  • Chapter III- Authority, Power, and Influence 35
  • Chapter IV 56
  • Summary 101
  • Chapter V- Change in Organizations 108
  • Summary 146
  • Chapter VI- Conclusion 148
  • IN CONCLUSION 168
  • Chapter VII- Another Point of View 169
  • Appendix A 191
  • Appendix B- The Concept of Authority and Organizational Change 199
  • Reference FootNotes 213
  • Bibliography 217
  • AUTHOR Index 225
  • SUBJECT Index 227
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