The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations

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

the case of the organization, irrationality exists when a proposal for change is justified as an absolute or on grounds beyond existing capacities to establish relationships between means and ends. At the level of the individual, irrationality occurs when responses involve a sense of deprivation when no shift in the balance of power occurs in reality. Irrationality at the levels of the organization and the individual are distinctly unamenable to bargaining and represent in effect the pathological concomitants of change.


IN CONCLUSION

The thrust of this research on the actions of management in changing the formal organization structure shifts attention away from simple evaluations of outcomes and toward understanding the nature of power relations in management. In bringing together theories of authority, power, and influence into a dynamic conception, organization structure becomes more a problem of man acting in social situations and less the idealized forms of relationships which result from some impersonal way of relating means and ends. Between the initiation of an organization structure and the outcomes stand the processes through which individuals assess themselves in relation to an external structure and undertake actively to shape their position and roles to conform to personal career management. Even, or especially, in the design of formal organization structures, the personal meanings of the structure to top management become central variables for investigation.

While there are distinct and obvious limits to the generalizations which this study has yielded, it does suggest a new range of investigations into formal organization as an aspect of executive action, a topic largely neglected in empirical studies of business.

-168-

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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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