The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations

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

CHAPTER VII
Another Point of View

WHEN several individuals collaborate on a research study, they have the advantage of pooled efforts and the stimulation of different viewpoints. During the phases of research design, data collection, and data analysis, these separate viewpoints can generate fruitful analyses and competing hypotheses. These in turn can lead to further inquiry and study.

However, researchers in any field are only human. Each person brings his own values, experience, and point of view to the interpretation of data. Differences of opinion inevitably arise around what the data actually "mean." Some of this disagreement is data based. Some of it resides in the psychological needs for primacy and self-justification inherent in the researchers. The problem then is what to do.

In this case, differences occurred over several interpretations and conclusions. They were apparently irreconcilable. Consequently, Professor Zaleznik, as the senior member of the research team, drafted Chapter VI as one concluding chapter and wishes to keep that chapter intact without change. Much of Chapter VI "makes sense" to us. Other parts of Chapter VI make assumptions that puzzle us. We wish to question these and to put up alternative possibilities in this chapter.

For example, Chapter VI assumes that organizational design involves a range of possibilities "all of which can be rationalized, but none of which is rational" in ways that are demonstrably superior. According to this reasoning, one organizational design is as good as another, actually governed

____________________
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This chapter was written by Professors Barnes and Dalton. See Foreword.

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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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