Power Within Organizations

The cross-section of sociologists symbolized here offers a good snapshot of the techniques organizations were conceptualized in the late 1960s. There are efforts by quite a few interesting sociologists, including Peter Blau, Richard Peterson, Charles Perrow, and Mayer Zald. Perrow’s contribution, “Departmental Power and Perspectives in Industrial Firms,” is interesting particularly.

The question which group dominates in commercial firms, then, would be the subject of the paper. Perrow’s method of the problem is empirical. His research depends on interviews with dozens of ranking employees in twelve manufacturing companies with at least 1000 employees, with 2633 individuals interviewed in total. The study focuses on three primary groupings and one “residual” group that may be identified in every the companies: sales and marketing, manufacturing and production, and research and development.

  • Start an ad-hoc group conversation
  • 2001: Video gaming cause aggression
  • Composing a News Feed on your own
  • It follows modular concept for the simple setup and space utilization
  • A professional Master’s degree program in applied mathematics or statistics
  • High school diploma or equivalent is required

The residual group is “staff services”, including fund, workers, legal, and the executive group. The study question was to determine which group or device experienced the most “power” within the firm. The interview template asks some questions about how exactly the interviewee estimates the energy and discretion possessed by various groupings within the firm.

Perrow’s next question is “why” — why should sales be the most powerful unit within manufacturing companies? His answer transforms on factual statements about the market overall economy. The sales operation of a company is the interface between potential consumers and the product created by the firm. As a complete consequence of this strategic position, sales are in a position either to exploit present company capabilities or force a noticeable change in these capabilities. Perrow finds this total result surprising for just one category of firm — those where design and production are “non-routine”, or where in fact the product is not yet commoditized. Today refer to as high-tech companies These are what we would.

If respondents explained their duties as pretty nonroutine — indicating regular problems requiring analysis and uncertainty about the outcomes of their initiatives — then there would be little advantage for sales. So Perrow expected that R&D — the unit assigned to build up new products and solve problems — could have greater power in an environment of technological uncertainty. But the need for R&D within such a firm will not cash out in conditions of inner power, in Perrow’s results predicated on these twelve companies.

The maintenance people in Crozier’s study augmented their power by detatching information from the data files that may make their performance more predictable and less uncertain, and by keeping information magic formula from machine providers and other designers. Similarly, I believe that sales, or production, or R&D may use their power to maintain the fiction of uncertainty or even to steer the business into areas where the doubt will be in their hands.

So Perrow features an important source of power within an organization: the power to shape or hoard information. The impression we get from reading Perrow’s article today is that Perrow’s conceptual construction moves back and forth between your business environment within which a company is available and the tactical cleverness of stars within the firm.

The business environment gives an advantage to one group of stars — those involved with sales;, and the tactical actions selected by stars within that device to keep up their advantage makes up about the persistence of the power of that unit. What the analysis doesn’t pay any focus on is the internal business of the firm (beyond the useful division into the four devices Perrow shows).