Day+20-21+Who+Gets+Power+12-14+Oct+2011

Day+20-21+Who+Gets+Power+12-14+Oct+2011 - Internal...

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Internal Organizational Design IV: Who Gets Power? October 12-14, 2011 Main point Those who get power are the ones who can frame the world so that they appear to be the ones best positioned to solve the organization’s most important problems.
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What does “social constructionist” mean? Pfeffer : “social construction” = “soft skills” = “objective world is unimportant, only personal political skill matters” Fligstein: “social construction” = what we see as the “objective” world is a product of social struggle In other words, people create the worlds we live in. It’s sociology.
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Why do finance folks run G.M.? Pfeffer: managerialist story (see pp. 127-28) Operations people kept getting the company into financial trouble Their authority needed to be countered by controls from the finance side of the company Fligstein: finance people are prevalent in leadership everywhere in the economy today This is not a managerialist coincidence!
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A sociological approach Institutionalist insight: managers live in uncertain worlds where the concern is survival more than efficiency To survive, managers follow strategies practiced by “model” organizations (mimetic isomorphism) Their understanding of the world is culturally mediated (conception of control)
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In a nutshell … The economy’s largest corporations confronted a problem in the 1950s: a renewal of federal antitrust activity A handful of companies figure out an essentially financial strategy for dealing with the problem, which puts the finance function at the forefront Managers of other companies struggling to survive grasp onto this model Everyone begins to see the world “financially” Corporations, strategically and cognitively, become seen as
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Day+20-21+Who+Gets+Power+12-14+Oct+2011 - Internal...

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