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Work Assignment and Interpersonal Relations in a Research Organization: Some Participant Observations

F. William Howton
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 7, No. 4 (Mar., 1963), pp. 502-520
DOI: 10.2307/2390962
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2390962
Page Count: 19
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Work Assignment and Interpersonal Relations in a Research Organization: Some Participant Observations
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Abstract

The research worker seeks to manage his interpersonal relations as a means to the end of getting a better work assignment, while at the same time his current assignment selectively structures his relations with others. The meaning of work and of relations with colleagues is understandably related to the technical and organizational imperatives characteristic of scientific research carried on in the setting of the large, specialized industrial unit. The newer conditions under which scientific research is practiced are having their effect on the social character of the scientist. It is no longer accurate to regard him simply as a professional man. These conclusions point to a need for certain revisions in conventional organization theory.

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