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Organizational Decision Making as a Political Process: The Case of a University Budget

Jeffrey Pfeffer and Gerald R. Salancik
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 135-151
DOI: 10.2307/2393885
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2393885
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Organizational Decision Making as a Political Process: The Case of a University Budget
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Abstract

The effect of subunit power on resource allocation decisions in one university is examined. Measures of departmental power in a university are found to be significantly related to the proportion of the budget received, even after statistically controlling for such universalistic bases of allocation as work load of the department, national rank, and number of faculty. Subunit power in the organization is also related to the correlation between a subunit's resources--budget and instructional staffs--and work load over time. The more powerful the department, the less the allocated resources are a function of departmental work load and student demand for course offerings. Subunit power is measured by both interviews of department heads and the analysis of archival records of departmental representation on major university committees. Intercorrelations between these measures of subunit power indicate that it is possible to obtain unobtrusive measures of organizational political systems without direct interviewing.

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