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The Analysis of Bureaucratic-Professional Conflict: Functional versus Dialectical Approaches

J. Kenneth Benson
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 1973), pp. 376-394
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4105685
Page Count: 19
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The Analysis of Bureaucratic-Professional Conflict: Functional versus Dialectical Approaches
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Abstract

The study of bureaucratic-professional conflict has generated empirical findings which strain the explanatory capacities of the functional scheme which has guided much of the research. It is argued here that a dialectical approach should now replace the functional approach to the study of bureaucratic-professional conflict. A dialectical approach linking bureaucratic-professional conflict to fundamental contradictions in organizations is proposed. Research should be focused on the contingencies affecting the occurrence, form, and intensity of conflict. A processual mode of analysis concentrated on the redefinition and re-negotation of order in major event-sequences is suggested.

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