Expanding the discourse on organizational inquiry, power and the metaphor commodity

Frank Stowell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Models of organization are unsatisfactory as they assume a certain level of predictability, but research shows that each organization is unique and cannot be encapsulated by a single ontological model. Organizations exist in a turbulent environment and must change to survive, but change creates tensions that threaten its stability. Those who make up the organization cooperate only when it is in their interest to do so; in other words, it is far from being predictable. Individuals and groups use their power in an attempt to shape outcomes into one that they can accept. The way that power is used can have a significant effect upon the decisions made about the way the organization maintains its relationship with its environment. To enhance our understanding of the way organizational power is used, the notion of “commodity” as a metaphor for power is introduced as a means of surfacing the way in which individual power is used.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystems Research for Real-World Challenges
EditorsFrank Stowell
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781522559979
ISBN (Print)1522559965, 9781522559962
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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