Organisational power and the metaphor commodity

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Organisational intervention is problematic as each inquirer has a different notion of what an organisation is and in order to make sense of it the inquirer adopts a model or concept of organisation. But models of organisation are unsatisfactory as they assume a certain level of predictability, but research shows that its members cooperate only when it is in their interest to do so; in other words it is far from being predictable. Organisational research suggests abandon ontology for epistemology in recognition of the dynamic of organisational behaviour. At a time of change tensions are created that threaten its stability and individual members and groups use their power in an attempt to shape outcomes. In order to enhance understanding of the way organisational power is used the notion of “commodity” is introduced as a means of surfacing the way in which individual power is used. By thinking in terms of commodity the inquirer gains insight into the effects of power within the group and opens the way for a wider range of discussions to take place that may bring out hidden and imagined manifestations of power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Systems and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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