"Two of the best minds in the business, Pfeffer and Salancik crafted this powerful argument that remains timely and timeless. That's the true test of a classic. The External Control of Organizations is a trusted, durable, evocative work." Karl E. Weick,Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology, University of Michigan Business School
"Launching the resource dependence theory of organizations, this influential work was the first to recognize the power of the wider social-political environment as a force shaping organizational structure and behavior. Recognizing that all organizations must acquire resources from the environment as a condition of their survival, Pfeffer and Salancik demonstrate how resource dependence gives rise to power problems and, potentially, to political solutions." W. Richard Scott,Stanford University
"Pfeffer and Salancik have produced a good, persuasive statement of the resource dependence view. . . . Their book is a welcome effort to formulate the perspective more completely, weigh the relevant empirical evidence, and develop implications for organizational design." Administrative Science Quarterly
From the Inside Flap
Among the most widely cited books in the social sciences, The External Control of Organizations has long been required reading for any student of organization studies. The book, reissued on its 25th anniversary as part of the Stanford Business Classics series, includes a new preface written by Jeffrey Pfeffer, which examines the legacy of this influential work in current research and its relationship to other theories.
The External Control of Organizations explores how external constraints affect organizations and provides insights for designing and managing organizations to mitigate these constraints. All organizations are dependent on the environment for their survival. As the authors contend, “it is the fact of the organization’s dependence on the environment that makes the external constraint and control of organizational behavior both possible and almost inevitable.” Organizations can either try to change their environments through political means or form interorganizational relationships to control or absorb uncertainty. This seminal book established the resource dependence approach that has informed so many other important organization theories.