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The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective (Stanford Business Classics) [Paperback]

Jeffrey Pfeffer , Gerald Salancik
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 26, 2003 080474789X 978-0804747899 1
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.

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The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective (Stanford Business Classics) + Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory (Classics in Organization and Management Series) + Organizations
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.


Product Details

  • Series: Stanford Business Classics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Business Books; 1 edition (March 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080474789X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804747899
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Piece of Management Literature February 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Anyone studying Management Science is advised to read this book. In this book the authors lay the ground work for the Resource Dependence Theory. The book consists of theoretical and empirical chapters. Although the empirics are dated, the theory remains very viable and interesting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and seminal classic June 10, 2014
By tuhin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that provides the basis for why firms may involve in inter-organizational agreements such as mergers, acquisitions, alliances, board interlocks etc by describing what is known as resource dependency theory. The book can be traced to Pfeffer's earlier work on mergers (Pfeffer,1972) wherein he explicates the reasons why firms tend to merge.

This is a good reading for organizational theory researchers as well as students interested in inter-organizational agreements.
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