LO, Politics and Power LO19833

John W. Gunkler (jgunkler@sprintmail.com)
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 11:51:41 -0600

Replying to LO19814 --

Thomas Struck writes:
>Now, it seems to be quite hard (at least for me) to analyse the power
>structure of an organisation (apart from the formal hierarchy)

Yes, I believe that's true. However, there is a pretty good way to begin
understanding the power structure of an organization. It's called
"influence diagramming." You ask people within an organization a few
simple questions (about such things as, "Whom do you trust to tell you
what's really happening in central management?" or "If you had to form a
team to foster innovative thinking, whom would you invite to
participate?", etc.) Then you put the names of everyone mentioned in the
study, and all participants who answered the questionnaire, on a page and
begin drawing lines from people to the people they mentioned. The number
of INCOMING lines to each person is a (crude) measure of the
influence/power of that person [with the group questioned in the context
of the kinds of tasks referred to in the questions.]

There are more sophisticated analysis techniques in the sociological
research literature I think.


"John W. Gunkler" <jgunkler@sprintmail.com>

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