You're Still the Same: Why Theories of Power Hold over Time and Across Contexts

You're Still the Same: Why Theories of Power Hold over Time and Across Contexts

The Academy of Management Perspectives. November
1, 2013

Changes in the values and careers of particularly younger employees and changes in organizations, including the reduction of hierarchical levels and greater use of teams and matrix structures — combined with new communication technologies and more social networking — have produced calls for new organization theories for these new realities. Using organizational power and influence as a focus, I argue that fundamental theoretical processes remain largely unchanged in their explanatory power, in part because such phenomena can be linked to survival advantages. The new workers – new work arguments are consistent with the continuing emphasis on novelty and theoretical innovation in the organization sciences, an emphasis that, while promulgated in virtually all the journals, may poorly serve the development of reliable and valid knowledge and hinder our ability to provide useful advice for both organizations and their employees.