Perceptions of power and their effect on organisational behaviour in conditions of ambiguity.

  • Margaret Ryan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The thesis starts with a discussion of the methodological issues involved in researching perceptions of power, a description of the pilot project and its findings, and a discussion of the rationale for the qualitative methodology based on a decision-making process, which was chosen for the main field study. A review of the existing literature of power is then provided, in which the main themes and conflicts of view across a broad range of theoretical perspectives are identified. A descriptive analysis of the field research follows, from which inferences are drawn and links made to existing theory. The pervasive ambiguity of organisational phenomena as revealed by this analysis is then further analysed. A classification of different types of organisational ambiguity, the ways in which it can arise in the orgainisation and the responses people can make to it are suggested, its political significance being a major consideration. Finally, some suggestions for further lines of enquiry are presented.
Date of Award1982
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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