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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Organizational power and the information services department


A theory of intraorganizational power is discussed and applied to the information services department. The results of a study of the power of five departments in 40 manufacturing plants is presented. Hypotheses about the levels of power of information processing are not supported by the findings; however, the power theory in general does receive support.The information-services department is perceived as having low levels of power and influence in the organization: Reasons for this unexpected finding are discussed. The paper suggests several explanations for the results and possible problems in the organization. Recommendations to senior management and the information-services department are offered.

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