ERIC Number: ED232264
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Investigating Interorganizational Relations Using Latent Social Role Theory.
Linden, Russell M.; And Others
Previous research into the interpersonal aspects of interorganizational relations has emphasized the importance of latent social roles in studying community leaders. Following Merton's (1957) identification of two general types of influentials, Gouldner (1957, 1958) identified persons focusing on organizational loyalty over specialized skills as "locals" and, conversely, those committed to specialized skills and a predominantly external orientation as "cosmopolitans." Building on previous research into the interorganizational relations between a public school system and a department of parks and recreation in a small Virginia city, a 10-question interview schedule with organizational leaders was constructed to gather data relating to Gouldner's theory. Findings indicate that organizational leaders did reflect predominantly cosmopolitan and local social role orientations. In all, latent social role theory was helpful in understanding the major characteristics of interorganizational relations. Understanding the latent social role of the interorganizational program coordinator was especially useful in understanding these relations. While the importance of interpersonal dimensions cannot be ignored, other factors need to be considered in interorganizational analysis. The local/cosmopolitan distinction may be useful, however, both in determining the suitability of individuals for particular organizational tasks and in anticipating conflicts among leaders. (JBM)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Community Leaders, Group Dynamics, Institutional Role, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Leadership Styles, Organizational Climate, Organizational Communication, Organizational Theories, Personality Theories, Personality Traits, Role Theory, Social Psychology, Social Stratification
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).