ERIC Number: ED193699
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Client-Centered Problem-Solving Networks in Complex Organizations.
Tucker, Charles; Hanna, Michael
Employees in different kinds of organizations were surveyed for their perceptions of their companies' client and operational problem-solving networks. The individuals came from a manufacturing firm, a community college, a telephone company, a farmers' cooperative, and a hospital. Interviews were conducted with those people reporting numerous contacts with clients. It was found that each of the organizations had a communication network designed to solve clients' problems and that the problem-solving network was different from the operational network. Interviewees labeled seven problem-solving functions; predicting potential problems, detecting current problems, facilitating solutions, consulting with resource persons, actually solving the problem, implementing the solution, and bringing in authority figures to deal with "unsolvable" problems. Individuals who were labeled "autonomous problem solvers" (APSs) exhibited the personal traits of effective managers and were located in the broad middle of the organizational hierarchy--high enough to have access to many levels of authority and low enough to have direct contact with client concerns on a daily basis. There was no apparent relationship between an organization's autonomy/client accountability and the evaluation of the efficiency of the client problem-solving network. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 10-12, 1980).