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A cognitive model of authority in organizations and its effects on idea generation and idea validation performance
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

An organization constitutes an environment of social relationships. The interdependence of the organization’s members and their nature as human beings create particular effects, which influence social interaction. One of these effects is the focus area of this master thesis – authority. Understanding the dynamics of authority is crucial for designing effective organizations. This thesis contributes to its analysis by performing a qualitative-heuristic literature analysis, which integrates central components of authority into a holistic, cognitive model. These components comprise the origins of authority in organizations, the channels that induce authority, individual characteristics that promote authority, and different categorizations of authority. The cognitive model facilitates the understanding of the process of authority in organizations and allows to deduce its effects on the behavior of organization members. In a second step, the findings on authority are related with two sub-processes of organizational innovation – idea generation and idea validation. Finally, this master thesis concludes six research propositions on the effect of authority on these processes. It argues that authority is likely to constrain idea generation performance, but might facilitate idea selection performance.

Abstract [sv]

En organisation utgörs av en miljö med sociala relationer. Medlemmarnas självständighet inom organisationen och deras sätt att vara människor skapar särskilda effekter som påverkar social interaktion. En av dessa effekter är auktoritet vilket kommer vara huvudämnet för examensarbetet. Att förstå auktoriteters dynamik är avgörande för att kunna utforma effektiva organisationer. Denna uppsats bidrar till ämnet genom en kvalitativ-heuristisk litteratur analys som integrerar centrala delar av auktoritet i en holistisk, kognitiv modell. Dessa komponenter innehåller auktoritetens ursprung inom organisationer, kanaler som inducerar auktoritet, individuella egenskaper som främjar auktoritet och olika kategorier av auktoritet. Den kognitiva modellen underlättar förståelsen och processen av auktoritet inom organisationer. Detta gör det möjligt att härleda effekterna till organisationens medlemmar. Resultaten av att undersöka auktoriteten utmynnar i två delprocesser av innovation i organisationen – idégenerering och idévalidering. Avslutningsvis presenterar uppsatsen sex forskningsförslag angående dess effekt av auktoritet på dessa processer. Resultaten påvisar att auktoriteten kommer begränsa idégenerationens prestanda men kan underlätta idévalets resultat.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 127
Series
TRITA-ITM-EX 2018 ; 627
Keywords [en]
Model of authority; organization, social behavior, authority, innovation, idea generation, idea selection, psychological effects of authority
Keywords [sv]
Modell av auktoritet; organisation, socialt beetende, auktoritet, innovation, idégeneration, idéval, psykologiska effekter av auktoritet
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-246076OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-246076DiVA, id: diva2:1295699
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-03-12 Created: 2019-03-12 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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