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Task-Relevant Control in Organizations
  • D. Anthony Butterfield
  • Barry Z. Posner, Santa Clara University
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Studies of organizational power using questionnaire measures of perceived control have usually asked respondents, “How much influence do (various groups in the hierarchy) have on what goes on in your organization?” The present study measured such general control, plus control over specific task-relevant responsibilities. Data were obtained from 526 individuals at four hierarchical levels in 20 regional offices of an insurance company. Predicted relationships between total general control and task-relevant control and an independent measure of effectiveness were only partially supported. The general manager's control was more important than expected. However, measuring task-relevant control could be a useful management tool, and could help future research explicate relationships between control and effectiveness.

This paper is based on a presentation for a symposium: “Power and Control in Organizations: New Research Directions” at the Academy of Management National Meeting, San Francisco, August, 1978
Citation Information
Butterfield, D. A., & Posner, B. Z. (1979). Task-Relevant Control in Organizations. Personnel Psychology, 32(4), 725–740.