Empowering structures in organizations: Toward a specification of the resource perspective

Mohammad S. Siahpush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study presents a critical analysis of the "resource perspective". Empirical works espousing this perspective have predominantly used the sign of the effects of industrial variables on earnings as a method of identifying resources and vulnerabilities for labor in their struggle against employers. Instead, this paper argues that the organization is the appropriate unit of analysis and that the effect of organizational structures on valid measures of worker power (instead of on earnings) should correctly identify resources and vulnerabilities for workers. Two such measures are introduced: unionization and internal labor markets. Results show that size, complexity, continuous process technology, and organizational links act as resources, and formalization, centralization, custom and mass production technologies, and workflow rigidity act as vulnerabilities for workers. The paper interprets and discusses implications of the findings and outlines future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-149
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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