Degree Granting Department
Walter Nord, Ph.D.
Informal groups, Formation, Structure, Social network analysis
Coalitions are widely associated with collective or collaborative attempts to influence organizational members, decisions, policies and events. Yet, surprisingly, relatively little is known about how coalitions develop within organizations. Employing an exploratory case study design and using social network analysis, the Rokeach Value Survey, and semi-structured interviews, this research demonstrated that it is possible to identify and study coalitions in a real organizational setting. I suggest that the inclusion and investigation of member relationships may advance the state of the art in organizational coalition research. A benefit of this study, and contrary to most coalition research, is that it used multiple forms of data, including demographic, historical, values-based and interaction patterns for work and social relationships.Two coalitions were identified in the organization studied. Formation centered on a single issue and each coalition followed a strategy designed to influence a possible change in structure and operation. Coalition members exhibited similarities across several factors, including tenure within the organization, education, race, age, and previous experiences. Analyses showed some similarity in member values within and between coalitions. The coalition attempting to maintain the current work structure demonstrated higher value similarity with non-coalition members. Social network analysis revealed that coalition members tended to be structurally similar to each other, more centrally located in the work network, and had higher correlation between coalition interactions and existing social relationships.
Scholar Commons Citation
Walsh, Dean T., "A structural approach to the study of intra-organizational coalitions" (2006). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.