The Rules of Organizing and the Managerial Role

Huseyin Leblebici, Gerald R. Salancik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is an attempt to clarify the meaning of the term ‘an organization’ based on the Weberian distinction between corporate groups and organizations and to identify the managerial role imbedded in his definition. This is done in two stages. First, Weber's definition is theoretically analyzed and its logical implications are presented. In the second stage, the hypotheses generated from these implications are empirically tested. By utilizing data collected from 64 U.S. national manufacturing trade associations, Weber's analytical distinctions between corporate groups and organizations are examined. The patterns of findings are congruent with Weber's argument that organizations are a distinct subset of corporate groups. In addition, findings suggest that the existence of a staff distinct from the members of the group is critical for understanding the nature of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-325
Number of pages25
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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