Library

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WHERE DOES POWER COME FROM?

William E Smith PhD, October 2004

This paper, the most fundamental on AIC to date, searches for the roots of the purpose-and-power-field relationships at the heart of the AIC philosophy, model and process. It takes us on a journey through science and religion to finally discover the roots in ourselves, our own brains and nervous systems.

TRANSFORMING ORGANIZATIONS: A Five-Dimensional Process

William E Smith, PhD and Elizabeth B Davis, PhD, May 2004

Prepared for the 3rd International Conference on Systems Thinking in Management (ICSTM ’04): (May 19-21, 2004; University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA), this paper presents an organizing process that is based on a synthesis of sociology, systems, power and field theories.

The paper provides:

  • a new basis on which to build organization theory—the assertion that “Purpose is the source of Power.”
  • a redefinition of actor/environment relationships as power relationships.
  • a new model which enables us to better understand the process by which purpose is generated and translated into effective action.
  • an understanding that enables us to design improved organizational processes that use more of the potential power available to them than do more traditional models.
  • a description of practice that enables organizations to achieve higher levels of purpose, at relatively less cost, in relatively shorter periods of time with much less emphasis on using expensive control mechanisms.
WHOLENESS: The Development of a New Philosophy and Model and Process of Organization

William E Smith, PhD, 2001

[A paper preceding Smith's book The Creative Power (Routledge, 2009), modified August 1, 2001]

This article tells the story of the practical and intellectual development of AIC. It introduces the idea of Purpose as the source of Power and describes the nature of the three components of every power field: appreciation, influence and control.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF POWER CONCEPTS: The Academic Roots of the AIC Approach

William E Smith, PhD, 1983

This article is extracted from "Organizing As A Power Process": The Creation And Testing Of A Conceptual Framework And Its Application To The Design Of Development Projects. It traces the intellectual roots of the power concepts that underlie the AIC approach.

THE DESIGN FOR ORGANIZATION OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT: World Bank; Staff Working Paper No. 375; March, 1980

William E Smith (Consultant)
Francis Lethem (Projects Advisory Staff)
Ben A Thoolen (Agriculture and Rural Development Department)

This is the article that first introduced the AIC concept. Sponsored by the World Bank, it sold more copies than any other paper in the series to that date.

EVOLUTION OF CONTROL AND COORDINATION IN MNCs: Crises in Development

W E Smith and Remy Charmoz, 1978

W E Smith identified three power relationships that characterize the growth pattern of multinational corporations. The study, "Evolution of Control and Coordination in MNCs," was based on his experience of reorganization while working in the pharmaceutical industry. It was published in the book by J Galbraith and D Nathanson, Strategy Implementation: the Role of Structure and Process, 1978.

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