Beyond Dyadic Exchange: Functional Interdependence and Sub-unit Power

W. Graham Astley, Edward J. Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


This study critically examines the relevance of exchange theory in explaining the power of organizational sub-units. The study argues that sub-unit power is generated not by the balance of exchange dependencies between sub-units, but by workflow interdependencies created by the organization’s division of labour. The findings support the arguments of the study. The paper concludes that dyadic power relationships between organizational sub-units can only be fully understood in terms of their location in organization-wide systems of functional interdependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-501
Number of pages21
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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