INFORMAL DECISION-MAKING AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
BERNES, ELINOR LEIGH
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This study examines a hospital as a special form of bureaucratic structure. When the structure is quasihierarchical with multiple centers of authority, it gives rise to an ad hoc process of decision making. The ad hoc process is a result of a lack of consensus which results in organizational dysfunctions. The consequences of these dysfunctions are examined in relation to the client, the worker, and the organization.;The field study and participant observation approach informs the entire research. The research strategy is primarily inductive and examines anecdotes which express the interface between the formal and the informal structure as it relates to the process of decision making. Two levels of analysis are used in analyzing consensus and the informal decision-making process, ie, a normative and ethnomethodological paradigm.;Data for this study are gathered from (1) inferences/deductions from models of consensus making, (2) critical incidents on the operation of the organization, (3) interviews of organizational members, and (4) organizational documents.;The study concludes that in a hospital bureaucracy where there are multiple centers of power and control that are unsubordinated, this gives rise to an excessive amount of ad hoc decision making which tends to be dysfunctional for the clients, the workers, and the organization.