3.9 Resource Dependence Theory

External resources (or the procurement of external resources) of organizations can influence the organization’s behavior (Stern, Pfeffer, and Salancik 1979)

The basic premise is as follows:

Organizations depend on resources, which depends on its environment, where other organizations play a big part to operate (ecology). And resources are power, and one organizations need others to survive. Hence, power and resource dependence are interlocked.

Since an organization’s power (A) over another (B) is the same thing as organization B’s dependence on organization A. We can see that power is relational and situaitonal.


Stern, Robert N., Jeffrey Pfeffer, and Gerald Salancik. 1979. “The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective.” Contemporary Sociology 8 (4): 612. https://doi.org/10.2307/2065200.