XL Systems For Today’s Leaders
Below, list four organizations you somehow rely on in your daily life for some resource. Examples might be a restaurant, a clothing store, a university, your family, the post office, your wireless provider, an airline, a pizzeria that delivers, and your place of work. In the first column, list those four organizations. Then, in column 2, choose another organization you could use in case the one in column 1 was not available. In column 3, evaluate your level of dependence on the organizations listed in column 1 as Strong, Medium, or Weak. Finally, in column 4, rate the certainty of that organization being able to meet your needs as High (certainty), Medium, or Low.
- Do you have adequate backup organizations for those of high resource dependence? How might you create even more backups?
- What would you do if an organization you rated high for dependence and high for certainty suddenly became
high dependence and low certainty? How would your behavior relate to the concept of resource dependence?
- Have you ever used any behaviors similar to those in Exhibit 4.8 to manage your relationships with the
organizations listed in column 1?
|Organization||Backup Organization||Level of Dependence||Certainty of Meeting Needs||Adequate Backup Organizations?||How to Create More Backups|
|Wireless provider||Prepaid wireless plan, Wi-Fi hotspots||Medium||Medium||Yes||Use multiple wireless providers, or have a backup plan in case of service disruption|
|Pizzeria that delivers||Another pizzeria that delivers, grocery store deli||Medium||Medium||Yes||Order pizza from multiple pizzerias, or have frozen pizza on hand|
|Place of work||Unemployment benefits, savings||Strong||High||No||Network with other professionals in my field, develop my skills so that I can be more marketable|
If an organization I rated high for dependence and high for certainty suddenly became high dependence and low certainty, I would need to take steps to reduce my dependence on that organization. One way to do this would be to find a backup organization that can meet my needs. For example, if my wireless provider suddenly became unreliable, I could switch to a different wireless provider or get a prepaid wireless plan.
Another way to reduce my dependence on an organization would be to develop my own resources. For example, if I relied heavily on a pizzeria that delivers, I could learn how to make my own pizza or start a garden so that I could grow my own vegetables.
Resource dependence theory is a theory in sociology that explains how the external resources of an organization affect its behavior. According to resource dependence theory, organizations that are highly dependent on external resources are more likely to be influenced by those resources.
In the example above, if my wireless provider suddenly became unreliable, I would be more likely to switch to a different wireless provider or get a prepaid wireless plan. This is because I am highly dependent on my wireless provider for communication and access to the internet.
Here are some additional tips for creating backup organizations:
- Network with other professionals in your field. This will give you a list of potential employers or clients to reach out to if needed.
- Develop your skills. This will make you more marketable and give you more options if you need to find a new job.
- Save money. This will give you a financial cushion to fall back on if you lose your job or experience other financial difficulties.
- Have a backup plan. This could include things like having a backup place to live, a backup car, or a backup childcare provider.
By taking these steps, you can reduce your dependence on any single organization and make yourself more resilient to change.