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Power and Bargaining in Authority-Client Relations

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This article presents a theory of tactical action designed to analyze the authority- client relationship, i.e., voluntary, noncontractual relation between service-providers and their clients. The focus is on conflicts that arise when authorities refuse requests from clients, and the theory predicts the tactical choices of the clients. Authority-client relationships are seen from an exchange perspective. The theory is structured around power-dependence and integrates legitimacy and attribution notions with previous theories of tactical action. The major predictions indicate that the client’s choice of tactic is a function of an interaction between (1) the client’s attribution of the authority’s reason for refusal and (2) the respective power positions of the client and the authority.

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1989-01-01

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authority-client relationship; power-dependence; tactical action

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Required Publisher Statement: © Emerald. Final version published as: Blegen, M. A., & Lawler, E. J. (1989). Power and bargaining in authority-client relations. In R. G. Braungart & M. M. Braungart (Eds.), Research in political sociology: Vol. 4 (pp. 167-186). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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