Progressing to the Center: The Antecedents and Consequences of Lateral Authority

68 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2008

See all articles by Linus Dahlander

Linus Dahlander

Stanford University; Imperial College London

Siobhan Clare O'Mahony

Boston University School of Management

Date Written: October 28, 2008

Abstract

Post-bureaucratic forms of organizing are theorized to rely upon lateral as opposed to vertical authority, but few have studied how lateral authority operates in practice. With a longitudinal, multi-network study of a mature open source project, we predict what leads individuals to gain lateral authority over collective work. While technical contributions are initially important, coordination work become more critical at a subsequent stage. After gaining authority, individuals significantly increase the effort spent coordinating project work. By specifying the antecedents and consequences of lateral authority, our research refines our theoretical conception of how knowledge work in project and communities is coordinated.

Suggested Citation

Dahlander, Linus and O'Mahony, Siobhan Clare, Progressing to the Center: The Antecedents and Consequences of Lateral Authority (October 28, 2008). UC Davis Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 07-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1291416 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1291416

Linus Dahlander (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Siobhan Clare O'Mahony

Boston University School of Management ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

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