This perspective contends that organizations can adapt and directly affect
their chances of survival. Like population ecology, it focuses its research
at the organizational unit level. Earlier work by Zald (1970) and Walmsley
and Zald (1973) defined it as the political economy model. Thompson defined
some of his related work as the power-dependency model (1967). The most
definitive reference is Pfeffer and Salancik (1978).
Resource dependency is an open-system theory that states that all organizations
exchange resources with the environment as a condition for survival (Scott
p. 114). "The need to acquire resources creates dependencies betwen
organizations and external units" (p. 114), which ultimately can cause
political problems that require political solutions.
In this perspective, organizations have choice over their own fate. Managers
try to acquire resources without creating difficult dependencies.