It begins with contingency theory but adds an intermediate strategic process
to give a different explanation for the structural features of organizations
(Scott p. 112). While they state that organzations adapt to the particular
challenges of their environments, strategic contingency theorists also emphasize
that managers have some choice. Decisions are "constrained but not
determined" by technical and environmental conditions.
These theorists also focus on the importance of power and coalition interests
in affecting these structural choices. The primary source of power results
from environmental uncertainty, and those who can more successfully deal
with (and whom others end up depending upon) gain the most influence (e.g,
mechanics and machine breakdowns). Thus, those who "control more strategic
contingencies garner more power within the organization" (Scott p.
Pfeffer states that "organization structures are the outcomes of political
contests within organizations" (Pfeffer 1978). The winners gain more
power which helps them in future contests.