Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reacquaint us with Chester Barnard's seminal treatise on status systems in organizations – the conceptualization that he labeled as a “missing scroll” of The Functions of the Executive . Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyzes this “missing scroll” to draw the parallels and distinctions between Barnard's and the contemporary views of status systems in organization. Findings – The paper outlines how this forgotten piece can inform and enrich the current understanding of the role of status in organization theory. Practical implications – This paper draws practical parallels and distinctions between Barnard's and the contemporary views of status systems in organization and management literature. Originality/value – This paper corrects the omission from The Functions of the Executive showing that Barnard was the first to recognize status systems as systematic in organizations.
Journal of Management History – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 26, 2008
Keywords: Social status; Social structure; Organizational structures; Organizational theory