UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Loyalty in a formal organization Corenblum, Allan Fred


This is a study of the occurrence of loyalty within a formal organization. It does not purport to be an analysis of all forms of loyalty but rather it seeks to reveal a particular type of loyalty within a hierarchical organization. Putting it more sharply, this thesis investigates the occurrence of subordinate loyalty toward a superior. The object of the study was twofold: (1) to investigate the acceptability of the definition of loyalty within a theoretical scheme as proposed by Blau and Scott in their recent book Formal Organizations and (2) to attempt to isolate and investigate those conditions and factors which may be related to felt subordinate loyalty toward a superior. The method of investigation took the form of distributing a mail questionnaire to the employees of one of the divisions within a publicly owned electrical utility. The replies to the questionnaire were tabulated and are presented in the body of the thesis. The general conclusions reached were as follows: 1. The Blau and Scott definition of loyalty seems to be too narrow. 2. Superiors who command the felt loyalty of their subordinates are more likely than others to establish effective informal authority over them and thus to influence them. 3. The more that a superior perceives himself as maintaining emotional detachment, the greater is the felt loyalty of his subordinates. 4. A supervisor who is consistent in his enforcement of the working rules and practises will be more likely to gain the loyalty of his subordinates. The following hypotheses were not statistically supported. 1. The more independent a supervisor is from his superior, the more likely it is that he will have loyal subordinates. 2. Loyalty to superiors in a hierarchical organization tends to be pronounced on alternate levels.

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