Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
This paper examines the relationship between the Chief Executive of a CO-operative retail society and his Board of Directors. It takes for its starting point three critical activities of the Chief Executive, i.e. the achievement of society objectives; the maintenance of the internal stability of the society and the adaptation of the society to the external environment.Two factors which influence the performance of these activities are the Chief Executive's orientation to society performance and his relationship with his Board.The Chief Executive will tend to be inward-outward in orientation. Factors affecting this will be his previous task experience and organisational experience of which two aspects are important (a) time—the length of service a t lower and middle management level and (b) structure—the degree of delegation. These will affect the Chief Executive Officer's ability to deal with uncertainty in the environment, A third influential factor will be the attitudes and expectations of his Board which will be structured by their perception of democratic control. Finally the nature of the environment will affect the Chief Executive's orientation and his flexibility.In dealing with the problems which face him the Chief Executive is influenced by his reference points, i.e. by the degree of internalisation of co-operative values, and by his beliefs about the rightness of previous decisions.His decision-making is influenced by the interaction of his beliefs and those of his Board and by the depth to which they are held. These beliefs may be seen in two parts, first, relating to the nature of co-operative enterprise and secondly, to the method by which the co-operative enterprise is controlled.Contributing to the depth of internalisation of co-operative beliefs would appear to be their social and political backgrounds. Additional factors for the Chief Executive Officer include length of service in the co-operative movement, non-co-operative experience and his commitment to :managerial values'.On the basis of the differing orientations of the persons concerned, it is possible to hypothesise the development of certain decision-making situations.
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