Authority’s Hidden Network: Obligations, Roles and the Morphogenesis of Authority

  • Ismael Al-AmoudiEmail author


This paper examines how the morphogenesis of authority presupposes, and in turn constitutes, social roles and relations of obligation. Authority is conceptualised as a relation of power based on legitimacy. An analysis in terms of rights and obligations emphasises the import of identities and, in particular, social identities and social roles in the morphogenesis of relations of authority. Moreover, the chapter indicates that those relations of authority that are observable in any given organisation are themselves rooted in a wider—and typically neglected—network of (significant) others whose expected attitudes are commonly used as a compass for agents engaged in relations of authority.


Authority Morphogenesis Networks Obligations Rights 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Center for social ontologyEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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