Author(s): Marshall Ganz
Why did the insurgent United Farm Workers (UFW) succeed while its better-resourced rival-the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (AWOC)-failed? Explanations relying on altered political opportunity structures or resources, accounts of Cesar Chavez's charismatic leadership, or descriptions of UFW strategy fail to identify mechanisms for creating effective strategy. By analyzing leadership, organizational influences on actors' choices, and their interaction within the environment, this study shows that greater access to salient information, heuristic facility, and motivation generated more effective strategy. Differences in "strategic capacity" can explain how resourcefulness can compensate for lack of resources, why some new organizations can overcome the "liability of newness," and how reorganizational "focal" moments may lead to a social movement.