This article presents a theory of tactical action designed to analyze the authority- client relationship, i.e., voluntary, noncontractual relation between service-providers and their clients. The focus is on conflicts that arise when authorities refuse requests from clients, and the theory predicts the tactical choices of the clients. Authority-client relationships are seen from an exchange perspective. The theory is structured around power-dependence and integrates legitimacy and attribution notions with previous theories of tactical action. The major predictions indicate that the client’s choice of tactic is a function of an interaction between (1) the client’s attribution of the authority’s reason for refusal and (2) the respective power positions of the client and the authority.