Senior police officers have called for an "outbreak of common sense" to resolve uncertainty over who will control certain functions in the new single force.
The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) said officers and police staff need clarity over who is in charge of the unified force, which officially starts in spring.
The demand has been made ahead of the first meeting of the Scottish Police Authority Board next week.
It comes amid ambiguity about the full functions of the new chief constable and the role of civilian oversight body the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), particularly over who will have control of some behind-the-scenes functions within the new Police Service of Scotland (PSoS).
ASPS said they believe that the Chief Constable, Stephen House, should be responsible for the direction and control of all resources and that the SPA should hold him to account for delivery of police services to the public.
They also insisted that the "critical function" of finance and human resources must also come under the control of the Chief Constable.
ASPS said it understands that the police authority is looking to introduce a system which would see a chief executive overseeing finance, human resources, IT and other backroom functions. The lines of communication would lead from directors of those areas back to the chief executive and the authority, while the Chief Constable would have deputy directors for these operations, said ASPS, whose members are the senior operational leaders of the police service.
The body questioned what value such a new system would add in the current tough economic climate.
Earlier this week, the First Minister said that ambiguity over who runs what in the new police force is expected to be "ironed out in good time".
Alex Salmond said the power struggle between Mr House and Vic Emery, chairman of the SPA, could be described as "creative tensions".