Resisting the power of organizational resistance

Authored by: Peter Bloom

The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organizations

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415821261
eBook ISBN: 9780203566848
Adobe ISBN: 9781136746246


 Download Chapter



Resistance is a challenging concept for contemporary studies of organizations and politics. For mainstream scholars, it signifies a barrier to organizational success and change (Krietner, 1986; Plant, 1987; Dunphy and Stace, 1988). Critical scholars, by contrast, are largely unified in their opposition to such managerialist accounts yet remain divided as to how to properly theorize resistance at work. The decline of revolutionary Marxism as a dominant, though marginalized, politics and scholarly perspective (Burawoy, 1979; Edwards, 1979) has in particular left a void regarding what resistance is and how it should be put into practice within the workplace and beyond. Seeking to fill this void, recent literature has sought to replace the traditional binary opposition of power and resistance in favour of a more dynamic relation stressing their mutual constitution (see Mumby, 2005; Fleming and Spicer, 2007, 2008). Such research points to the stabilizing function of resistance for identity construction in organizations (Bloom, 2013b).These insights bring once again to the forefront questions of the ethical desirability and political effectiveness of resistance for transforming capitalism both at the level of the firm and more broadly society.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.