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Power and domination once occupied center stage in organizational sociology. But as the field developed, the concept of power was marginalized and its overall significance…
Power and domination once occupied center stage in organizational sociology. But as the field developed, the concept of power was marginalized and its overall significance for the drama of organization life neglected. Normative critiques of domination were recast as puzzles of obedience to authority, while scholars wishing to study the concrete workings of power regimes found themselves groping in the shadows. In this introduction, we advocate putting power and domination back on the agenda. Following the lead of classical theorists of power, we argue that organizations should be seen as scenes of struggles and as political projects to be constantly achieved and reconstructed. We critique structural and abstract perspectives that neglect the constant engagement of people in the negotiation of rules, meanings, and destinies. And we survey novel ideas that can help us to see power not as an abstract entity but as a pattern of interactions and social relationships that is instantiated in specific projects of domination and resistance. It is through this lens that power studies can be reinvigorated.
Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms…
Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms because of the growing centrality of stakeholder resistance, especially that which is premised on empowerment of key employees. We suggest that managerial responses to this resistance are transforming bureaucracies through process of accommodation: upper echelon managers invent responses to contentious acts and voices so as to reintegrate ‘resisters’ while rewarding them for contesting decisions in a cooperative way. Understanding these processes help us understand why traditional bureaucracy is currently transforming itself as a result of the emergence of new forms of resistance in the workplace.
This chapter reviews three analytical perspectives – ‘structural’, ‘network’ and ‘cultural’ – on the study of power and their implications for theorizing elites. It builds…
This chapter reviews three analytical perspectives – ‘structural’, ‘network’ and ‘cultural’ – on the study of power and their implications for theorizing elites. It builds on this initial theoretical review by developing a critical realist approach to the study of organizational elites out of the structurally based perspective identified in the first section of the chapter. The explanatory potential of this critical realist approach is then illustrated through two case studies of ruling elites embedded in contrasting historical, political and social contexts. The final section of the chapter provides a discussion of the wider implications of these case study analyses for understanding and explaining the ‘new feudalism’ which is emerging in advanced political economies and societies.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between language, thinking and society for explaining the degree of visibility of the French organizational…
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between language, thinking and society for explaining the degree of visibility of the French organizational studies (OS) production.
This paper proposes a sociological analysis based on Bourdieu field to understand the variation of reception the French OS production have had among the Anglo-Saxon field. The paper aims to underline some key elements, which can explain the differences of reception experienced by the French OS scientists. The paper opted for a general review using historical data; reviews of OS literature; and Google scholar, Web of Science and major OS Journal data.
The paper provides some evidence about how the degree of visibility of the French OS production is related to translation, cognitive and social resonance, producer place in the scientific network and relationship between the fields. It suggests that the degree of visibility is the result of a complex set of socio-cognitive schemes, social issues raised by the scholar and the place occupied by the researcher in the field.
The paper brings interesting ideas concerning the international development of the OS field, the degree of visibility of diverse contributions coming from non-English speaking researchers, notably the French ones, and how the dialogue between different linguistic and social universes can be ameliorated.