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Ambivalence and Resistance: A Study of Management in a Concertive Control System

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This research contributes to our understanding of control and resistance by demonstrating that managers may be constrained by the very concertive systems of control that they enact and that managers may subtly and indirectly support employee resistance to control. A study of an aerospace company finds concertive control acts as a barrier to management directed organizational change. In this case, managers subverted their own change efforts by communicating ambivalence about changes they introduced; this gave employees support in resisting the proposed changes. Despite clear material necessity and discursive ideologies supporting change, managers were bound by their identification with and devotion to the traditional value premises of the company.

Keywords: Concertive Control; Identification; Identity; Resistance

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2005

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