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Discipline and punish? Strategy discourse, senior manager subjectivity and contradictory power effects
Dick, Penny; Collings, David G.
Responding to calls for a more localized and dispersed conceptualization of power in the study of strategy discourse and its power effects, this paper examines how such effects undermine and contradict each other in a mundane, routine interaction: a research interview between a corporate elite actor and one of the authors. Using a Foucauldian inspired discursive psychology approach to provide a critical analysis of brief stretches of talk in a research interview, we expose the inherent instability and contingency of strategy discourse as it is used to construct accounts of corporate success, failure and senior manager subjectivity. Our core contribution is to show that resistance to strategy discourse is discernible not only through how lower level or other actors contest or undermine this discourse, but also by observing the efforts of corporate elites to manage temporary breakdowns (Sandberg and Tsoukas, 2011) which disrupt the background consensus which ordinarily provides strategy discourse with its “taken-for-granted” quality. Resistance, we argue, is not only an intentional and oppositional practice but inheres within the fine grain of strategy discourse itself, manifested as a “hindrance and stumbling block” (Foucault, 1978) in the highly occasioned and local level of mundane interaction.
Keyword(s): Corporate strategy; Discourse; Power effects; Foucault; Discursive psychology; Institutional talk
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Dick, Penny and Collings, David G. ORCID: 0000-0003-1252-7080 <> (2014) Discipline and punish? Strategy discourse, senior manager subjectivity and contradictory power effects. Human Relations . ISSN 1741-282X
Publisher(s): SAGE Publications
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2016-01-26 05:12:14 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 06:19:18