Resisting the power of organizational resistance

Bloom, Peter (2015). Resisting the power of organizational resistance. In: Pullen, Alison and Rhodes, Carl eds. The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organizations. Abingdon: Routledge Publishing, pp. 368–383.



This chapter explores anew the relation of resistance, politics and ethics for organizations. Rather than examining the effectiveness of resistance it investigates fundamentally what type of politics and therefore ethical commitments a resistance subjectivity produces. It argues that resistance serves simultaneously as a force for challenging power and organizing identity around it. Critically, it highlights how stable resistance identities can strategically support contemporary managerialist ideologies. Following on from this account, it then delves deeper into ways resistance serves as a subjective orientation which psychologically links selfhood to themes of sovereignty and control. To this end, it sets the limit for politics and consequently the possibilities of organizational transformation to reflect these values. Imperative, for this reason, is the need to theorize an organizational politics that effectively enhances and in a real sense resists resistance for promoting an ethico-political commitment to revolutionary possibility rather than simply opposition.

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