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Discipline and punish? Strategy discourse, senior manager subjectivity and contradictory power effects

Dick, Penny and Collings, David G. orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-1252-7080 (2014) Discipline and punish? Strategy discourse, senior manager subjectivity and contradictory power effects. Human Relations . ISSN 1741-282X

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.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporate strategy; Discourse; Power effects; Foucault; Discursive psychology; Institutional talk
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726714525810
Copyright Information:© 2014 SAGE
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:20970
Deposited On:25 Jan 2016 11:35 by Margaret Galuszynska . Last Modified 10 Dec 2018 13:36

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