• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

I will discuss two theoretical perspectives, modernist and postmodernist theories of power, control and resistance in organisations,

Extracts from this document...


Introduction: Power gets more than one definitions in organisation, so what is power many scientists gave many explanations. Max Webber (1922) offered a definition about power, he said 'the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance', his opinion about power was focus on the capacity of influence of one person's behaviour to another person. Let's see another definition of power, 'Power we mean an individual's capacity to influence decisions' (Robbins 1990, P. 252), he indicated power as a cone, and the power for individuals depends on the different vertical levels and how far from the centre in the cone, the one closer to the power core, the one get more influence to affect decisions. Understanding of power can lead us to see control and resistance. Hatch and Cunliffe (2006, P. 251) gave his thinking of the relationship between power, control and conflict, 'conflict is a manifestation of the continuous struggle over control that power relations imply'. Control is enforced and encouraged by individuals, groups or organisations, and amount of conformity is needed in organisations. 'Resistance has been classically understood as a foundation cause of conflict that is undesirable and detrimental to organisational health' (Waddell & Sohal 1998, P. ...read more.


Power and Control Power is 'the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organisation' (Foucault, 1978). Foucault explained that power can shape human's sense and relate each other in an organisation, so it can be seen as a social phenomenon. Power is everywhere in our world, it is scattered to our personal, social, political or organisational life. Disciplinary power and self-surveillance can explain postmodern concepts of power and control. Hatch and Cunliff (2006) gave Foucault's idea about the relationship between disciplinary power and self-surveillance. Foucault thought the expectance of control contributes to self-surveillance. So some theorists have suggested that Foucault's idea of disciplinary power can be used in our everyday life and organisational life, but some of postmodernists also argued about this, they see power and control as involved in our social relations and the interactions between humans, not just depends on some particular positions in society or organisations. Finally, power and control are not offensive each other, they are shared and be used in our everyday life in social, political, or organisational area. Clegg and Kornberger (2003) thought that postmodernism and modernism are related, postmodernism cannot be without modernism, Clegg and Kornberger (2003) ...read more.


In the essay, I introduced two different definitions about power, and then relate to control and resistance, and how power control and resistance relate to modern perspective and postmodern perspective and how those contribute to structure and culture. Reference list Clegg, S & Kornberger, M 2003, 'Modernism, postmodernism, management, and organisation theory', Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 21, pp. 57-88, viewed 18th August 2010, Emerald Database. Cooper, R & Burrell, G 1988 'Organization Studies', Modern, Postmodernism and Organizational Analysis : An Introduction, Vol. 9, issue1, pp. 91-112, viewed 18th August 2010 , Business Source Premier Ebscohost Database. Hatch, M & Cunliffe, A 2006, Organisation Theory, Oxford University Press, New York. Jaffee, D 2008 Ch.2, 'Conflict at work throughout the history of organisations', In Dreu, Carsten K. W. de., Gelfand, Michele J. (eds.), The psychology of conflict and conflict management in organizations, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New York, PP55-78. Rashid, Z, Sambasivan, M & Johari, J 2003, 'The influence of corporate culture and organisational commitment on performance', Journal of Management Development, Vol. 22, Issue: 8, pp. 708-728, viewed 24th August 2010, Emerald Database. Robbins, S 1989, Organisation theory structure, design, and application, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Waddell, D & Sohal, A 1998, 'a constructive tool for change management', Management Decision, Volume: 36 Issue: 8, pp. 543-548, viewed 24th August 2010, Emerald Database. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Management Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Management Studies essays

  1. Management and Organisational Behaviour

    Therefore a manager's job must consist of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the resources of the organisation. These resources include people, jobs, technology, information, and money and etc. Managers work in an active environment and must foresee and adapt to challenges.

  2. Leadership Theories - this review seeks to determine which theoretical perspectives, theories and schools ...

    Figure 16 - Distribution of Process and Structure by Perspective 88 Figure 17 - Classification Schemes of Leadership Development (including findings of this study) 91 Figure 18 - Perspectives in Relation to Levels of Analysis and Ontological Stances 94 TABLE OF TABLES Table 1 - Leadership Theories 17 Table 2

  1. Workplace romance - the pros and cons

    It is extremely important for males and females to consider what are the reasons for them to want to start a relationship, so that they know what they are risking and is it worth it. Each female, for instance, has sacrificed her personal and sometimes family life in order to have a career and be a successful professional.

  2. Motivation Theories used in Organisations

    The provision of paid holidays and profit sharing helps to meet the workers esteem needs. Also the fact that the organisation takes good care of its workers and provides them with many benefits it could be said a sense of love and belonging is created.

  1. Co-operatives pros and cons

    implementation of Cooperative Identity and as criteria for the systematic development and selection of candidates with whom the management of co-operative and other associations of labour may be entrusted (Davis, 1998) It is time we addressed the old challenge of Michels "iron law of oligarchy" from the inside of management

  2. Leadership and its contribution to our understanding of Managing Organisations.

    Linking this with other aspects to do with organisational analysis (e.g. the environment and culture), conclusions can then be drawn as to the implications and understanding of leadership in today's global economy. Mullins (1996:246) agues that Leadership is related to motivation, interpersonal behaviour and the process of communication.

  1. General Management - organisation, leadership and theories.

    Johnson's organization was on schedule and under budget - and with only 126 people. Honeywell managers reorganized new product development into "tiger teams" consisting of marketing, design, and engineering employees. The new structural design reduced the time to produce a new thermostat from 4 years to 12 months.

  2. What are the observable artifacts, espoused values and basic assumptions associated with Ciscos culture? ...

    Cisco believes that engaged, talented and motivated people are critical to their success and they inspire employees to feel that their work is more than just a job. Management communicates the company's long term strategy and aligns employees with Cisco's r vision to change the way people work, live, play and learn (cisco.com).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work