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date: 06 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents three approaches towards analysing workplace resistance to management ideas. The first (industrial relations) has primarily focused on union resistance. The second (labour process theory) considers individual and collective resistance in a context of antagonism between labour and capital. The third (post-structuralism) has sought to introduce subjectivity and identity into the analysis. The chapter gives a brief contextual sketch of resistance to management ideas before presenting the three approaches. It then considers ‘productive’ resistance, which suggests that resistance can facilitate organizational change, and examines whether this position can be considered to constitute a fourth approach. The authors conclude that it would be premature to do so because (1) it is under-explored, (2) it contains different strands, and (3) it shares similarities with previous approaches. Nevertheless, it helps to open up promising avenues for future research and some of these research directions in resistance to management ideas are considered.

Keywords: identity, industrial relations, labour process, power, post-structuralism, resistance, subjectivity, unions

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