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Interplay between Power and Resistance

Discuss about the Marketing & Management Psychology.

Organization management has always been defined as the function of planning, organization , leading and managing resources with an overall aim to achieving the objectives and aims of an the organization. Business organizational performance entails the making of various decisions which have an impact on the organization. In an aim of achieving the set b, significant challenges have been identified; one of these is organizational resistance. In the last 3 decades, the concepts of power and resistance have surfaced in the organizations. In a broader view to examine these, it has been viewed to be the contest between the various stakeholders to compete for the available resources, which bear the resemblance of economic, political and symbolic views. Various theorists and mode list have come up with various studies to bring out the relationship between power management and organizational resistance. Numerous theories and methodologies have been drawn to explain these concepts in a more precise manner, which include Unitarist, Humanistic, Marxist and Poststructuralist perspectivestrying to understand the resistance in organizations.  Common trends in this perspective are efforts linking power and resistance to meaningful issues, identity and discourse of the affairs taking place. This essay will analyse into this perspectives in an elaborate manner to understand the resistance in organizations.

In an attempt to analyse the concept of resistance it is important to understand the interplay between power and resistance in the organization, this concept has been shapely the approaches the organizations use.  Power has remained to be the most used tool in the way organizations are managed, (Martinez et a., 2015). The nature of organizations have been deemed too powerful to the extent that they are able to manage the constraints in their disposal which bears dependence or control other organizations dependencies on them. Marxist approaches to power have focussed on the relation to the dominancy in class level in the exits sting capitalist societies.  In a bid to sustain power , efforts have been made on the emergence of critical, Marxist influenced approaches on the organization. These approaches have been shaped to be sites of political competition on capital and labour avenues. This propositions are rooted in the foundation that capitalist institutionalism lies on the structural differences between allocation of value and the socialized entire of work production. The capitalist gesture to increase labour processes though work management are hence countered by attempts by the workers to resist these interactions with an aim of maintaining degree of autonomy and take charge of the labour process and procedures. Being able to take control of this path, means balancing power in the organization.

Marxist Approach to Power

In Marx’s views of work under industrial capitalism has been taken as a coercive process which the surplus values is being extracted from the worker in the production line. With the observation of Marx, the worker in the industrial capitalism is essential disenfranchised through loss of touch with the product or service, limited utilization of labour and skills in the task and the privatization of the end means of the process and the decrease of the worker in terms of the labour quantity. In this scenario then organization history and management in the previous century has been attempting to merge the alienated worker to the capitalist work and the organization. Hence with this conflict is inevitable, thus being an inherent element, in the capitalist relation of the end means of process. However the problem of alienation is rarely mentioned, early decade management theorist were swift in realising the disconnect between the vision management and the production form and the facility view of employees in the view of rational vision, (Blackledge, 2014).

In Hawthorne studies, there exist a significant proof of worker resistance to the organization management to control; efforts at Hawthorne. The resistance portrayed in this context has been viewed by the researchers as having psychological precedence. Other studies have shown that labour conflicts are source of psychopathology with psychosis interplay.  Much of the 20th century concepts in management have explicitly addressed issues related to power and resistance. Braveman’s (1974), on the book ‘Labour and Monopoly Capital’  came as a review  for Marxim view in analyzing the capitalist labour protocols and work nature on Marx capitalist view and the resurfacing of the neo Marxist views. The Marxist view on the process of work is that it bears structural orientation and focuses on the dynamics of control and resistance in the organization. Labour process have been viewed as avenues of conflicts and the work place is the terrain where this interplay of power struggles takes place, with keen interests on the capital and labour.  The Marxist view on the capitalist approach of work is that it attempts to minimise the opportunities for the staff to resists in the organization through progressively initiating more sophisticated regime of control. During the initial stages, simple control is required  which entails personal relations between the owners and small number of employees. The Marxist view has based its approach in three major outlines with regard to organization management. He highlighted three propositions which include alienation, concern and resistance. Alienation often results in the loss of individual autonomy in a bigger organization. The key aspect to resistance is being viewed by Marxist as collective nature of processes, (Hyman, 1975). In a study by Fantasis, (1995) shows an example of how wild cat is found in process which requires more staff for keen coordination whereby it generates strong work groups. Resistance in the organizations take progressive form, and effect of labour unions has been found to have an effect on the labour process. Of which the labour unions are subjected to structural need to focus negotiations with capitalists limits and not to question the limits, (Martin , 2007). In this case unions convey themselves as the possible and immediate alterative lay resistance. Workers have resorted to engage themselves the legal systems as a way of displaying their grievances in the work place, (Kelly, 2005). Whistle blowing has been found to play a key role in facilitation resistance in the work place.  With great inspiration from Marxists views, Hodson, (2001) took distance from neo-Marxist views that observes only the conflict aspect in the employee relation, with workers efforts being drawn from to form basis of dignity at work. Argument by Hodson (2001,) is that the workers threat to dignity, van be created by the mismanagement and abuse, overwork, constraints and employee manipulation. The workers react to these by forming resistance through exhibiting various behaviours that their intent to resist.

Resistance in Organizations

Unitarist view in the organisation has been viewed as a unifying common process protocol, with key objective of providing success to organization. This perspective has given the view of the organization as one big team with extensive rich in loyalty principles. This has implied that there are no significant differences in the organizational employees across the different sections of the organization. The communication on goals the have been set in the organization are meant to bring unity of purposes.  This has played an important role in making the employees in the organization to feel valued frothier presence and contribution. Employees at the bottom of the organization have a feeling of shared goals for the organization. The unitarists view is that the sectional interests of the employees are very important and are crucial for the success and profitability state of the organization. They view the different aspects of the state as an avenue to which to place their beliefs in , thus with this there is a common  sense of believing on the common values which are in their natural interests , (Blyton et al., 2008).

One of the main actors in unitarists perspective in organization is the communication channels which are not effective. The Unitarists view this as a component of dysfunctional value to the work towards the organization goals and visions. Rise of conflicts in the organizations are not inherent in and counterproductive in the organizations.  Conflicts are viewed as opposite to their values and do not have structural significance and terms it as a frictional force which causes disharmony and conflicts of interest. The rise of trade unionists has also been viewed as potential factor in conflicts among the employees in the organization. It  tend to bring as an external factor in which brings intrusion into the organization. Bothe concepts are viewed as factors which could bring resistance and they are unnecessary in the organization.   They create misplaced priories for some of the staff towards the goals of the organizations, (Daphne, 2008).

Conflict and resistance in the organization between the employee and management relationship can depended in that unitarist view is that they are un natural, unstructured and frictional. Resistance and conflict could occur when they feel that they have to ignore o on the factors which harm them. the unitarists view is that they can be seen as omnipotent  where total unilateral control of organization in the integration al process and management of the employee-organization relationship. The concept of unitarist view is that they perceive employees as an important aspect and thus reduces the chances of occurrences of organization resistance.  Unitary in management hence can be procured as a management tool which everybody in the organization is member with common goal’s and purposes, (Chandler , 2014). Unitarist view plays a central role in many organizations and cites across the different levels of employees and the management staff in view of working harmoniously and collaboratively, this case minimising any occurrence of resistance of the organization. Thus with this view in unitary organization process, it views working relations in a mutual manner and excludes the ideology of trade unions as organization employees cannot provide a double allegiance to two organizations. Hence conflict brought about is seen as threat to resistance of the organizational agenda and achievement of goals.

Unitarist View in Organizations

Humanistic approach to the organization concept has been based on the rejection on determinism of self and focus on positive growth rather than pathological influence. Psychodaymaic theories have a role to play in providing positive growth to the organization. Behaviour has always been beloved to mean objective means but the humanistic view considers the it yields conclusion that that individuals are not in a position to understand the significance of behaviour, assumption considered paradoxical and dangerous on the well being of  a person. Humanistic view have been advanced d by personalities such as Rogers, whom they argue that behaviour meaning is generally personal and subjective in its own sense  and that the idea it proposes is not scientific due to the subjective nature of the subjects. Carl Rogers proposition argues on the precepts of healthy development of a person and how individual person perceives their own well being. A healthy person tends to view things in a congruent manner because their own self are seen as self and view themselves as own self.  However in the normal life , there is no perfect congruence of self and used parameters are using self assessments. This has been observed as an effect of resistance in the organizational framework, the employees sees themselves and feel they own their ideal self and their perceived status.

The second concept of Carl Rogers view on humanistic approach is the set contribution of healthy growth. The process proposed is referred to patient cantered therapy, in which the task of a therapist is to provide warmness, empathy, openness and positive reward. In this view organizational behaviour is shaped by the constructs in which the organization shapes him,/her.  If the right conditions are available in the organization the employees would respond positively, however when there are negative influencers and the environment is intolerable then the employees would initiate resistance and hence lower the output of work the normal running of affairs in the organization.

Another personality whom has advance humanistic approach is Abraham Maslow, like Carl Rogers he has been credited as founder fathers of humanistic approach. He has applied psychological perspective of behaviours in general life in organizations and various fields. The hierarchy of needs concept has been the key concept of in human resource and organizational constructs. The theory proposes by Maslow regard the use of motivation as the key to the basic understanding of human behaviour. This has transformed to the theory of personality and has been used to describe the characteristics of growth in similar ways to Rodgers full functioning person. In the organization the presence of motivation ahs played important constructs foe use in achieving the goals and objectives set. For employees to respond positively in the organization there must be motivation to push them to strive more and yearn for more for many beneficial opportunities. Failure to provide theirs in the organization has been shown to reflect some form of resistance among the employees.

Communication in Unitarist Perspective

The organization of organizational change and culture has been widely used, and it has shown higher level of development. An organization either higher level of moral growth in their ethical view and has lower ethical behaviour and develops the person/employee highly in the human organization mix. Concept of humanistic management has been viewed as management theory which is based on the ideology of human needs and value principles. Employees have been viewed not as a tool of economic value but as a game changer in the productivity lane and as individual or aspects with meaningful tasks.  Failure to observe and guarantees this basic principles in the organizations yields precepts of resistance and reliance of negative force which counter acts that of the management as a way of rebellion exonerated.

Hence with this view we can say that the humanistic perspective emphasizes on the importance of human attributes in maintaining performance. The employee’s participation will depend on the style that the organization has adopted; an all inclusive style promotes higher productivity which signifies higher performance index. Human behaviour has been tainted as the determining factor in assessing the success or failure of the organization. The ability of the leadership to incorporate a participatory model and enhance human relations can explicitly manage organization resistance. The effective control of people comes from the motivation rather than forceful approach to work which encourages resistance, (Arvidsson,  2006).

The rightful application of resources and the application of effective management of resources and meeting  his/het needs possible in job design have shown a positive effect on the environmental control and productivity. Meeting the needs of employees’ provides an opportunity for commitment and higher productivity. The active role played by the management in supporting the employee’s ahs show an effect in unlocking their potential, while retention of employees promotes production and progress of organizations. Failure to realise this facets in humanistic perspective, persuades sentiments of resistance among the employees in the organization.

In the post structuralism ideal concepts of irony, cynics and parody among others have been viewed as discussed. In these concepts the reaches have the mandate to critically examine the ways in which the organization members can create the resistant spaces through enabling engagement and appropriate managerial interpretations and articulating the options in way in that don’t confront the regime. A study by Ezzamel et al., (2001), has marked, ‘being unreasonable wrong’s a divergent tactic employed by workers in ways to resist organizational hierarchy attempts to re-engineer production processes. This approach has given workers in organizations to prevent management from encroaching on the their sense of autonomy. The reaction thus reacts with forms of resistance in as a means of guarding the sense of identity generated from the period of unplanned autonomy. Prasadd and Prassad, (2000), has expanded future this concept, through ‘careful carelessness’, as an indirect form resistance to the advancement of to technological application in the organization.

Post structural concepts have been applied in the work environment resistance as an obstructive practice that requires a complex and social attempt to influence oppositional meaning and identities. With the changing patterns of the organizational concepts, practices of resistance are evident on the ability of informed and well equipped actors into strategically handle and adapt available courses. These forms may involve the articulation of stability.

Effective research is the resistance of efforts of dichotomizing control resistance associations portraying it as production of capitalist production level or the semantic expressions of unitary ideology. Kondo (1990), argues that has unintended consequences, what is viewed as resistance has unintended effects and can turn out to be collusive and apparent accommodation with potential of production of change. It is dynamic in the sense that it can have effects on aspect in organizations and have an extensive power in another organization. Hence with this post structuralism views, resistance can be assed as common feature in the life of organizations, thus there is ago ahead for exploiting resistance a important element in the complex dynamics of routine organization, (Bolton & Laser, 2015)


With view of the perspectives employee resistance is a complex component which faces the management and the evolving organizations world wide. Change process is always diverse and the employees reaction to work has been viewed as an important facet in the in the efforts to bring change to the organization. A lot of resources have been deployed in handling this factor for achievement of the desired goals. The nature of protecting the status quo in the management hierarchies brings a c challenge factor which must be overcome. Overhauling of the management problems are required in tackling resistance in the work place.


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