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Elusive domination and the fate of critique in neo-participative management: a French pragmatist approach

Daudigeos, Thibault, Edwards, Timothy, Jaumier, Stephane, Pasquier, Vincent and Picard, Helene 2019. Elusive domination and the fate of critique in neo-participative management: a French pragmatist approach. Organization Studies -Berlin- European Group for Organizational Studies- , pp. 1-19. 10.1177/0170840619856027

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In this theoretical paper we investigate how domination has adapted to the new social settings of a flexible and pluralist economy. Building on French pragmatic sociology, we propose an understanding of organizational domination whereby workers are enabled and encouraged to overtly express critique, yet work is nevertheless effectively obtained from dominated actors. Domination is here mainly understood as a system through which workers are engaged in action despite critiquing that action. We propose the concept of elusive domination as a combination of three mechanisms that undermine critique’s capacity to influence organizational power arrangements. First, ideological plasticity allows elusive domination to disarm critique by depriving it of its argument. Next, a combination of fast-changing rules and sacrosanct conventions prevents critique from settling, and thus deprives it of its object. Finally, emotions displayed in the workplace are filtered. The encouragement of positive and constructive critique coupled with the repression of uncomfortable feelings deprives critique of its source of indignation. The consequences of such developments for current debates on organizational domination are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0170-8406
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 13 June 2019
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 10:07

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