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Tolbert & Hall (2004) - Power Definition

Autor:   •  September 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  252 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,369 Views

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According to Tolbert & Hall (2004), power can be defined as "relationship between two or more actors in which the behaviour of one is affected by the behaviour of the other". Power is also explained as the ability to get others to do what you want them to do even if it is against their will (Wilson 2004). There are two types of resources involved in power, the control over materials or economic resources and authoritative resources which means having the authority or power over things and people. Control refers to the practices developed by individuals or groups that enforce or encourages conformity and deal with behaviours that violates accepted norms (Hatch & Cunliffe 2006) Resistance is a reactive process whereby people embedded in power relations actively oppose initiatives enacted by others (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis 2008). This essay will outline the multiple perspectives that can be adopted in discussing about power, control and resistance in organisation as well as on how each perspective understands of power, control and resistance in organisations contributes to different ideas about organisational structure and culture.

The two perspectives that will be discussed in this essay are namely modern and postmodern perspective. Firstly, the two perspectives will be discussed based on the underlying ontology and epistemology. This will be followed by the discussion of the theories of modernist and postmodernist perspective. The modernist theories to be discussed will be the cybernetic control. Subsequently, we will look into the postmodernists' concept of disciplinary power and surveillance.


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