Towards a Performative Theory of Resistance: Senior Managers and Revolting Subject(ivitie)s

Nancy Helen Harding, Jackie Ford, Hugh Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations

Abstract

This article develops a performative theory of resistance. It uses Judith Butler’s and Karen Barad’s theories of performativity to explore how resistance (to organizational strategies and policies) and resistants (those who resist such strategies and policies) co-emerge, within and through complex intra-actions of entangled discourses, materialities, affect and space/time. The article uses empirical materials from a case study of the implementation of a talent management strategy. We analyse interviews with the senior managers charged with implementing the strategy, the influence of material, non-sentient actors, and the experiences of the researchers when carrying out the interviews. This leads to a theory that resistance and resistants emerge in moment-to-moment co-constitutive moves that may be invoked when identity or self is put in jeopardy. Resistance, we suggest, is the power (residing with resistants) to say ‘no’ to organizational requirements that would otherwise threaten to render the self abject.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1209-1232
Number of pages24
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume38
Issue number9
Early online date2 Feb 2017
DOIs
StatusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Managers
Senior managers

Keywords

  • Barad
  • Butler
  • new materialism
  • performativity
  • resistance
  • senior managers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Towards a Performative Theory of Resistance : Senior Managers and Revolting Subject(ivitie)s. / Harding, Nancy Helen; Ford, Jackie; Lee, Hugh.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 38, No. 9, 01.09.2017, p. 1209-1232.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3161173f123243ffb4100bc78f2b1282,
title = "Towards a Performative Theory of Resistance: Senior Managers and Revolting Subject(ivitie)s",
abstract = "This article develops a performative theory of resistance. It uses Judith Butler’s and Karen Barad’s theories of performativity to explore how resistance (to organizational strategies and policies) and resistants (those who resist such strategies and policies) co-emerge, within and through complex intra-actions of entangled discourses, materialities, affect and space/time. The article uses empirical materials from a case study of the implementation of a talent management strategy. We analyse interviews with the senior managers charged with implementing the strategy, the influence of material, non-sentient actors, and the experiences of the researchers when carrying out the interviews. This leads to a theory that resistance and resistants emerge in moment-to-moment co-constitutive moves that may be invoked when identity or self is put in jeopardy. Resistance, we suggest, is the power (residing with resistants) to say ‘no’ to organizational requirements that would otherwise threaten to render the self abject.",
keywords = "Barad, Butler, new materialism, performativity, resistance, senior managers",
author = "Harding, {Nancy Helen} and Jackie Ford and Hugh Lee",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0170840616685360",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "1209--1232",
journal = "Organization Studies",
issn = "0170-8406",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards a Performative Theory of Resistance

T2 - Organization Studies

AU - Harding,Nancy Helen

AU - Ford,Jackie

AU - Lee,Hugh

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - This article develops a performative theory of resistance. It uses Judith Butler’s and Karen Barad’s theories of performativity to explore how resistance (to organizational strategies and policies) and resistants (those who resist such strategies and policies) co-emerge, within and through complex intra-actions of entangled discourses, materialities, affect and space/time. The article uses empirical materials from a case study of the implementation of a talent management strategy. We analyse interviews with the senior managers charged with implementing the strategy, the influence of material, non-sentient actors, and the experiences of the researchers when carrying out the interviews. This leads to a theory that resistance and resistants emerge in moment-to-moment co-constitutive moves that may be invoked when identity or self is put in jeopardy. Resistance, we suggest, is the power (residing with resistants) to say ‘no’ to organizational requirements that would otherwise threaten to render the self abject.

AB - This article develops a performative theory of resistance. It uses Judith Butler’s and Karen Barad’s theories of performativity to explore how resistance (to organizational strategies and policies) and resistants (those who resist such strategies and policies) co-emerge, within and through complex intra-actions of entangled discourses, materialities, affect and space/time. The article uses empirical materials from a case study of the implementation of a talent management strategy. We analyse interviews with the senior managers charged with implementing the strategy, the influence of material, non-sentient actors, and the experiences of the researchers when carrying out the interviews. This leads to a theory that resistance and resistants emerge in moment-to-moment co-constitutive moves that may be invoked when identity or self is put in jeopardy. Resistance, we suggest, is the power (residing with resistants) to say ‘no’ to organizational requirements that would otherwise threaten to render the self abject.

KW - Barad

KW - Butler

KW - new materialism

KW - performativity

KW - resistance

KW - senior managers

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028979540&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0170840616685360

DO - 10.1177/0170840616685360

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 1209

EP - 1232

JO - Organization Studies

JF - Organization Studies

SN - 0170-8406

IS - 9

ER -