Busm1094 Power And Resistance Short Essay

1043 words - 5 pages

Essay Question: Write an individual short essay on the contribution that critical analysis of power and resistance makes to your understanding of individual and organisational behaviour, and how this knowledge will guide your actions as an employee or leader/manager.

Understanding how each channel of the organisational hierarchy behaves is a key skill to possess in order to develop as both an individual and a member of the workforce. Analysing how members in an organisation who occupy authority exhibit power can help us understand how manipulation and control shape contemporary businesses. There are four faces of power that outline different aspects of domination in organisations, and ...view middle of the document...

This ideology was described as an insidious exercise of power (Lukes, 1974) as it resulted in unquestionable acceptance of certain tasks, as alternatives seemed unattainable. The final face of power is highly influenced by Michael Foucault’s work, and involves subjectification whereby institutionalisation moulds one’s beliefs to want to aspire to become a certain individual. The different ideologies of all these aforementioned social theorists and political scientists help shape our understanding of how power is exhibited in organisations. Understanding the role that each facet of power contributes to the overall functioning of human mentality can be extremely beneficial to succeed in the work force.

Of course with power being demonstrated by individuals higher in the organisational hierarchy, as well as change consistently happening in all organisations worldwide, resistance and conflict are problems inevitably faced. It is in our very nature to go through a certain reaction process when faced with change in organisations. The process has been identified of consisting of four phases: initial denial, resistance, gradual exploration, and eventual commitment (Scott and Jaffe, 1988). Resistance displayed by individuals is not uniform, rather consisting of a range of unconscious defence mechanisms (Oldham and Kleiner, 1990) involving adaptive and maladaptive processes. A self administered questionnaire, titled ‘The defence style questionnaire 40’ (Andrews, Singh and Bond, 1993), was completed by 615 individuals to identify the key defence mechanisms displayed by employees whom were exemplifying resistance to organisational change. The research identified the main adaptive defences as humour and anticipation, whilst the main maladaptive defences were denial, dissociation, isolation of affect, projection and acting out (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). It is of paramount importance for managers to identify these resistance techniques and to implement ways of dealing with them, whilst not compromising employee allegiance to the organisation itself.

Studying a business management degree requires a broad understanding of how power can be portrayed through executive decision-making, and the effect that this can have on the subordinates of an organisation. Having a preordained anticipation of employees’ reactions to organisational change will allow for a less turbulent process, as managers and the like can predict and thus rectify employee resistance far sooner...

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