Knowledge-sharing, control, compliance and symbolic violence

Kamoche, Ken and Kannan, Selvi and Siebers, Lisa Qixun (2014) Knowledge-sharing, control, compliance and symbolic violence. Organization Studies, 35 (7). pp. 989-1012. ISSN 1741-3044

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Abstract

Recent developments in control hold that professionals are best managed through normative and concertive as opposed to bureaucratic and coercive mechanisms. This post-structuralist approach appeals to the notion of congruent values and norms and acknowledges the role of individuals’ subjectivity in sustaining professional autonomy. Yet, there remains a risk of over-simplifying the manifestations of such control initiatives. By means of an in-depth case study, this article considers the challenge of implementing a knowledge-sharing portal for a community of R&D scientists through management control initiatives that relied on a blend of presumed ‘peer pressure’ and the rhetoric of ‘facilitation’. Arguing that traditional approaches such as normative/concertive control and soft bureaucracy only partially explain this phenomenon, we draw from Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of ‘symbolic violence’ to interpret a managerial initiative to appropriate knowledge and affirm the structure of social relations through the complicity of R&D scientists. We also examine how the scientists channelled resistance by reconstituting compliance in line with their sense of identity as creators of knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bourdieu, compliance, control, knowledge, resistance, symbolic violence
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Identification Number: 10.1177/0170840614525325
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 08:02
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 13:38
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50935

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