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Management Employee Resistance Essay

2696 words - 11 pages

Conflict at work stems from employees’ petty, childlike behaviour and their inability to understand the necessary decisions that manager’s make for the good of the whole organization. Critically discuss this statement, drawing upon course readings that engage with the issue of employee resistance.


In the following essay I am going to argue that conflict at work stems from managers decisions to control and dominate the lives of its employees, as it misuses the power relationship in an attempt to enhance its control. I will discuss the article by (Prasad and Prasad 2000), (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis 2008) and (Knights and Roberts 1982) to demonstrate this point. I also ...view middle of the document...

Finally I argue that managers decision to control and dominate is not done for the good of the organisation as its misuse of power and denial of the interdependence between employer and employee, limits the organisations overall success. I will use text by (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis 2008), (Knights and Roberts 1982), (Adams and Balfour 1998) and (Knights 2009) to demonstrate this point.

Conflict caused by control and domination

Conflict at work stems from “persistent efforts (by employees) to oppose forms of control and domination” as argued by (Prasad and Prasad 2000, pg 388). Forms of control and domination have manifest through managers misunderstanding of the power relationship. They view power as an individual possession and thus use it in an attempt to control and dominate their employees. From this I argue that conflict at work does not stem from employees petty, childlike behaviour but rather from managers attempts to dominate and control. This is argued by (Prasad and Prasad 2000, pg 389) who state “resistance has implications for the extent and effectiveness of organisational control.” Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis (2008) argue that these attempts to dominate and control leads to a disconnection from the organisation by its employees. I argue that this is not done for the good of the organisation as the misuse of power inhibits them in reaching their full potential as employees find ways to work against the organization. As well as a disconnection, Knights and Roberts (1982) argue that employees feel alienated due to the misuse of power. These feelings of alienation further affect organisations as (Knights and Roberts 1982, pg 51) argue “employees may engage in ‘dramaturgical’ behaviour, giving the appearance of personal commitment to the aims and rules of management, but in reality being committed only to the protection and pursuit of their own self-interest.” Through organisations attempts to dominate and control its employees it leads to a breakdown of relationships and interdependence, which is fundamental to the success of organisations. From this I argue that conflict at work does not stem from the petty, childlike behaviour of employees but from managers attempts to control and dominate.

Many employees are faced with “oppressive routine” (Cohen and Taylor 1992, page 63) as if “to commit oneself to the task now constitutes an abandonment of self expression, a surrendering of oneself to the motions and pace of the factory and the office” (Cohen and Taylor, pg 62). Under this, I argue that conflict does not stem from petty, childlike behaviour but rather in an attempt to retain some control over our actions. In doing so employees attempt to counteract the domination of basic human qualities such as feelings and emotions, as organisations see them as ‘tools’ to reach objectives. (Prasad and Prasad 2000, page 389) state that some conflict by employees is done in an “attempt to restore worker pride and autonomy into an...

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