Clayton’s power: the kind of power you have when you’re not really having power

1. Is power a visible and deployable asset?

What one can do and say with the causal conception of power, as something given by possession of resources, is very limited.5 First, it appears to be not a social rela- tion but a possession. One has power rather than being in a relationship of power. Second, if power is not to be a conditional state, in which case it ceases to be rela- tional, then it must be seen to have happened for one to say that it has happened. The stimulus has to produce a response. Whereas Weber bequeaths a grammar of power, structured around relations of dominancy, these conceptions of power as equivalent to causality and premised on resources whittle away the relations of dominancy. Power becomes merely an effect observable in specific episodes of action. Each episode starts from rest, and rest doesn’t have to be addressed. The organization theorists of the open system regard authority as corresponding to the conditions of rest. It need not be addressed; it does not require explanation because it is a fact. Politics can be denied as other than a deviant activity.

The result of the conceptual decisions – which are, of course, also political decisions – made by systems theorists as they elect to work within the discourse their concordance produces is a strangely schizophrenic representation of organiza- tions. On the one side, deemed the right side, is the bold confident formal repre- sentation. On the left side, there is a shadow system, little talked about other than by a few theorists of ‘power’ and largely ignored by the rest. Here is the dark side of the dialectic that turns domination into authority. Authority produces and is produced by rules and, while rules produce obedience, they can just as easily, where opportu- nity presents itself, produce deviance, as we represent figuratively in Figure 5.1.

Opportunity is given by space for resistance – small patches of local indetermi-nation – in which ‘irrationalities’ that do not accord with the formal system logic can flourish. Where these irrationalities can gain some leverage by exerting control over uncertainty, then small acts of power can be generated as local resistance to the dominant logic of organizational relations. Thus, down amongst the oilcans thrives a degree of relative autonomy that might surprise system designers.

Resistance is never of a piece; it only looks that way from the perspective of those authorities who find resistance to their rationalities simply irrational. In fact, as Ford et al. (2002) have argued, the quality of resistance varies greatly with the con- texts in which it occurs. When there is resistance to the power relations inscribed in the authorities’ views of the world, then what makes it possible are alternative assemblages of conversations about the nature of that rationality that is taken for granted by authorities. Ford et al. (2002) identify three typical modes of resistance, depending on the nature of what they call the ‘background conversations’, which one might think of as subordinated and alternative rationalities to whatever is posited as the official and authoritative story in organizations. These are conserva- tions that are complacent; resigned or cynical. Each differs in positing the mecha- nisms of resistance differently. Complacent resistance is premised on ‘denial’, ‘procrastination’, ‘avoidance’ and ‘withdrawal’ (Ford et al. 2002: 113). Resigned resistance is motivated by a belief inscribed in the modes of rationality that char- acterize everyday conversations that the authorities and their projects are not defeatable, even while they are unappealing; it is characterized by ‘lack of attention’, ‘reduced morale’, ‘non-participation’ and other forms of ‘covert’ withholding of commitment (Ford et al. 2002: 113). Cynical resistance entails more overt action such as ‘sabotage’, and can feed into analysis of actions in terms of their ‘hidden agendas’, generating hidden agendas of its own, leading to a norm of ‘politicking’ in the organization (Ford et al. 2002: 113).

Figure 5.1 Systemic schizophrenia between the realm of authority–rationality– obedience and the realm of power–resistance–deviance

We should stress that resistance is normal. Only an inability to see that the nature of social reality is socially constructed and thus appears differently to people who have different interests in its co-construction, negotiation and de-construction, would lead one to see resistance as in some way deviant. It only becomes seen as deviant if one starts from the premise that the authorities authorized constructions of the world are the only reality, and that they describe an ontologically given con- dition of existence rather than a politics of such construction, a position that no respectable social science, one would have thought, would want to adhere to, because such adherence throws away the possibility of analytic leverage as some- thing that is unencumbered and unbeholden to extant interests vested in situa- tions. Instead, it invests the analyst as the handmaiden of the authorities, a tool of the masters, and a stooge as far as alternative rationalities are concerned.

2. Does power imply conflict?

In the management literature the focus is almost exclusively on the use of power in situations of conflict that arise when actors try to preserve their vested interests against authority (e.g. Pettigrew 1973; 1985; MacMillan 1978; Pfeffer 1981; 1992; Gray and Ariss 1985; Schwenk 1989). One group (usually senior management) is forced to use power to overcome the opposition of another (perhaps intransigent unions or dissident employees) to maintain order and impose authority. It is a view reinforced by a common definition of politics in the management literature as the unsanctioned or illegitimate use of power to achieve unsanctioned or illegitimate ends (e.g. Mintzberg 1983; 1984; also see Mayes and Allen 1977; Gandz and Murray 1980; Enz 1988). The majority of management writers defined power in terms of conflict that ensued when illegitimate action challenged the bounds of rationality (e.g. Mayes and Allen 1977; MacMillan 1978; Gandz and Murray 1980; Narayaran and Fahey 1982; Mintzberg 1983; Gray and Ariss 1985; Pettigrew 1985; Enz 1988; Schwenk 1989; Pfeffer 1992).

Eisenhardt and Bourgeois (1988) supply one of the most exquisite examples of the illegitimacy of power. In commenting on an empirical case, they observed respondents saying that:

‘There is a lot of disagreement. We air opinions and they’re often heated. They’re even abusive and insulting sometimes … We argue about most things.’ Another VP said: ‘There is a lot of debate. There is a lot of disagreement … Art [the president] doesn’t want yes people.’ Despite this conflict, we saw little evidence of politics at Forefront. Rather, the executives seemed to operate using open argument (1988: 751, our italics).

It is not only that authority is taken as unproblematic, so that it need not be addressed, but also that the conception of power that is developed tends to be lim- ited to a specific conception of causality as a contiguous relation between discrete entities in the same space but in a time-lagged way.

There are other notions of causal power available from science. Notions of struc- tural causality – such as a bridge collapsing because it is ill-designed – are rather different from process causality causing its collapse, for instance where its supports rust (Ball 1975: 218). However, it becomes very difficult to consider structural causality in the analysis of organizations where the structure is assumed, a priori, to be one of authority. What could be ill-designed in an authoritative set of rela- tions, where the goodness of design is tied up with its legitimacy? Legitimacy attaches to the fact that it is, it exists, it is designed as such, which makes it legiti- mate, as an a priori that defines it, irrespective of any weaknesses that it might exhibit.

Such approaches clearly imply that the use of power would be dysfunctional. First, it doesn’t flow from imperative command lodged in authority. Second, it is usually seen in terms of individual self-interest aimed at thwarting managerial initiatives that are intended to benefit the organization as a whole, which have the whole force of system legitimation behind them. When legitimacy is defined in terms of the ‘orga- nization’, writers usually mean organizational elites, such as senior management or top management teams. Distilled to its essence, the conventional view of organiza- tional politics refers to behavior that is ‘informal, ostensibly parochial, typically divi- sive, and above all, in the technical sense, illegitimate, sanctioned neither by formal authority, accepted ideology, nor certified expertise (though it may exploit any one of those)’ (Mintzberg 1983: 172). Thus, power became equated with illegitimate, dys- functional, self-interested behavior. Managerial interests are equated with organiza- tional needs and the possibility that managers, like any other group, might seek to serve their own vested interests is largely ignored (Watson 1982).

Some echoes of the functionalist view of conflict can be found, such as in the lit-erature on beneficial conflict, which emphasizes power balance and open argument as the way to avoid a ‘win/lose’ mentality (Gudykunst 1998; Hocker and Wilmot 1991; Johnson and Johnson 1982; Jehn 1997; Jehn et al. 1999). Here, echoes of Parsons’ positivity may be heard, dimly. Moderate levels of conflict enable organi- zations to adapt to changes, coordinate different constituents, and innovate (Ting- Toomey 1985). When conflicting views are encouraged, innovation evolves around the creation and resolution of conflict. Therefore, in this ‘innovation mode’, conflict is constructive because argumentation provides ‘credits’ which represent other group members’ positive attitudes toward that person (Moscovici and Faucheux 1972). Positive means to become collaborative, to accept the rationales of authority and to help the organization solve the problems it confronts, considering that this authoritative view is the only legitimate one. Moderate levels of conflict also moti- vate argumentation in order to clarify differences between opposed positions and enable opposed parties to build cooperation (Folger et al. 1997). Moderate levels of conflict are characterized by experimental or flexible behavior and preparedness to switch strategy from, say, threats to jokes, thus preventing harmful escalation or ‘sticking points’ so that ‘no single strategy takes over’ (Conrad and Poole 1998: 334). There is also a distinction in the literature between task conflict and relationship conflict. Jehn (1997) found that groups that institutionalize the acceptance of dis- agreements about work processes or goals and that discourage conflict related to personality traits and interpersonal relationships have higher production output, lower error rates, and higher customer satisfaction. Yet, these positive accounts of power and conflict are exceptions rather than the norm.

3. Does power imply hierarchy?

People are strange. They can become addicted or phobic to almost anything. On the evidence of both organization theory and three lifetimes spent around many of the more significant organizations of at least four countries, we would have to con- clude, with Fairtlough, that most people seem to be strangely addicted to hierarchy and phobic about any alternatives that might be posited to it:

Talk about organizations usually centers on who should be in charge. We’re used to hierarchy and know how it works. It’s a familiar and comfortable habit, the obvious fall- back, the default option. When it works, it feels precise and clear – we know Bloggs is the boss, he tells us what to do. When it doesn’t work we blame Bloggs. We accept that hierarchy has its faults, but we think it’s inevitable. We may try to ameliorate its bad effects, but we never question the basic idea. (2005: 7)6

We may note that this lack of questioning is both practical and theoretical. Practically, from our earliest experiences in school, organized by a ‘principal’ or ‘headteacher’, we spend all our formative years in a hierarchical organization. For those who attended really elite schools the sense of hierarchy was probably much more pronounced, which means that, given dominant models of social reproduc- tion whereby elite groups tend to reproduce themselves, the experience of most elites who actually run organizations is imprinted in terms of hierarchy. And if practical experience were not sufficient, as we have seen in the previous chapter and in this, in management and organization theory the normalcy of hierarchy has been a constituent aspect of almost all English-language thinking about power in organizations, which, revoking domination, placed authority at center stage and deviation from it as power, a resistant and insubordinate property of hierarchical systems.

One reason why the way of seeing things organizational as hierarchical has been so pervasive in the English-speaking world is the profound importance that the foremost commentator on civil strife gave to hierarchic notions of sovereignty as essential to organization designs desirous of minimizing disorder. Having lived through the English Civil War and having served the nation’s monarch as secretary, Thomas Hobbes (1651) was inclined to regard the only alternatives to ordered hier- archy, profound authority, and peaceable subjects to be a life that was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Hierarchy and authority were the joint guarantors of order, for without them only anarchy, disorder, and disorganization would flourish. As discourse about power and organizations was institutionalized in the latter half of the twentieth century, the concern with authority and hierarchy was nor- malized. Power was conceived not as reproducing normal authority and hierarchy but as undermining it, never more famously than in Crozier’s (1964) maintenance workers, lowly individuals in the pecking order, who were supposed to have organi- zational power because of their control over uncertainty! In retrospect this seems errant nonsense, and it is hard to believe that one ever could have taken seriously the implication that the oilcan keepers were more involved in relations of power than were top management teams or the leaders of organizations. Of course, if the discourse on leadership had filled in for the deficiencies of that on power then the situation might have been different, but it didn’t, as Gordon (2002) argued; con- sequently, given that leadership appeared not to be concerned with power, perhaps it was not surprising to find power in the most unlikely places, down among the oilcans.

The functionalist theory of organizations preserves one aspect of the hidden history of power that started with Taylor in the nineteenth century. Taylor explic- itly sought to redesign the human body in its accommodation with the material and social environment that he created, in terms of one necessary way of being. Latter-day functionalists believe, just as strongly, that organization will be as it is because, when it is in fit with those contingencies that it has to deal with, it will have evolved to the one best way of dealing with them. And an unquestioned aspect of that being, in any normal organization, will be for hierarchy to divide tasks, set rules, and design structures. All of these divisions, rules and designs are necessary for organizations to exist; thus, it is extrapolated, hierarchy must be a necessity. Hierarchy is a necessary bulwark against disorder, against lower-order members exerting their agency and using power to mess up the rules, task divisions, and structural designs. Hierarchy is the necessary prerequisite for lower-order members to have sufficient fear and loathing of authority and its strict discipline, so that, similar to the poor subjects of the Panopticon, what members of organizations know about the conditions of their existence as members holds them submissively in thrall to the necessity of power’s devices.

Fairtlough suggests that ‘hierarchies tend to learn slowly, especially because a lot of effort goes into preserving the superior status of those at the top, inevitably an anti-learning activity’ (2005: 18). The alternative to hierarchy is not chaos or anar- chy. Only our powerful addiction to hierarchy, bred in habit, leads us to believe it to be so. And it is a ‘powerful’ addiction in a double sense: first, it is strong; and second, it is obfuscatory, because, where power is concerned, it creates blind spots, absences, and silences where critical reflection should be. In the absence of critical reflection alternatives are not thinkable; where there is critical reflection then alter- natives become visible. Hierarchical rights, interpreted through a traditional con- ception, presume an established order of domination in which is vested a repressive right to exercise power over subjects.

Hierarchy has useful functions. It can be used to settle dispute unilaterally as dis-parate views are rejected in favor of hierarchically preferred options. But the risk is that it will produce stifling cultures of orthodoxy; structures which cannot easily learn from the diversity of their component strengths and voices; leaders who believe their own rhetoric rather than trust that wisdom might possibly reside in the views of those that they seek to rule, sell to, supply, and employ; and power which can only understand resistance to it in terms of illegitimate choices of ille- gitimate ways to express being an organization member. In shorthand, being a member, it is assumed, means being someone who accepts that the terms of trade for receipt of a wage or salary are that one keeps one’s opinions to oneself where they conflict with those of authorities; that one’s daily bread buys one’s daily acqui- escence to whatever authorities choose to do.

Hierarchy has many celebrated advantages, not least being familiarity, unity of powers, and a theory of sovereignty that few would criticize openly. After all, we all know that what bosses do is rule. And the whole legal framework of common law, derived from Masters and Servants Acts, assumes definite powers distributed dif- ferentially in terms of relations embedded in the hierarchy. Little wonder that hier- archy is so normalized, so hegemonic, so deeply embedded legally. Within the limits of legal frameworks, those in dominant relations of hierarchy can do drasti- cally bad things to the immediate life chances of those of us who are not, such as making us redundant. That is why in analysis of any system of power relations one should never stop at the organization door, looking only at what goes on inside the organization. One also needs to consider the changing balance of forces in the industrial relations arena, as political parties of differing ideological persuasions use government to shift the balance of power between labor and capital over the legal definitions of what constitutes a contract of employment and its breaches. Often, the balance of power intra-organizationally changes dramatically as a result of changes registered in the political arena. Rights – to strike, to dismiss, to parental leave, to statutory entitlements – ebb and flow with shifts of the political current, as does resistance to their creation, preservation, extension or erosion. Moving in one direction they embolden employers; shifting to another they create anxiety when they offer succor to employees, at what seems to employers to be their expense.

Of course, the law is always an imperfect instrument. Confining resistance to power within its limits sometimes only serves to foster resistance to it, creating con- frontation and conflict over its meaning and implementation where this had pre- viously not existed. Recall that, even after 25 years of legal imprisonment of Nelson Mandela as an enemy of the state, this power did not preserve the state that impris- oned him, and its legality, against the resistance of a people and a movement com- mitted to their own freedom and liberation. The law provides obligatory passage points through which, using its monopoly over the means of violence, the state can seek to channel freedoms and repressions, define rights and obligations, and corral consent as legitimate and exclude dissidence as illegitimate. But history is replete with laws being challenged and overthrown by subjects empowered with the moral necessity of their convictions. In the recent past one thinks of the repeal of the Poll Tax in the UK; the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine; the defeat of segregation in the USA by the Civil Rights struggle, and of apartheid in the Republic of South Africa. Legitimacy does not always equal right; courageous people can dislodge the most entrenched hierarchies, even when they are backed by might.

The paradigm of a sovereign master and commander is almost second nature. It provides an implicit and pervasive model of sovereignty for all strong, macho, busi- ness leaders. However, there are alternative definitions of sovereignty, significantly different from the paradigm of master and commander, as traced by Kalyvas (2005) in terms of a model of constitutive power: ‘It erupted on the political scene with the invention of modern constitutionalism’, in the form of ‘an original constituting power’, which founds and grounds ‘a constitutional order while remaining irre- ducible to and heterogeneous from that order’ (2005: 226). In the constitutive alter- native, the emphasis is on the creation of a new order in which power is productive: ‘The sovereign constituent subject is not a repressive force, but a productive agency’ (2005: 227). Instead of ‘stressing the discretionary power of a superior command emanating from the top, the notion of the constituent sovereign redi- rects our attention to the underlying sources of the instituted reality located at the bottom’ (2005: 227). In short, modern notions of sovereignty acknowledge demos and poly – both democracy and polyarchy – as well as hierarchy and bureaucracy.7

Fairtlough suggests that we simply do not know how desirable hierarchy is in particular situations, ‘because it never gets tested against anything other than anar- chy or chaos’ (2005: 9). What it should be tested against, Fairtlough suggests, are contemporary models of polyarchy, including heterarchy and responsible autonomy. Heterarchy means the separation of powers; it builds sovereignty into practice rather than the precedent of domination. It sets up, at best, internal sys- tems for the exercise of voice, the calling to account, and the checking of power, and encourages coevolutionary learning because each party has to pay close attention to the cues and signals that the others are attending to; it cannot simply impose ‘one best way’ or ‘my way or the highway’ on members. It works from a team basis, enabling cooperation and fostering coevolution, learning and innovation, and is committed to pluralism. In diversity it sees strength rather than division. Contemporary forms of virtual communication make the provision of transparent information easier, immediate and cheap. Whereas in the past the slow transmission of information, its necessary archiving and storing in written files, the high costs of reproduction, and limited literacy may all have conspired to make hierarchy more effective, because control was premised on institutionalized routines; that is no longer the case today. The conditions exist in which organizations can empower their members to be more responsibly autonomous, where members can be autonomous but responsible subjects with clear modes of accountability.

Malone (2004) argues that the emergence of virtual immediacy and instantane-ity is driving hitherto hierarchical organizations to become increasingly either more heterarchical or more responsibly autonomous or both. Decisions can be made by secret ballot in virtual labs, where arguments for and against actions can be made anonymously on a shared screen. Here the power of good argument will prevail rather than the power of hierarchy, which presumes enlightenment and wisdom reside in domination, a very dubious proposition (if one with a long his- torical pedigree emanating from the Age of Reason). Organizations can move from command-and-control to coordinate-and-cultivate models, suggests Malone. In this shift management ceases to direct and instead starts to facilitate organization processes for goal setting, standard setting and value articulation. One corollary is that the cultural ties that bind will flourish and grow stronger in a climate of gen- uine responsibility and respect rather than in an inauthentic parroting of what are presumed, on the rule of anticipated reaction, to be views that will accord with those who are in positions of dominance.

Social scientists have rarely felt it necessary to explain why it is that power should be hierarchical (Hardy and Clegg 1996). It is because of this that hierarchy is rein- forced. We have seen in the previous chapter how this hegemony has deep intellec- tual roots in the development of an orthodox consensus around a functionalist interpretation of Weber’s (1978) work. It is so strongly held that, as Hardy and Clegg (1996) explained, contemporary theory could only imagine that power was what ‘bad guys’ used to try and get their (illegitimate) way while good guys could just rely on the hegemony of authority and hierarchy as a ‘second nature’, a culture that was so acculturated that for most people who lived its everyday life nothing other than it could be imagined (Bauman 1976). Thus, power served the hegemony of hierarchy and this hegemony deepened its service by simultaneously obscuring those relations of power that it served, making them feasible, visible and accountable only as authority.

Both heterarchy and responsible autonomy are specifications of different forms of rule by many, polyarchy. It was Ogilvy (1977) who introduced the concept of het- erarchy, meaning multiple rulers, a balance of power rather than a single rule, as in hierarchy. There are many examples of heterarchy that one can identify, such as partnerships in professional organizations including law or accounting firms, or alliance relationships between separate firms. Responsible autonomy is a concept that we first encountered in the work of Andrew Friedman (1977). Responsible autonomy means getting things done not through hierarchical control – which Friedman called direct control – but through the autonomy of a group or individ- ual to decide how they will do what they will do, where what they will do means that they are accountable to some others; hence, the notion of responsible auton- omy. Earlier, something very similar seemed to have been captured by David Hickson (1966) in terms of the contrasting specificity of role prescription in dif- ferent organization theories. He identified a convergence around the centrality of the issue of the degree of role prescription but a sharp cleavage between those researchers who thought it desirable and efficient and those who did not. It was a cleavage that broke down, roughly, along the lines that higher prescription was favored by the formal theorists of administration and classical management theory, while lower prescription was favored by the more humanistic researchers.

Many organizational examples of low prescription with high responsible auton-omy come to mind, and Fairtlough gives an instance that is especially dear to our hearts:

Basic scientific research, in academe and in research institutes, is largely conducted by autonomous groups, which are led by principal investigators. These groups develop their reputations by publishing reports in peer-reviewed journals. Principal investiga- tors apply for research grants from various funding bodies. Grants are given subject to the novelty and significance of the group. The principal investigator’s freedom to choose research topics and to recruit people provides autonomy. The group’s continued existence depends on it continuing to publish good science – this provides accountability. (2005: 30)

Another example is that of investment fund management, where, if a fund does well, the manager may be given more funds to invest and earn more accordingly from fees and commissions; here, autonomy is provided by the internal policies of the financial institution where accountability is evident in the way that the fund performs in a competitive market. Fairtlough (2005: 31–3) sees responsible auton- omy as flourishing best where it is encapsulated within rules that are widely under- stood, transparent, legitimated and shared, and where action is open to critique, such as regular audit, or being held in some way accountable for the actions taken as a responsibly autonomous subject or unit. Many forms of audit are increasingly institutionalized to deal with conditions of power at a distance – holding people accountable at a distance – such as the growth of standards (Brunsson et al. 2000). The essence of responsible autonomy is that there is audit and disputed determi- nation by some independent and third party held in good standing, and institu- tionalized as such.

In heterarchy, as Fairtlough explains it, through rotation of office, and reward schemes related to risk and innovation rather than position, tendencies to domi- nation can be reduced. Heterarchy builds democratic skills and capabilities in what has the potential to be a virtuous circle; it encourages more sophisticated general skills for interpersonal processes, dialogical relations, teamwork, mutual respect and openness (see the ‘alliance culture’ reported in Pitsis et al. 2003). Admittedly, as Fairtlough (2005) suggests, heterarchies work best when the size of the organi- zation is small, below about 150 people, he recommends. Heterarchy cannot be extended indefinitely as it is impossible to work in what are highly direct democ- racies once the number of participants rises beyond the circle of people who can know each other reasonably well. However, responsible autonomy within forms of heterarchic organization enables encapsulated boundedness to be created – with devices and agents for boundary spanning – thus extending functional capabilities. Of course, the establishment of efficient responsible autonomy means critique must be in place from the start; the rules and accountabilities need to be clear, and dispute resolution mechanisms must be in place.

Hierarchy is premised principally on ‘power over’ others while the polyarchic alternatives are principally premised on ‘power to’ get things done (see Chapter 7 for more on the ‘power to’ and ‘power over’ distinction). What distinguishes heter- archy from responsible autonomy is that in the former there is a constant and con- tinuous interaction between entities and agents in deciding what and how to do something. In many instances, this means that for heterarchy to be successful it needs to develop an identity for instances of it that is separate from whatever orga- nizational bodies comprise and host the constituent parts (Clegg et al. 2002). Responsible autonomy means that there can be a lot more distance between agen- cies. Both differ from hierarchy in not being subject to arbitrary power vested only in relations of domination. No pure versions of these types will be found in real- ity; they are abstracted ‘ideal’ types, in the Weberian sense. Most organizations will comprise different mixes of hierarchy, or direct control, heterarchy, and responsi- ble autonomy. The benefits and costs of each will differ in different contexts.

Fairtlough (2005: 79) echoes a general view in seeing the development of knowledge-based organizations as major drivers of a shift away from hierarchy towards heterarchy and responsible autonomy. A knowledge economy’s virtual communications replace the need for rules, precedents and files to record them, and greater knowledge means increased scrutiny, awareness and possibility of audit or whistle blowing. If Fairtlough’s (2005) optimism, born of experience as well as wisdom, is half-right, many of the studies recorded in this chapter of the dynamics of illegitimate power will fade into irrelevance in future. Power will not die with these accounts but the contours of its representation will change markedly, as hegemonic silences fade away, and analysis of power is directed less by hierarchical norms and instead by norms more open to its recognition as a truly constitutive aspect of organizational relations. Neither heterarchy nor responsible autonomy, as distinct forms of polyarchy, are an alternative to power but they are alter- native to hierarchy, and they do configure power relations quite differently, around polyphonic rather than hegemonic principles, less concerned with imperative coordination from a single and superior point of view and narration and more concerned with deconstructions and translations of alternative accounts (see Kornberger et al. 2005). But they still remain modes of power – with all that implies – as we shall see in Chapter 12, when we develop the conceptualization of power under polyarchy further.

Source: Clegg Stewart, Courpasson David, Phillips Nelson X. (2006), Power and Organizations, SAGE Publications Ltd; 1st edition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *