Resisting Whilst Complying? : A Case Study of a Power Struggle in a Business School

Jukka Rintamäki, Mats Alvesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Business school faculty are frequently faced with management practices they find objectionable. Reactions vary, but compliance and hidden resistance are common responses. In this paper, we seek to understand compliance and hidden resistance as responses to objectionable management practices in business schools. To explore this problem, we present a case study of a business school where a new dean brought about aggressive and abrupt managerialist changes toward which faculty were broadly hostile. Faculty eventually failed to resist these changes and ended up resorting to exits and workplace disengagement while complying with management expectations regarding work outputs. To make sense of compliance and hidden resistance as responses to objectionable management practices in business schools, we propose the following concepts: “mercenary mentality” and “resipliance” (a combination of expressing resistance attitudes to peers-and to self-and complying with management demands for work outputs). The presence of a mercenary mentality and the related tendency to resipliance-which we argue are both common in business schools-undermines the capacity for resistance against objectionable management practices at the workplace, reminding us that resistance is fragile and elusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-273
Number of pages17
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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