Power and Resistance : Variations on “what’s going on politically in and around organizations?”
general and organizational and management theory in particular. It is to be found at the heart of all social relationships, and forms a leitmotiv for social action (Russell, 1938; Foucault, 1977; Laclau & Mouffe, 1985; Clegg, 1989; Machiavelli, 1981). In other words, it is an integral part of social living involving groups or individuals within organizations. Although its role is a pivotal one, the “scientific” treatment to which this concept is subjected gives rise to a paradox in that substantial organizational research overtly dedicated to the topic are still few and far between. This is in spite of the numerous empirical projects which have been carried out and the excellent synoptic works which now exist. All things considered, one could assume either that power is merely subordinate to other organization-based social phenomena or that, by dint of its very significance, power merits only the courtesy of a “passing” glance, and constitutes so obvious a topic of discussion that we need barely tarry to pay it any particular attention.