Manufacturing conformity: leadership through coercive persuasion in business organisations

Tourish, Dennis, Collinson, David and Barker, James R (2009) Manufacturing conformity: leadership through coercive persuasion in business organisations. M@n@gement, 12 (5). pp. 360-383. ISSN 1286-4692

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This paper critically examines the neglected importance of employee conformity in organisations. More specifically, it addresses the ways in which coercive persuasion can manufacture conformity through contemporary leadership processes and corporate culture practices. Drawing on the foundational work of Schein (1961), we illustrate how the nine techniques of coercive persuasion that he identified can serve as a framework for understanding the exercise of power and the manufacture of conformity in modern organisations. In particular, we discuss this framework in relation to the phenomenon of ‘corporate culturalism’ (in which powerful leaders determine constraining norms and values for others, in the form of compelling ideologies). We argue that ideology, when embraced with sufficient vigour, can function as an invisible internal eye, ensuring that subjects themselves become the instruments of their own subjugation. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of coercive persuasion in organisational discourse.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Coercive persuasion, Employee conformity, Power and ideology
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
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Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 06:03
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 06:03
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