Discursive Positioning and Collective Resistance: How Managers Can Unwittingly Co-Create Team Resistance

Alaina Zanin, Ryan S. Bisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This ethnographic study describes how authority figures may unwittingly invite and co-create a team’s collective resistance in response to their actions. The study documents two pivotal organizational communication episodes experienced by two separate teams within a Collegiate Division I Athletic Department. A positioning analysis of the episodes revealed how a specific speech act (what we label “managerial inquisition”) partially facilitated athletes’ collective resistance to coaching staff. Our analysis suggested that coaches’ directives implicated team members’ identity needs and moral obligations to one another, which either encouraged or discouraged collective resistance to emerge within the unfolding discourse. This essay contributes to the team and organizational resistance literature by documenting how resistance can be co-created by management during control attempts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-59
Number of pages29
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • collective resistance
  • identity
  • positioning theory
  • speech act

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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