Some symbolic manifestations of power in industrial organisations.

GOLDING, David. (1979). Some symbolic manifestations of power in industrial organisations. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis derives from experience of being a manager in several industrial organisations, and especially from a period spent working with a brief to intervene in an action research framework. The organisational experience, characterised by an increasing dissent generated in successive locations, thus prompted an investigation of the way of life of being a manager. The thesis in investigating this way of life, critically examines theories of power in organisations, with a view to establishing a coherent theoretical framework for conceptualising the dissension generated. Limitations of theories of power-in the literature in fact mobilises an examination of more' submerged aspects,as constituted in the symbol-rich nature of everyday organisational life, and an argument that such factors can be conceived as manifestations of power. In focusing upon such submerged aspects however, a more fundamental concern with the nature of knowledge - as the very means of expanding upon experience - is identified, and an examination of some of the problems of knowledge in carrying out social analysis, is undertaken in preparation for the investigation into the symbolic manifestations of power. The examination of the problem of knowledge is approached through a review of some of the more prevalent formulations of what is to constitute sociology, and the epistemological and methodological implications of such formulations, ' A perspective is developed which subscribes to an emergent and reflexive epistemology and methodology, and a critical stance is adopted towards any purely empirical conception of knowledge. The criteria for knowledge is thus posited as a problematic to be investigated within a particular social enquiry. Problems of validity and relativism are thereby conceived as problems inherent in formulations and expansions of experience as the essence of social being and not specifically problems faced by scientific method.The symbolic manifestations of power are approached by an examination of the derivation-of the apparent assumptions of managers in relation to the symbolic world in which they operate, and which they construct. The thesis thus illuminates some of the neglected aspects of power in organisations and augments the predominance of work which has investigated the more observable aspects af the type, 'A has power over B if.....'The thesis concentrates upon the idea of a ' capturing' of meaning contained in ambiguity, as distinct from its more usual destruction by 'refining-out '.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1979.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19695

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