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Analyzing power/meaning relations: A panoptical view of institutional sensemaking.

Abstract : Although the literature on institutional work has identified power relations between incumbents and challengers of the institutional status quo as a key determinant in institutional processes, we still know very little about how these power structures actually operate. Drawing on a definition of power as fix and reified meanings, we study how one type of power relation, namely hierarchical structure, has policed the institutional sensemaking of an emergent occupational group who was supposed to carry new regulative templates challenging the prevalence of the Corporate logic in French hospitals. Using an inductive methodology combining survey and focus group data, we observe that the hierarchical power structure typical of the Corporation has shaped the typifications of this group through a disciplinary form of control similar to the one described by Foucault in his analysis of Bentham’s Panopticon. Relying on the progressive elaboration of the concept of discipline in Foucault’s work, we subsequently highlight how the structural vision of agency that he has proposed could help enrich our understanding of institutional agency and complexity, thereby opening new potential research avenues to address some of the current gaps in the literature on institutional work regarding contextual embeddedness and institutional deviance.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01503299
Contributor : Jean-Claude Sardas <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 8:03:33 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 5:00:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01503299, version 1

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Olivier Baly, Frédéric Kletz, Jean-Claude Sardas. Analyzing power/meaning relations: A panoptical view of institutional sensemaking.. EGOS Colloquium 2016, Jul 2016, Naples, France. ⟨hal-01503299⟩

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