Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to interpret employees’ resistance using the perspective of a Foucaultian/post-structuralist approach in critical management studies. The authors examine the relationship between management of diversity, based on employment contract, emotional construction of identity and processes of resistance. The authors explore the ways in which temporary agency nurses understand and experience their contract, respond to tensions regarding temporary employment, develop collective emotions and show processes of resistance. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted an interpretive and qualitative approach. The authors analysed empirical material collected in the Haematology Department of a hospital in Naples, Italy, to illustrate actual experiences in the workplace. Findings – Fear turns out to be the discursive resource through which resistance is actually exerted. Through emotions, temporary nurses build a community of coping and enhance their collective identity. They use fear to develop solidarity and to mobilize collective resistance in the workplace. Although no traditional resistance behaviours are reported, they aim to undermine the reputation of top managers and challenge and re-write the prevailing discourses of the organization. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the critical literature because the authors analysed a relationship that is rarely theoretically and empirically examined in literature, that between employment contract, collective identity-building dynamics and processes of resistance. We showed that the creation of a community of coping enabled minorities to voice their distance from and opposition to management.

Dealing with Resistance of Temporary Agency Nurses. The Role of Fear in Identity–Building Processes

Mariavittoria Cicellin
;
Mario Pezzillo Iacono;Alessia Berni;Vincenza Esposito
2015

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to interpret employees’ resistance using the perspective of a Foucaultian/post-structuralist approach in critical management studies. The authors examine the relationship between management of diversity, based on employment contract, emotional construction of identity and processes of resistance. The authors explore the ways in which temporary agency nurses understand and experience their contract, respond to tensions regarding temporary employment, develop collective emotions and show processes of resistance. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted an interpretive and qualitative approach. The authors analysed empirical material collected in the Haematology Department of a hospital in Naples, Italy, to illustrate actual experiences in the workplace. Findings – Fear turns out to be the discursive resource through which resistance is actually exerted. Through emotions, temporary nurses build a community of coping and enhance their collective identity. They use fear to develop solidarity and to mobilize collective resistance in the workplace. Although no traditional resistance behaviours are reported, they aim to undermine the reputation of top managers and challenge and re-write the prevailing discourses of the organization. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the critical literature because the authors analysed a relationship that is rarely theoretically and empirically examined in literature, that between employment contract, collective identity-building dynamics and processes of resistance. We showed that the creation of a community of coping enabled minorities to voice their distance from and opposition to management.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/769176
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