Resist or comply: The power dynamics of organisational routines during mergers

Mehdi Safavi, Omid Omidvar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The role of power in the development of organisational routines is under-theorised. In this article, we draw on an in-depth qualitative case study of a merger between two academic institutions, a college of art and a university, and examine the diverging responses of two organisational routines (admissions and budgeting) during the course of the merger to understand how power dynamics contribute to resistance/ compliance of routines. Our findings suggest that the differences in routines’ responses to a merger initiative can be explained by applying Bourdieu’s theory of practice and by employing the concepts of field and symbolic capital to unpack power relations in the context of organisational routines. We find that (a) the field within which a routine operates and (b) the actors’ symbolic capital and position-taking during change implementation shape routines’ responses to organisational change initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-566
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number3
Early online date2 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Organisational Routines
  • Bourdieu
  • Symbolic Capital
  • Fields
  • Practice theory
  • Mergers


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