Soft Domination Case Study

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Practices of managing cultures in post-bureaucratic organisations have led management to adopt a form of soft domination. Therefore managing cultures with soft power can be unethical, but there is also an ethical perspective to this dilemma. To support this view, in the first section Brewis (2007), Igo and Skitmore (2006) Karrenman and Alvesson (2004) and Mckenna, Lorenzo and Bridgman (2010) articles were assessed, which expresses the idea of management in post-bureaucratic organisations using soft power arising with the discovery of theory Y. In the second section, ideas were drawn from Brewis (2007), Karrenman and Alvesson (2004), Mckenna, Lorenzo and Bridgman (2010) and Wray-Bliss (2003), which discusses the serious issue concerning the …show more content…
Managers use culture as an art of ideological manipulation and control (Wray-Bliss 2003). This perspective on the use of culture raises serious concerns about the ethicality of using culture as a form of soft power, whether it is right for managers to manipulate employee values and identity. As stated by Karrenman and Alvesson (2004, p. 149) “Corporate culture and regulated social identities are assumed to provide means for the integration and orchestration of work.” This emphasises that cultural-ideological control does not only distort employee values and beliefs, but also homogenises the identity of an organisation (Mckenna, Lorenzo & Bridgman 2010). Homogenisation within an organisation leads to a tendency for people to conform and develop similar appearances, where individuals loose their sense of individuality and creativity (Karrenman & Alvesson 2004). This also restricts the freedom of employees, where they have no real choice but to abide by the cultural norms, as if they are trapped within a “mental cage” (Brewis 2007; Karrenman & Alvesson 2004). Wray-Bliss (2003) discusses the popular trend in post-bureaucratic organisations is to use culture as a form of subtle manipulation, to exploit wider shared cultural contexts. This form of manipulation using soft power is regarded …show more content…
An appropriate ethical culture is needed to provide meaning to employees regarding their work, to motivate employees and guide employees not to engage in unethical behavior (Brewis 2007; Sinclair 1993). Kaptein (2009) acknowledges that an ethical culture acknowledges cultural diversity and seeks cultural harmony as opposed to conformity. Where this ethical culture promotes ethical behavior and discourages unethical behavior. The organisations that adopt an ethical culture encourage employees to have their own values that can be incorporated into the organisation’s culture (Kaptein 2009). However, developing an ethical culture gives managers more power to define and control employee ethics, hence this can actually increase unethical organisational practices (Wray-Bliss 2007). This adoption of an ethical culture pressures individuals to conform to the ethical rules of conduct in the organisation. Enforcing this ethical culture is argued by Wray-Bliss (2007) as removing ethical responsibility from individuals, where an employee’s subordination to the ethical culture set by the manager is unethical. Sinclair (1993) discusses that implementing an ethical culture that tries to seek cultural harmony will lead to the formation of subcultures. The formation of subcultures leads to competing values and allows dominate groups to flourish, which can deviate from the ethical culture of the

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