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Resisting a corporate code of ethics and the reinforcement of management control
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0708-509X
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
2010 (English)In: Organization Studies, ISSN 0170-8406, E-ISSN 1741-3044, Vol. 31, no 5, p. 583-604Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study is about how a corporate code of ethics travels into a multinational corporation's subsidiary, focusing on how members of the subsidiary recontextualize, relabel and explain the code (to themselves and others). What emerges is the story of a code that is disliked by its receivers, but yet signed by them all, avowing that they have 'read, understood and accepted' it, thereby reinforcing the parent's control system. We argue that this seeming contradiction can be explained in terms of the receivers resisting the code by distancing themselves from it through the devaluation of (i) social referents, (ii) the code's core ethical content and (iii) the expected outcome of implementing the code. These distancing practices enable the receivers to position themselves as outside of power, which, in turn, enable them to sign the code.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 31, no 5, p. 583-604
Keywords [en]
code, control, distance, ethics, power, resistance, travel of ideas
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12934DOI: 10.1177/0170840610372292ISI: 000278946400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-12934DiVA, id: diva2:383232
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareAvailable from: 2011-01-04 Created: 2011-01-03 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Helin, SvenSandström, Johan

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