Cultures of ambiguity

Design, emergence and ambivalence in the introduction of normative control

Ian P. McLoughlin*, Richard J. Badham, Gill Palmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Organizational actors involved in cultural change programmes have a consciousness and experience that is often fragmented, contradictory and ambivalent Studies documenting ambivalence have, however,tended to assume that there is a relatively clear and unambiguous change programme about which employees are ambivalent. This article argues that the nature of such programmes is more uncertain and ambiguous than this suggests. Drawing on a six-year study of the introduction of a cultural change programme in the coke-making plant of an integrated steelworks, this article details how cultural ambivalence intertwines with practical ambiguities in the course of such programmes to create complex cultures of ambiguity

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-89
Number of pages23
JournalWork, Employment & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cultures of ambiguity: Design, emergence and ambivalence in the introduction of normative control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this