Discourse and resistance: Targets, Practices, and Consequences

Linda L. Putnam, David Grant, Grant Michelson, Leanne Cutcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This article highlights the contributions that discourse analysis can make to the study of organizational resistance. Specifically, it demonstrates how using a discursive lens can provide insights into the targets, practices, and consequences of resistance. First, discourse analytic approaches can reveal how acts of resistance target multiple organizational audiences simultaneously, often developed through diverse texts directed to internal and external stakeholders. Second, discourse analysis enables researchers to examine the complex, dynamic, and interconnected nature of resistance practices and to avoid constructing simple dichotomies between such features as covert and overt forms of resistance or individual and collective resistance. Third, discourse analysis highlights the intended and unintended consequences of resistance by examining how organizational members engage with, adapt to, and transform organizational practices. Future directions are proposed for research on discourse analysis and organizational resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • discourse analysis
  • organization
  • resistance


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