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Title: Interactie en macht. Een vergelijking van onderzoeksmethoden om de ontwikkeling van macht en machtsverhoudingen bij interacties tussen managementteamleden (tijdens een gepland veranderingstraject) te beschrijven.
Authors: Notten, P.A.M.
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2014
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Power is an extensively discussed theme in management literature. The view on power as presented in literature can roughly be summarised in two ways: the ‘sovereign’ power model, in which power is in the hands of only a few people, and the ‘disciplinary’ power model, in which power and power relations are seen as the result of interaction between people. This last power model is at the base of this research. The literature study performed for the benefit of this thesis has shown that relatively little research has been done on the relationship between interactions and power in organisations (Pettigrew, 1973 and Pfeffer, 1981). Mumby (2001), who focuses on communication and interpretative approaches when looking at the way power is experienced, concludes that there is a great need for further research on the development of the visions on power in organisations. This research thesis focuses on finding a way to compare research methods and techniques. The research is based on the ‘disciplinary’ power model as studied and described by Foucault (2002) and on the insights of Stacey (2001) and Homan (2012). Based on literature about and insights on the ‘disciplinary’ power model, three methods and techniques were chosen to serve as research material: the Linell method, the narrative method and the ‘verstehende’ method. All methods are of a qualitative nature except the Linell method, which is quantitative. The three methods and techniques were compared in an actual management practice: the management team of a water board. A planned transformation process is taking place at this water board, and the management meetings of the team (and the interactions during these meetings) are used as a case study. The three research methods were applied and put into practice to find an answer to the central question of this thesis: Can the methods and techniques chosen for this research (Linell method, narrative method and ‘verstehende’ method) be used to describe the development of power and power relations regarding interactions between members of a management team, and what insights do these methods yield if they are put into practice? The research methods are compared using a number of evaluation criteria, and conclusions are drawn regarding the application of the methods in the actual practice: the three chosen methods can be used to describe the development of power and power relations regarding interactions between members of a management team. Compared to each other, the narrative method and the ‘verstehende’ method score slightly better than the quantitative Linell method. The results of this research show that the qualitative methods are easily applicable and accessible. Applying the quantitative Linell method is laborious and requires skill and experience. All three methods are widely applicable to other practice situations and are fairly objective in their application. By applying the methods, significant insights can be yielded on power and interactions in an organisation. Lastly, it can be concluded that by applying (a combination of) the methods multiple times during a certain amount of time (within one particular case study) more insights can be yielded and trends and developments can be described even more accurately. It is thus advisable to do an additional, longitudinal, research, which involves repeated observations of the same variables over a longer period of time.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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