Resistance strategies through the CEO communications in the media

Conference proceedings article


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Author list: Martins, A., Gomes, D., & Oliveira, L.
Publication year: 2017
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Organisations can symbolically manage their activities through organisational communication, thus this study assumes that organisations are not passive agents and have a choice when pressured by the institutional environment in which they operate. This paper adopts Oliver’s (1991) and Elsbach’s (1994) theoretical frameworks to examine organisational strategic responses to the pressures and institutional expectations provided in the CEO communications in the media. This analysis was developed through an interpretative case study of EDP – Energias de Portugal, S.A., the largest Portuguese group in the electricity sector during the period from 2010 to 2014, which includes the Economic and Financial Assistance Programme (EFAP) to Portugal. The results show that through the CEO communications in the media, EDP attempted to influence stakeholders’ perceptions and to legitimate organisational behaviour. The case study demonstrates that the CEO used subtle ways to introduce positive bias, thus demonstrating that organisations do not blindly conform to the expectations of the institutional environment but adopt complex responses involving active agency and organisational interests. Finally, the study demonstrates that like self-interest and power, the constituents’ expectations play an important role in determining the specific strategic responses to the institutional environment.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:46