Resistance strategies through the CEO communications in the media

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Author list: Martins A, Gomes D, Oliveira L, Caria A, Parker L
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Critical Perspectives On Accounting (1045-2354)
ISSN: 1045-2354
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


This study analyses the strategic responses to institutional pressures through organisational discursive practices. This analysis is developed through an interpretive case study of EDP, the largest Portuguese group in the electricity sector. Our empirical material includes CEO communications in the media from 2010 to 2014, and is interpreted through a theoretical framework derived from institutional theory, developed by complementing Oliver’s (1991) strategic responses to institutional pressures with the verbal accounts as defined by Elsbach (1994). The study highlights the country-level institutional structures, the organisations’ own characteristics and the power of the constituents involved in the process as important predictors of responses in a complex environment. EDP strategically resisted institutional pressures as it negotiated among competing forces of institutional control, delaying partial compliance to coercive pressures and using time as a resource for organisation actions. EDP’s strategies reinforce the argument that organisations may consider unconditional compliance with broader stakeholder interests unacceptable when the profit logic is called into question before the dominance of the neo-liberal capitalist ideology. We have rendered visible the consequences of the project of neoliberalisation and the agenda of state privatisation of the European Union, resulting in a simple redistribution of resources towards shareholders and investors, to the disadvantage of other groups in society.


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Last updated on 2019-12-09 at 12:02