Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/18850
Title: Bourdieu’s symbolic power and postcolonial organization theory in local-expatriate relationships: An ethnographic study of a French multinational corporation in Singapore
Authors: Lee, Daphnee Hui Lin
Keywords: Habitus
Postcolonial organizational theory
Symbolic power
Childhood socioeconomic background
Cultural capital
Multinational corporation (MNC)
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Lee, D. H. L. (2013). Bourdieu’s symbolic power and postcolonial organization theory in local-expatriate relationships: An ethnographic study of a French multinational corporation in Singapore. Current Sociology, 61(3), 341-355. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392113482824
Abstract: This empirical study seeks to illustrate the complementary interplay between Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic power (field, habitus, cultural capital) and postcolonial organizational theory. Local and expatriate regional subsidiary managers of a French multinational corporation (MNC) hosted in Singapore share their divergent views on managerial assertiveness. Findings from ethnographic fieldwork point to the exercise of symbolic power and the differentiated responses to this imposition. The differentiated value of managerial assertiveness is found to be undergirded by not just power relationships within the organization, but also social inequalities, such as childhood socioeconomic background, within the broader social context of Singapore. Within this culturally diverse landscape, I examine the empirical representations of theoretical perspectives emergent from the imagined dialogues that the managers have with each other, through the researcher as the medium. Notions of how expatriate managers are assertive by disposition and local managers are, conversely, risk and uncertainty avoidant, are first presented as symbolic impositions of cultural hegemony, before presenting perspectives that concede (“conciliatory”) and reject (“retaliatory”) these notions from a postcolonial vantage point. From the empirical findings, I explore how theoretical dialogues on symbolic power and postcolonial organizational theory may unfold within the context of highly globalized societies.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Current Sociology. The published version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392113482824
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/18850
ISSN: 0011-3921 (print)
1461-7064 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1177/0011392113482824
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
CS-61-3-341.pdf77.59 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Page view(s) 50

39
checked on Aug 17, 2017

Download(s)

5
checked on Aug 17, 2017
Altmetric