Compassion, power and organization

Ace Volkmann Simpson, Stewart Clegg, D. Freeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we analyse the significance of compassion as an emotion in its relationship to various manifestations of power within the organisational context. We critique those theories of compassion that assume that compassion in organsational contexts is motivated only by a noble intent. The paper draws on a study of organisational responses to the flood that devastated the City of Brisbane Australia on the morning of 11 January 2011. We use a framework of 'circuits of power' to provide a triple focus on interpersonal, organisational and societal uses of power together with a model of coercive, instrumental and normative organisational power. We present our findings in a framework constructed by overlapping these frameworks. The unique contribution of this paper is to provide a conceptualisation of organisational compassion enmeshed with various modes of power exercised in and by organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-380
JournalJournal of Political Power
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • compassion
  • organization
  • emotion


Dive into the research topics of 'Compassion, power and organization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this