Tensions between (post)bureaucratic and neo-normative demands: Investigating employees’ subjective positions at EurAirport

Thibaut Bardon, Emmanuel Josserand, Roberta Sferrazzo, Stewart Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The introduction of a neo-normative discourse in a (post)bureaucratic organization can result in tensions between the neo-normative injunction to be authentic and exhortations to fit with the ideal (post)bureaucratic organizational subject. Focusing on how shopfloor workers subjectively experience the tensions between neo-normative and (post)bureaucratic demands, this empirical investigation yielded three major contributions. First, it pinpointed and addressed significant gaps in existing studies of normative and neo-normative discourse. Second, the study better distinguished normative and neo-normative control on the basis of two tensions: (1) authenticity versus conformity; and (2) conflation versus differentiation between life and work. Third, the study identified four distinct subject positions that demonstrated how organizational participants creatively appropriate and strive to resolve these two tensions in a work setting that mixes normative and neo-normative control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • (post)bureaucracy
  • authenticity
  • neo-normative control
  • subjectivity
  • tensions


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