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Beyond the control-resistance debate: A fresh look at experiences of work in the new economy


  • Sharon C. Bolton
  • Maeve Houlihan


Purpose - The purpose of this short paper is to introduce the special issue and outline its major themes. Design/methodology/approach - The control-resistance literatures are described, and the necessity for field-led empirical accounts is amplified, as a precursor to introducing the contributions to this special issue. Findings - Forms of control co-mingle and the old imprints the new. Theories of control, resistance, agency and consent can most usefully be expanded by engaging with empirical accounts, resisting duality, and embracing multidimensionality. Originality/value - This paper offers a review of the state of debate about control and resistance within organisation studies, and calls for field-informed accounts and fresh perspectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharon C. Bolton & Maeve Houlihan, 2009. "Beyond the control-resistance debate: A fresh look at experiences of work in the new economy," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(1/2), pages 5-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:qrampp:v:6:y:2009:i:1/2:p:5-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Callaghan, 2002. "'We Recruit Attitude': The Selection and Shaping of Routine Call Centre Labour," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 233-254, March.
    2. George Callaghan & Paul Thompson, 2000. "Edwards Revised: Technical Control and Call Centres," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 25, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    3. Patrice Rosenthal, 2004. "Management Control as an Employee Resource: The Case of Front-line Service Workers," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 601-622, June.
    4. Hugh Mosley Mosley & Jacqueline O'Reilly & Klaus Schömann, 2002. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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