Plaintes, normes et intégration : le cas d'une organisation bureaucratique
- Alter, Norbert
When we study how complaints are expressed, we can remark how their sense can often be varied and often dependent on the situation and on the audience to which these grievances are addressed. If we follow an ethnographic approach while studying a specific enterprise, we can remark that the expression of the complaint is not necessarily brought about by a feeling of ill-being. How can we explain that there is an undeniable phenomenon of complaints in these organizations? Empirical observations can lead us to conclude that the complaints are strongly linked to the social environment within the organization. The case of the enterprise studied shows that the way in which the complaint is communicated, as well as the consequences of the complaint are dependent on bureaucratic regulations which results in a subdued participation. The standards in this environment fashion and orientate the expression of the complaint and eliminate the effects of the complaints which would have brought about a change, and rather it favours the expansion of the dominant culture. Paradoxically, the voicing of a complaint is more often than not a sign of loyalty towards the organization and of integration rather than a sign of protest. The complaint in itself may not be authentic but acts as a way of revitalizing the social bonds. It offers a way of socialising and also a method of escaping from an enterprise culture which, if not carried out, would be suffocating. Consequently, the expression of the complaint underlines the stratification of an organization and the way in which people see their social role more or less at a distance with the role given to them by their enterprise.
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