eCite Digital Repository

Self-confessed troublemakers: an interactionist view of deviance during organizational change


Bryant, M and Higgins, V, Self-confessed troublemakers: an interactionist view of deviance during organizational change, Human Relations: Towards The Integration of The Social Sciences, 63, (2) pp. 249-277. ISSN 0018-7267 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2010

DOI: doi:10.1177/0018726709338637


This article provides an alternative lens for examining organizational deviance within the specific context of change, by drawing upon an interactionist approach. We focus specifically on labelling theory and argue that definitions of deviance can be constructed through social interaction regardless of the behaviour in which individuals engage. This study differs from current literature by shifting emphasis away from acts of norm-breaking and on to the social circumstances in which individuals might define others, or come to be defined, as deviant. The application of labelling theory can advance understanding of how individuals, within the context of organizational change, might come to be defined as deviant without changing their behaviour or engaging in specific norm violations. This approach also enables researchers to contribute to discussions surrounding the construction of organizational norms and explore whether these are developed and enforced by those in powerful positions on the basis of their own values and morals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:deviance, interactionism, labelling, organizational change, qualitative research, voice
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational planning and management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Associate Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:114012
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-02-01
Last Modified:2020-04-21

Repository Staff Only: item control page