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]
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.