Slipping into functional stupidity – the bifocality of organizational compliance

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Slipping into functional stupidity – the bifocality of organizational compliance. / Paulsen, Roland.

In: Human Relations, Vol. 70, No. 2, 2017, p. 185-210 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Slipping into functional stupidity – the bifocality of organizational compliance

AU - Paulsen, Roland

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Drawing on ethnographical work at the Swedish Public Employment Service, this article contextualizes functional stupidity in relation to other types of organizational compliance. Rather than seeing stupidity as a personality trait, I argue that it should be regarded as a transient unreflective mode of compliance one may yield to for a number of reasons but also reflect on in hindsight. Based on the empirical material, I distinguish 10 ‘stupidity rationales’ emanating from reflective types of compliance with which employees can motivate the practice of functional stupidity. Functional stupidity can be seen as the modus operandi of ego-dystonic compliance we enter in order to endure long hours of imposed work assignments we would rather not perform.

AB - Drawing on ethnographical work at the Swedish Public Employment Service, this article contextualizes functional stupidity in relation to other types of organizational compliance. Rather than seeing stupidity as a personality trait, I argue that it should be regarded as a transient unreflective mode of compliance one may yield to for a number of reasons but also reflect on in hindsight. Based on the empirical material, I distinguish 10 ‘stupidity rationales’ emanating from reflective types of compliance with which employees can motivate the practice of functional stupidity. Functional stupidity can be seen as the modus operandi of ego-dystonic compliance we enter in order to endure long hours of imposed work assignments we would rather not perform.

KW - conflict

KW - motivation

KW - organizational theory

KW - psychology

KW - stress

UR - https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85007107582&origin=inward&txGid=02F299BBCE857C282D32592D376C696E.wsnAw8kcdt7IPYLO0V48gA%3a70

U2 - 10.1177/0018726716649246

DO - 10.1177/0018726716649246

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 185

EP - 210

JO - Human Relations

T2 - Human Relations

JF - Human Relations

SN - 0018-7267

IS - 2

ER -