The interplay between ideological resistance and management control: an Egyptian case study

Ahmed Diab, Ahmed Aboud

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    Purpose: This study explores the relationship between institutional logics and workers’ agency in business organisations. The purpose of this paper is to explain management control in a complex setting of workers’ resistance and institutional multiplicity and complexity. Exploring the inherent political volatility at the macro level, the work also investigates the political aspects of economic organisations and the intermediary role of individuals who deal with these institutions.

    Design/methodology/approach: Theoretically, the study triangulates institutional logics and labour process theories, linking higher-order institutions with mundane labour practices observed in the case study. Methodologically, the study adopts a post-positivistic case study approach. Empirical data were solicited in a village community, where sugar beet farming and processing constitutes the main economic activity underlying its livelihood. Data were collected through a triangulation of interviews, documents and observations.

    Findings: The study concludes that, especially in LDCs agro-manufacturing settings, economic and societal institutions play a central role in the mobilisation of labour resistance. Control can be effectively practiced, and be resisted, through such economic and social systems. This study affirms the influence of institutional logics on individuals’ agency and subjectivity.

    Originality/value: The study contributes to literature by investigating the relationship between subalterns’ agency and institutional logics in a traditional political and communal context, in contrast to the highly investigated western contexts; and providing a definition of management control based on the prevalent institutional logics in the field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)208-236
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of Accounting in Emerging Economies
    Issue number2
    Early online date28 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    • Egypt
    • labour process
    • institutional complexity
    • management control
    • ideological resistance
    • sugar production


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