Organizing for social change within concertive control systems: Member identification, empowerment, and the masking of discipline

Michael J. Papa, Mohammad A. Auwal, Arvind Singhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Grameen ("rural") Bank organizes grassroots micro-enterprises for productive self-employment and social change among the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh. It provides collateral-free loans and various social services for the poor, but maintains a 99 percent loan recovery rate. Many of the bank's more than two million members, 94 percent of whom are women, attribute-their present well-being to its ameliorative qualities. Using the theory of concertive control, we gained insight into why members and workers identify so strongly with the Grameen, how participation within this organization offers opportunities for empowerment, and how control systems operative within the bank account for its success. This theory also enabled us to examine how member and worker identification with the Grameen influences their evaluation of the disciplinary techniques that are part of the system. By examining the Grameen's organizational processes in terms of the theory of concertive control, we identify some of the paradoxes associated with democratic practices in organizations, and we draw insights about theory and praxis in organizing for social change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-249
Number of pages31
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1997

Keywords

  • Grameen Bank
  • Organizational Identification
  • Worker Empowerment

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