Exploring Resistance in Collaborative Forms of Governance: Meaning Negotiations and Counter-narratives in a Case from the Danish Education Sector

Mie Plotnikof*, Anne Reff Pedersen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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This paper addresses resistance in studies about collaborative forms of governance. Although the literaturediscusses collaborative challenges, issues related to resistance are largely unexplored and mostly regarded asdestructive. However, we argue for understanding resistance more dynamically–as a co-constructive aspect ofcollaboration. Drawing on extant resistance studies, we combine concepts of meaning negotiation and counter-narrative to examine power-resistance relations in a case study of collaborative forms of governance in theDanish education sector. Thefindings elucidate how resistance complicates, yet also co-constructs collaborationin governance processes; discursive struggles over meanings of collaboration and a quality model invoke power-resistance relations that destabilize a dominant narrative and enable counter-narratives, which influence futurecollaborative processes. Hence, we suggest understanding resistance as a constitutive feature in collaborativeforms of governance, rather than a destructive obstacle. This contributes with empirical and theoretical insightsinto the complex role of resistance in collaboration and governance processes.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Management
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019


  • Resistance
  • Meaning negotiation
  • Counter-narrative
  • Organizational discourse
  • Collaborative governance
  • Education sector