Moving Beyond Resistance and Readiness: Reframing Change Reactions as Change Related Subject Positioning

Majbritt Thorhauge Grønvad, Johan Simonsen Abildgaard*, Birgit Aust

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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In this paper, line managers’ experiences of, and discursive subject positioning in, a participatory work environment initiative in four nursing homes called ‘The Health Circle Project’ is examined. We focus on line managers’ change related subject positioning by interviewing the managers of the four workplaces before and after the initiative and conduct a comparative case study from a discursive psychology frame. The aim of this paper is to focus on change reactions from managers and move beyond a reductionistic dichotomy of change resistance/readiness. Instead, we focus our analysis on the change related subject positioning the managers engage in, and how they position both themselves and their subordinates. Hence, we examine how the line managers experienced the participatory Health Circle intervention, and how they reacted to potential loss of power to discursively construct and define work environment problems caused by the initiative. The study exemplifies how the line managers experienced the Health Circle intervention as both confirming and challenging their subject positions as capable managerial subjects. Finally, in the light of the analysis, the potential unintended consequences of engaging in participatory work environment intiatives and similar activities are discussed.
TidsskriftJournal of Change Management
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)5-24
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2024

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 31 October 2023.


  • Work environment
  • Resistance
  • Participatory initiative
  • Subject positioning
  • Discursive psychology