Shepherding with Carrots and Sticks to Unlearn Traditional Farming Practices

Nanna Schmidt, Rajiv Maher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This study examined the methods used by a market-based conservation non-government organisation (NGO) to co-opt the livelihood plans of an indigenous Bolivian community and encourage them to adopt modern organic coffee growing methods without confrontation. Many previous studies have highlighted the use of violence, intimidation and manipulation by outside organisations when seeking to co-opt indigenous communities. To develop a pastoral-power relational-practices framework to analyse the case, first, the current literature on management, NGOs and community development was reviewed, after which the underused Foucauldian concept of 'pastoral-power' was applied, which is seen as a kinder, more benevolent governance that encourages self-nurturing in return for a new rewards value system. After the analysis of archival data, fieldwork was conducted in Bolivian communities and NGO officials interviewed. It was found that in communities where most members lacked formal schooling, the pastors recruited locals to act like sheepdogs to corral the flock and ensure they desisted and 'unlearned' their past traditional practices and implemented the more modern methods. We present a research agenda for future research on pastoral-power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2021
Article number16485
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings


  • AOM annual meeting proceedings 2022
  • AOM seattle 2022

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