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Using historic mutinies to understand defiance in modern organizations.
Journal of Management History (2010)
  • Ray W. Coye, DePaul University
  • Patrick J. Murphy, DePaul University
  • Patricia Spencer, DePaul University

Purpose: Guided by voice and leadership theory, we articulate the underpinnings of upward defiance (competence deficiency; ignorance of concerns; structural gaps between echelons) and describe the managerial actions that help depose those underpinnings. Design / Methodology / Approach: We analyze 30 historic narrative accounts of actual mutinies. The journalistic accounts from bygone eras provide unparalleled insight into the basic dynamics of mutiny and provide novel insights into organizational defiance. Findings: Our principal findings show that the underpinnings of mutiny in organizations derive from three foundations: disconnections between authority echelons, modes of addressing member disgruntlement, and the need for management to develop competencies continuous. Originality / value: We go beyond reports of mutinies in the popular press and lore by applying our findings to modern organizations.

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Ray W. Coye, Patrick J. Murphy and Patricia Spencer. "Using historic mutinies to understand defiance in modern organizations." Journal of Management History (2010)
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