Compassion, power and organization

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Political Power, 2013, 6 (3), pp. 385 - 404
Issue Date:
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In this paper, we analyse the significance of compassion as an emotion in its relationship to various manifestations of power within the organisational context. We critique those theories of compassion that assume that compassion in organsational contexts is motivated only by a noble intent. The paper draws on a study of organisational responses to the flood that devastated the City of Brisbane Australia on the morning of 11 January 2011. We use a framework of 'circuits of power' to provide a triple focus on interpersonal, organisational and societal uses of power together with a model of coercive, instrumental and normative organisational power. We present our findings in a framework constructed by overlapping these frameworks. The unique contribution of this paper is to provide a conceptualisation of organisational compassion enmeshed with various modes of power exercised in and by organisations. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
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