Go and Say, “We're Shutting”: Ju Jutsu as a Metaphor for Analyzing Resistance

Research paper by Helga Drummond

Indexed on: 01 Jun '98Published on: 01 Jun '98Published in: Human relations; studies towards the integration of the social sciences


While it is well known that employees inorganizations may successfully resist managerialimpositions, relatively little is understood about howresistance operates. The present study utilizes amartial arts metaphor known as ju jutsu to generateinsights for understanding how resistance is exercised.The ju jutsu metaphor was chosen because it is adefensive technique whereby a physically weaker person may resist a much stronger one. Ju jutsu asmetaphor suggests resistance can be exercised bysystematically employing bodily movements which disturban opponent's balance and/or strike at physiological weak points. By exploring a case study of asuccessful example of organizational resistance, the jujutsu metaphor is utilized to generate new perspectivesfor conceptualizing and analyzing the dynamics of resistance.