CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

While a liberation process can be expected to logically take place within a polyphonic perspective (Pichault 2013)—marked by the importance of communication and the mobilization of actors, but also by clashes between opposing voices (Sullivan and McCarthy 2008)—it can just as easily be underpinned by a desire for control and disciplining of the social body, more akin to panopticism. Through a qualitative study, we explore the implementation of a liberation process: its stages, the obstacles encountered and the way they were—or were not—overcome, the involvement of the various stakeholders and the related negotiations, the resistance and tensions generated, etc. This article, empirical in nature, is based on an original case study carried out in the Belgian public sector, marked by a strong trade union presence. It aims to shed light on some of the contradictions of the liberated company from the perspective of change management.


  • liberated companies
  • public sector
  • change management
  • polyphony
  • panoptical approach
Fanny Fox
François Pichault
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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