Abstract

How do top managers of a large American corporation manage conflict among themselves? This article investigates intracorporate executive conflict management in a Fortune 500 manufacturer via ethnographic methods. It focuses on the links between executive conflict management and widespread innovations in (1) top managerial formal structure and (2) hostile takeovers and their symbolic imagery. More specifically, the article focuses on how these innovations disrupted the traditional social structure and "rules of the game" among top managers. The resulting new "culture of honor" suggests several implications for the study of managerial uncertainty, inertia, accountability, and control in contemporary American corporations.

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