ABSTRACT

The French philosopher, Michel Foucault (1972), has made a significant contribution to the field of power and hegemony through his writings and his analysis of the ways in which society has exercised control over its members. This is achieved through the creation of various institutions such as law, medicine, education and of course organizations. Organizations are both experienced and perceived as institutions that suppress conflicting interests and are active in ‘the perpetuation of corporate and societal hegemony’ (Ogbor, 2001: 591). A patriarchal society has ensured the devaluation and subordination of women to men. It has also locked women into the role of unpaid labourer within the household. Paternalism and power have always been a feature of mankind and history and tradition are conventions of enduring paternalism. Power and politics are part of the very essence of our capitalist society as well as our organizations which, as mirrors, reflect the societies within which they operate.