The organizational restructuring performative act under shareholder value management ideology

Patrícia Saltorato, Glauco Benatti


Purpose – This paper’s objective is to present the dynamics involving an
organizational restructuring process conducted in a Brazilian subsidiary
of a centenary American industrial corporation which claimed to be
seeking, by means of this process, to increase the value of the company’s
shares, but, which results reveal the distance between the promises and
outcomes of this process, unveiling the symbolic-performative nature
of such a process.

Methodology – The chosen research method was the case study. The
data collection involved the participant observation of a company
manager (2010-2015); the conduction of non-structured interviews to
the company’s managers, directors and CFO (2013-2015); documental
research to the company’s internal and public sources (2010-2015);
and bibliographical research to scientific papers, business press, market
analysts and specialized media (2010-2015).

Results – The narratives of success found in the company’s reports
portray the restructuring myth as a continuous strategy, through
which the company reinforces its efforts in delivering good results
to shareholders. And, despite the outcomes of the case study not
supporting these narratives, its performative nature legitimize the
company’s commitment to the SHV management ideology towards
stakeholders of the capital market, even in face of the adoption of antishareholders’
postures, such as anti-takeovers measures, the merging of
the CEO and Chairman positions, its CEO perks, etc.

Contributions – Paradoxically, although the researched company
operates under the cold logic of finances, and under pressure to create
shareholder value, it revealed to be subject to the dynamics in which
the search for symbolic legitimacy plays a decisive role in maintaining
its position within the hierarchy of the socially constructed field of
the Management in face of other stakeholders present in the field,
reinvigorating the precepts of Bourdieu’s Field Theory and the Neo-
Institutional Theory.


Performative organizational restructuring; financialization; Celebrity CEO; symbolism, myth.


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