Cooperation or Cooptation Academic Article uri icon


  • This study focuses upon the messages presented in quality circle training manuals. Analyzing 10 of the most popular manuals designed for quality circle members, we explore whether the training goes beyond instruction in problem solving and facilitates changes in the way the workers think about themselves and their relationships with management and unions. Content analysis of over 500 messages indicates the messages overwhelmingly represent the concerns, values, and perspectives of management. We conclude that it is imperative that workers and unions be aware of the messages embedded within these manuals and work with management to assure that multiple positions are recognized and taken into account in any type of participation program.

published proceedings

  • Management Communication Quarterly

author list (cited authors)

  • Stohl, C., & Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Stohl, Cynthia||Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • August 1988