From resistance and control to normative orders: The Wire’s Cedric Daniels as an ethical bureaucrat

Dallyn, Sam and Marinetto, Mike (2020) From resistance and control to normative orders: The Wire’s Cedric Daniels as an ethical bureaucrat. Human Relations. 001872672098204. ISSN 0018-7267 (In Press)

Text (Advance online version)
0018726720982040.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (182kB) | Preview
Official URL:


While the categories of control and resistance have provided important frames of reference to understand workplace relations, we argue that they offer a limited analytical range when investigating conduct in public institutions where work still has sizeable elements of discretion – despite the increasing demands of performance measurement that have been a central component of new public management. Here, we investigate the HBO series, The Wire, and situate it as a piece of social science fiction. By affording more attention to the different ‘codes’ of policework depicted on the show we develop a more pluralistic understanding of workplace conduct. In tracing out different normative orders that characterize these codes, we consider The Wire’s Cedric Daniels’ distinctive positioning in relation to performance measurement and the predominant normative order of ‘the numbers game’ and argue that he consistently displays the code of an ethical bureaucrat.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: control and resistance, discretion, ethical bureaucrat, normative orders, performance measurement, social science fiction, The Wire
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N600 Human Resource Management
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 15:58
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2021 16:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics