Summary of When Managers Rebel

Palgrave Macmillan, more...

Buy the book

When Managers Rebel book summary
Thought-provoking analysis of why managers sometimes choose rebellion over conformity


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


This is not a book about workers rising up against abusive employers with pitchforks and torches. It’s about highly respected, dedicated young managers who like or even love their jobs, but who rebel when they feel their employers have driven them to the breaking point. Organizational sociologists David Courpasson and Jean-Claude Thoenig explain how managers reach such pivot points, and what trouble ensues when they do. In their view, such apparent trouble generally amounts to a constructive challenge from managers to their superiors that says, “I object to what you’re doing, but I’d like to suggest how to fix it.” The book’s real-life case studies (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) show how managers in varying situations rebelled in different ways. Although the authors offer little guidance on how to realize the positive outcomes of these rebellion scenarios in your own workplace, getAbstract thinks this book will help middle managers better understand how they can solve problems by embracing constructive resistance and rebellion – and yet escape career death.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why and how managers rebel
  • How companies can respond successfully to such rebellions


Rebels with Causes
When managers feel that they are at a breaking point, their companies can find themselves dealing with “rebellion, revolt, protest,” and more. A rebelling manager’s superiors may assume that he or she is going through a tough time at home, not getting enough sleep, or...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Authors

Consultants David Courpasson and Jean-Claude Thoenig are organizational sociologists. Courpasson, a professor at the EMLYON Business School, edits the research publication Organization Studies. Thoenig is director emeritus of research at University Paris-Dauphine.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    Middle Management
    Making an impact from the middle of the action – how to lead up and down.

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category