Foucault, Management and Organization Theory
From Panopticon to Technologies of Self
- Alan McKinlay - University of St Andrews, UK
- Ken Starkey - University of Nottingham, UK
Organizational Behaviour (General) | Organizational Theory | Sociology of Work
The volume provides a valuable summary of Foucault's contribution to organization theory, which also challenges the conventions of traditional organizational analysis. By applying Foucauldian concepts such as discipline, surveillance and power/knowledge, the authors shed new light on the genesis of the modern organization and raise fresh questions about organization theory. The bureaucratic career is, for example, analyzed as a disciplinary device, a mechanism that seeks to alter rational choice rather than constrain bodies. This raises questions about Foucault's linking of the modern organization's birth with the enlightenment. Other contributions review the impact of totalizing managerial discourses and the limits and possiblities of resistance, and question the profound pessimism of Foucault. The volume concludes by examining the implications of Foucault's later work in which he suggests that people are much freer than they feel.