For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Managing Foucault: Genealogies of management"

by McKinlay, Alan (2006)


Business history has become an increasingly inter-disciplinary space, and has been rejuvenated by this inter-disciplinarity. Despite the theoretical openness of business history, and his influence elsewhere in the social sciences and humanities, Michel Foucault has had little or no impact outside the specialist niche of accounting history. Foucault's central text for many historians is his study of the emergence of the modern penitentiary, Discipline and Punish (1977). Here we follow Foucault's lead by examining the factories of the industrial revolution, focusing on the influence of Jeremy Bentham and Robert Owen's New Lanark in the first and second sections of the paper respectively, using these cases as the basis for a discussion of Foucault's implications for business history. In the third and final section, we draw attention to the centrality of the body in Foucault's work.


Foucault, Management, Discipline, Factories, Industrial Revolution, Bentham


On Foucault, Foucault

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