For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Exploring the Foucauldian interpretation of power and subject in organizations"

by Välikangas, Anita; Seeck, Hannele (2011)


This paper assesses the recent contribution of Michel Foucault to the study of power and subject in organizations. First, we theoretically examine Foucault's thinking by dividing his works into archaeological, genealogical and aesthetic/ethical phases. We then conduct a review of 113 international journal articles from between the years 2000 and 2009. We do this in order to obtain an overview of the phases of Foucault's thinking that are prevalent in recent organization studies. We find that recent academic studies drawing on Foucault are increasingly leaning towards Foucault's writings on governmentality, as well as on his genealogical works, which have sustained their popularity. Reflecting the growing interest in governmentality and genealogy, we end by pointing out some avenues for future research.


Foucault, Power, Subject, Organizations, Management, Organisational Studies


On Foucault, Foucault, Critical Management Studies, Organisation and Management Studies

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