For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Foucault beyond Fairclough: From Transcendental to Immanent Critique in Organization Studies"

by Curtis, Rowland (2014)


This article presents the case that while Foucault?s ideas have been the subject of much debate, the distinctive transformative potentials of his immanent thought have tended to have been overlooked in the field to date. In making this case, critical realism provides an important counter-example, as a transcendental orientation to critical practice with significant influence in contemporary organization studies. In drawing out the difference between these contrasting orientations to critique, Norman Fairclough?s critical discourse analytic (CDA) framework is evaluated here as an approach to organization studies that took early inspiration from Foucault?s work, while having looked towards critical realist ideas in recent years. Fairclough?s writings on discourse and university ?marketization? provide a useful empirical focus to explore the distinctive styles of problem-posing that follow from these different critical orientations; contrasting the distanced normativity of critical realist-informed transcendentalism with the situated, transformative potentials of Foucault?s immanent thought. Through these investigations, the article offers a reappraisal of existing lines of debate on Foucault and critical realism in organization studies, and of the value of Foucault?s ideas to the field more broadly.

Key Passage



Foucault, Fairclough, Organisation Studies, Critical Realism, Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Analytic Framework


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

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