For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

References for Theme: On Foucault

  • Alakavuklar, Ozan Nadir; Alamgir, Fahreen
  • Alcadipani, R; Hassard, J; Islam, G
  • Atzert, Thomas; translated by Frederick Peters
    • "About Immaterial Labor and Biopower" (2006)
      (p.58) Work, Work, Work. Everywhere one looks, make-work projects, job creation offensives, the carrot and the stick, all done in order to sustain a reserve army of labor made surplus through transformations of the means and methods of production. With ‘‘welfare to work’’ as their motto, Liberals and Conservatives both go about the purpose of rolling back what they call the privileges of the welfare state. And the Social Democrats, who worship labor and fall to their knees before the ‘‘savior of the new times,’’ as Joseph Dietzgen remarked, follow suit, both in and out of office. Critiques of work and labor...
    • "About Immaterial Labor and Biopower" (2006)
      (p.63) The concept of biopower harkens back to Michel Foucault’s analysis of power. From the mid-1970s, Foucault argued against the characterization of power as boldfaced repression (the so-called repression hypothesis) and emphasized the relational character of power: ‘‘At the very heart of the power relationship [...] are the recalcitrance of the will and the intransigence of freedom,’’ he wrote in 1982.18 This new conception of power has primary significance in the analysis of social institutions, which become effective in a force field of power relations, or power dispositifs (described by Foucault as normalization and discipline). Biopower’s central focus is the regulation...
    • "About Immaterial Labor and Biopower" (2006)
  • Bain, Peter; Taylor, Phil
    • "Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre" (2000)
      (p.16) The blithe acceptance of the panopticon metaphor, and its uncritical application to the contemporary workplace, requires explanation. Why is it that such a perspective, which so palpably fails any serious theoretical and empirical examination, has been adopted so readily? For some it would seem to explain reality. Here are workplaces and workforces which appear to be so dominated by overpowering technology, that there is no room for escape. If Winston Smith cannot evade Big Brother, then the call centre agent in her electronic penitentiary is similarly entrapped. Those ensnared by the panopticon perspective, following a superficial reading of Foucault, are...
    • "Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre" (2000)
      (p.3) By early 1998, two sharply contrasting portrayals of the call centre had been established in popular consciousness. On the one hand were the optimistic descriptions, cultivated by the sector’s publicists, who presented exciting images of centres, staffed by co-operative teamworking employees ‘smiling down the phone’ and talking to customers in a relaxed and professional manner in comforting regional accents. On the other hand, there was the perspective of Fernie and Metcalf who utilised Foucault’s adaptation of Bentham’s Panopticon to claim that electronic surveillance had ‘rendered perfect’ the supervisor’s power, thus eliminating the possibility of worker resistance. When a leading consultant,...
    • "Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre" (2000)
      (p.4) Those who see workplace regimes as characterised by the existence of the ‘electronic panopticon’ typically employ a Foucauldian framework. In Jeremy Bentham’s late- eighteenth century design for a prison, later adapted by Foucault (1977) as a metaphor for societal surveillance, the central observation tower is constructed in such a way that isolated, individual inmates could never be sure when they were being watched. From the vantage point in the tower, the observer could see the inmates in their peripheral cells at any time without being seen. Thus, the prisoners come to act as though they are under the carceral gaze...
    • "Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre" (2000)
      (p.5) Thompson and Ackroyd observe that ‘the panopticon is the favourite in this armoury’ when the Foucauldian perspective is adopted to new management practices (1995: 622). Whether electronic or informational in application, the panopticon is central to the Foucauldian emphasis on ‘the increased and successful use of monitoring and surveillance of workers’ activities’. They identify a distinct tendency amongst those claiming to utilise Foucault’s theories to give no account of resistance, and that this (mistaken) position can be located in the way in which power is perceived. The belief that management’s monopoly of knowledge marginalises other groups, leads self-declared Foucauldians to...
    • "Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre" (2000)
  • Banks, Mark
    • "Autonomy Guaranteed? Cultural Work and the “Art–Commerce Relation”" (2010)
      (p.256) A contrasting approach emphasises how autonomy has less been denied by corporations and the machinations of managers, but actively promoted as the regulative principle through which workers might be more subtly encouraged to accept the necessity of capitalist forms of cultural production. To offer a simple distinction, we might say that while “culture industry” critiques suggest that cultural workers are forced to accept capitalist relations of production as a consequence of their powerlessness in the face of corporate management, then “governmentality” or neo-Foucauldian approaches argue that workers are trained to accept and reproduce for themselves the precise conditions of their...
    • "Autonomy Guaranteed? Cultural Work and the “Art–Commerce Relation”" (2010)
      (p.257) Here, the “seduction of autonomy” (Knights & McCabe 2003, p. 1613) is sufficiently powerful to override any misgivings, constraints or disadvantages that might emerge in the workplace. The pay-off for enhanced uncertainty and employment risk is the freedom to work more flexibly, informally and in accordance with one’s own biographical preferences and ambitions — however degraded or compromised these may be, or may become (Ursell 2000). For critics, such developments may serve to underline how, as Foucault (1982) argued, the application of power proceeds only through the provision of freedom. Yet, the freedoms available in cultural work can often appear...
    • "Autonomy Guaranteed? Cultural Work and the “Art–Commerce Relation”" (2010)
      (p.260) As Foucauldians have attested, the provision of autonomy may merely provide the means of ensuring that workers suitably orient themselves to commercial priority. However, I also suggest that this “permission to rebel” has a double-edged character that tends to be underestimated in the orthodox critical views outlined previously, insofar as the closures anticipated by Adorno, the Foucault-derived notion of compulsory freedom, and Bourdieu’s claim that artists are most commonly motivated by status and self-interest fail to fully acknowledge the unstable and transgressive potential of a labour process underpinned by autonomy as its normative principle.
    • "Autonomy Guaranteed? Cultural Work and the “Art–Commerce Relation”" (2010)
  • Barratt, Edward
    • "The later Foucault in organization and management studies" (2008)
      (p.516) The reception of Foucault has nonetheless tended to bifurcate between narrow readings (Knights, 2002) in which the metaphor of the panopticon has been widely – some might argue excessively – deployed, as a way of characterizing practices of control in the contemporary workplace and broader readings which draw more extensively on the familiar power, knowledge, subjectivity triad, commonly put to use in exploring the practical dynamics of power and resistance through ethnographic enquiry. More recently Foucauldianism has taken another turn, with an increasing interest in the later writing and particularly Foucault’s interest in the ethics of pagan antiquity (Chan &...
    • "The later Foucault in organization and management studies" (2008)
      (p.519) The idea of a politicized history of management has perhaps been taken furthest by those working within the loosely coupled Foucauldian genre of governmentality studies (e.g. Miller & O’Leary, 1993; Miller & Rose, 1990; Rose, 1990). The abstract sense of ‘government’ here highlights the diversity of powers and governing authorities which regulate the subject’s space of freedom (Rose, 1999). Histories in this style begin explicitly and selfreflectively with a diagnosis of the problems of the present, seeking to explore the complex and contingent process by which that present took shape. Less an attempt to apply Foucault’s methods as to work...
    • "The later Foucault in organization and management studies" (2008)
      (p.523) Turning now to the possibilities of a Foucauldian politics of the workplace, it is never clear in the later writing where Foucault wants to take the idea of freedom and autonomy. At times it is as if he wants to give only the basic outlines of an alternative since anything more always runs the risk of implying a definitive position (Foucault, 1996a). Yet there are other – less frequent times – when Foucault alludes to the possibility of elaborating on what autonomy might mean for the present (Foucault, 1996a). Such a project evidently remained uncompleted at the time of his...
    • "The later Foucault in organization and management studies" (2008)
  • Brewis, Joanna
  • Burrell, Gibson
  • Carter, Chris
    • "A Curiously British Story: Foucault Goes to Business School" (2008)
      (p.16) Foucault was a late entrant to organization studies, but his presence was already being felt in British accounting studies. During the 1970s, accounting in universities moved away from its excessively technical and vocational studies orientation and embraced the social sciences. The currents that were running through 1970s sociology found their way into accounting through intermediaries such as David Cooper, Anthony Hopwood, Tony Lowe, Peter Miller, and Tony Tinker. Accounting as a social science was borne, and in the 1980s, Foucault was to have a major impact on this subdiscipline of management. 
    • "A Curiously British Story: Foucault Goes to Business School" (2008)
      (p.26) The story of the rise of Foucault in British organization studies is one of the remarkable stories in the discipline. Consecrated as one of the major thinkers in the field, promoted and debated by a number of key theorists, and routinely appearing in prestigious journals, the star of Foucault is one that has shone brightly over the past twenty years. It is perhaps interesting to speculate what organization studies might look like now had another philosopher, for instance, Baudrillard, Derrida, or Habermas, been adopted? Skeptics who see mere ornamentation when they read Foucauldian organizational analysis would argue that very little...
    • "A Curiously British Story: Foucault Goes to Business School" (2008)
  • Checchi, Marco
    • "Spotting the Primacy of Resistance in the Virtual Encounter of Foucault and Deleuze" (2014)
      (p.199) On several occasions, this operational tie between power and resistance is presented as referring also to a relation of co‐originality.  Such a thesis could have passed unchallenged if we would not take into consideration a minor interview of 1982 in which Foucault surprisingly steps back from his research on the subject to give once again some insights into the nature of resistance. [...]If there was no resistance, there would be no power relations.   […] So resistance comes first, and remains superior to the forces of the process; power relations are obliged to change with the resistance.  So I think that resistance is the...
    • "Spotting the Primacy of Resistance in the Virtual Encounter of Foucault and Deleuze" (2014)
      (p.202) Within a Foucauldian antagonistic framework, labour can instead be genealogically deconstructed, revealing what actually comes before it, namely a specific interplay of forces.   On the other hand, the primacy of resistance does not need to be supported by an antecedent element or dynamic.    Therefore, if following Deleuze’s suggestion, it might be argued that Foucault’s primacy of resistance can be traced back to Tronti’s primacy of labour over capital, this conceptual brotherhood cannot be extended beyond the resemblance of the mechanism at play in both the accounts.  The dynamic between labour and capital is structurally similar to that between power and...
    • "Spotting the Primacy of Resistance in the Virtual Encounter of Foucault and Deleuze" (2014)
  • Clegg, Stewart
    • "Weber and Foucault: Social Theory for the Study of Organizations" (1994)
    • "Foucault, power and organizations" (1998)
      (p.30) Foucault writes concretely and descriptively on power, much as did Weber. The ontological foundations of modern institutions, the institutional sources of power, are his topic. Foucault (1977) sees the methods of surveillance and assessment of individuals that were first developed in state institutions such as prisons, as effective tools developed for the orderly regimentation of others as docile bodies, techniques that achieve strategic effects through their disciplinary character. This is so, he maintains, even when they provoke resistance. Resistance merely serves to demonstrate the necessity of that discipline that provokes it. It becomes a target against which discipline may justify...
    • "Foucault, power and organizations" (1998)
      (p.38) ‘Obedience’ is central to an analysis of the production of power in organizations, an insight shared by major precursors such as Weber (1978) and Etzioni (1961). Moreover, it is a focus that has received historical endorsement not only through the corpus of Weberian research (Matheson, 1987) but also through that recent and related work on the origins of disciplined obedience through ‘disciplinary practices’ in monastic organizations (see Assad (1987); Keiser (1987)). The concept of ‘disciplinary practice’ derives, as we have seen, from Foucault (1977) but is implicit in Weber (1978). It renders those micro-techniques of power that inscribe and normalize...
    • "Foucault, power and organizations" (1998)
    • "Bureaucracy, the Holocaust and Techniques of Power at Work" (2009)
  • Clegg, Stewart R; Courpasson, David; Phillips, Nelson
  • Crane, Andrew; Knights, David; Starkey, Ken
    • "The Conditions of Our Freedom: Foucault, Organization, and Ethics" (2008)
      (p.300)  In our view, Foucault's ethics offer some important, though necessarily limited, contributions to the business ethics literature, which deserve our attention. First, he offers some alternative ways of thinking about freedom as a concept relevant to business ethics. Rather than seeing freedom as an entitlement to be acknowledged by managers, he posits freedom as a condition of being human that can never be absolute but can only ever be exercised within a field of discipline and control. As such, we can discern a little more clearly some of the conditions of our freedom in organizations. Foucault's ethics also offer a...
    • "The Conditions of Our Freedom: Foucault, Organization, and Ethics" (2008)
  • Curtis, Rowland
  • Dalgliesh, Bregham
    • "Foucault and creative resistance in organisations" (2009)
      (p.45) There is a common misperception that Michel Foucault was oblivious to the relationship between the subject and the other, if not hostile to its very possibility in as much as he conflated them together in his notion of power. In the pages that follow, I want not only to counter such a fallacy but to argue that, in the context of organisations seeking to balance control with creativity for the purposes of fostering innovation, Foucault offers a solution to this conundrum. Insofar as theory ought to be deformed for the analytical purpose on hand (Burrell, 1988, p. 229), his vision...
    • "Foucault and creative resistance in organisations" (2009)
      (p.46) Ironically, reading Foucault qua philosopher of a dominating and subjecting form of biopower is often the preferred interpretation of his partisans in organisation studies, too, who to some extent have followed fashion in introducing him to this academic field (Carter, 2008). Here, organisation theory is equated to a discourse on the disciplinary techniques and practices most likely to render employees docile (Clegg and Palmer, 1996), or to constitute individuals into objects of corporate control (McKinlay and Starkey, 1998) for whom Foucault offers no solace (Haunschild, 2003, pp. 56-7). However, there is a tendency underway to think critically about power and...
    • "Foucault and creative resistance in organisations" (2009)
    • "Foucault and creative resistance in organisations" (2009)
  • Davis, George V
  • Deetz, S
  • Ek, Richard; Fougère, Martin; Skålén, Per
  • Feldman, Alex J
    • "Power, labour power and productive force in Foucault’s reading of Capital" (2019)
      (p.312) The key to the articulation of surveilling and punishing will be found in the conjunction of two problems: the problem of a new management of illegalisms and the problem of disciplining bodies to produce and direct the productive force. What, then, are the disciplines? The 17th century marks ‘a discovery of the body as object and target of power’.30 This ‘discovery’ has both a philosophical and a technological or techno-political register. The philosophy pole aims to explain the body as a machine. The technology pole aims to rationalize a certain practice of intervening upon the body – to produce a...
    • "Power, labour power and productive force in Foucault’s reading of Capital" (2019)
      (p.318) The entire mode of production depends on certain irregular features that are to be subordinated rather than calculated and that are to be made increasingly productive. Hierarchical surveillance, then, is only one side of bon dressement. The rest of chapter 2 is concerned with the new technology of sanction and punishment that accompanies hierarchical surveillance. Power for Foucault is more than control or the ability to determine the actions of another. The relations of power in capitalist production also include the power to punish and monitor those who are out of control.
    • "Power, labour power and productive force in Foucault’s reading of Capital" (2019)
  • Fernie, Sue; Metcalf, David
    • (Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops (1998)
      (p.2) This occupation [call centre work] merits study because the possibilities for monitoring behaviour and measuring output are amazing to behold – the “tyranny of the assembly line” is but a Sunday school picnic compared with the control that management can exercise in computer telephony. Indeed, the advertising brochure for a popular call centre software package is boldly titled TOTAL CONTROL MADE EASY. All this has been noted in the trade press where Apostol (1996), Garrod (1996) and Roncoroni (1997) describe call centres either as the new sweatshops or dark satanic mills. And in the personnel managers’ professional monthly journal farmyard...
    • (Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops (1998)
      (p.8) The director of the L & R Group, a consulting and training business that has developed a new certificate in call centre management for the Institute of Direct Marketing, puts all this rather starkly: “the call centre provides management with the ultimate opportunity for control” (quoted in Arkin 1997). Indeed, his organization has a module on “staying sane in the call centre”. Call centres are therefore the archetypal organization to represent Foucault’s (1977) application of Bentham’s Panopticon to the workplace. “All that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and to shut up in each...
    • (Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops (1998)
      (p.9) It is perhaps reassuring, however, that even with “ultimate” or “total” control disaffected agents still find ways of avoiding work. They might, for example, take a call and say nothing so that the caller hangs up, or alternatively let the caller hang up first and remain on the line so no one else gets through.
    • (Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops (1998)
  • Findlay, Patricia; Newton, Tim
    • "Re-Framing Foucault the Case of Performance Appraisal" (1998)
      (p.214) The emphasis upon discipline and surveillance in Foucault's earlier conceptualization of power (most especially in Discipline and Punish, 1979) finds an easy application in performance appraisal. Appraisal can be seen as epitomizing a desire for observation and surveillance, to make the employee a ‘knowable, calculable and administrable object’ (Miller and Rose, 1990: 5). It appears as one tactic working towards the notion of disciplinary power enshrined in Foucault's reference to Bentham's ‘Panopticon’, the model prison in which prisoners can always be seen, yet cannot see themselves. It is easy to see the panoptic power of appraisal in the plethora of...
    • "Re-Framing Foucault the Case of Performance Appraisal" (1998)
  • Harley, Bill
  • Haunschild, Axel
  • Hodgson, Damian E
  • Hollinshead, Keith
  • Ibarra-Colado, Eduardo; Clegg, Stewart R; Rhodes, Carl; Kornberger, Martin
    • "The ethics of managerial subjectivity" (2006)
      (p.46) Specifically, we use Foucault’s work in order to develop an understanding of ethics and management in a way that mediates between an understanding of ethics as an individual responsibility and ethics as organizationally determined. The means through which a manager acts in relation to both ethics and organizations are the central issue. Thus, in this perspective, the subjectivity of managers is located at the centre stage of ethical discussion. Subjectivity is a means through which to think of individual people not as being distinct or self-contained but as necessarily social; however a person might consider themself to be an ‘‘individual’’,...
    • "The ethics of managerial subjectivity" (2006)
  • Jackson, Norman; Carter, Pippa
    • "Labour as dressage" (1998)
      (p.53) One arena of control of deviance to which Foucault did not devote much concentrated attention is that of work, but, in some ways, work can be recognized as a persistent sub-text, and he clearly had interests in developing this more directly.
    • "Labour as dressage" (1998)
  • Jones, Campbell
  • Just, Daniel
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
      (p.403) While neither Society Must Be Defended nor The Will to Knowledge takes economy as its primary subject, they both discuss biopower in markedly economic terms. Originating in the rapid increase in production and resources in the eighteenth century, which brought relief from the profound threats of death by famine and epidemics to which humanity was hitherto exposed, biopower complemented this material development by providing an awareness of the sudden realization of what it meant to be ‘a living species in a living world’: to have ‘probabilities of life, an individual and collective welfare, forces that could be modified, and a...
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
      (p.404) Foucault reproaches classical political economists, especially Ricardo, Keynes and Marx, for analyzing labor as something abstract, passive and reduced to the factor of time (Foucault, 2008, p. 220). For Ricardo, labor is an issue of quantity, a factor of time inserted between capital and production, with the increase in labor signifying merely that more hours are offered to capital (either workers work longer hours or more of them are hired). For Keynes, labor is a factor of production, and what activates it is a sufficiently high rate of investment. For Marx, labor is the effect of produced value, an abstract...
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
      (p.405) In the age of biopower, people are attached to work by an operation that is both profoundly political and operates at the level of people’s very existence: control over their time.
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
      (p.409) The biopolitical mechanisms of work described by Foucault in their eighteenth- and nineteenth-century manifestations, then largely dependent on the state, by now have become increasingly driven by transnational forces that are changing the nature of work worldwide. It is in order to describe this new world of labor that Hardt and Negri and Virno redeployed the concept of biopower. The question is to what extent they have succeeded, and whether they have managed to deal with concrete labor practices, as Foucault insisted any application of the concept of biopower should. Hardt and Negri, and to a lesser extent Virno, are...
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
      (p.414) Foucault’s lesson is to critically relate to the operation which valorizes work and turns people into workers, because it is this operation that makes us accept work as an unquestioned value instead of relativizing the status that biopower has conferred on it. Any radical political change, as Hardt and Negri imagine it, would have to be, above all, a reaction against this uncritical acceptance of work.
    • "A Biopolitics of Immaterial Labor" (2016)
    • "The Invention of Work in Modernity: Hegel, Marx, and Weber" (2017)
  • Kelly, Peter
  • Knights, David
  • Knights, David; Willmott, Hugh
  • Lloyd, Anthony
  • McKinlay, A; Starkey, K
  • McKinlay, Alan
  • McKinlay, Alan; Starkey, Ken
  • Mumby, Dennis K; Thomas, Robyn; Martí, Ignasi; Seidl, David
    • "Resistance Redux" (2017)
      (p.1161) [A]s Foucault succinctly put it, “where there is power, there is resistance” (1980a, p.95). Here, Foucault is not positioning resistance as exterior to power, as a reaction to power, but as an immanent and constitutive element of the exercise of power itself. Thus, while much of the research on resistance tends to situate it in a binary relationship with power (Vallas, 2016), we conceive of power and resistance as co-constitutive and dialectical (Mumby, 2005), though dialectical in Adorno’s (1973) “negative” sense rather than Hegel’s (1977) “positive” sense. Given the topic of this special issue, however, we frame this relationship as...
    • "Resistance Redux" (2017)
  • Norbäck, Maria
    • "Glimpses of resistance: Entrepreneurial subjectivity and freelance journalist work" (2019)
      (p.3) The seemingly all-encompassing and totalizing form of biopower put forward by Foucault (2008) has, however, given rise to a scholarly discussion about the limits of such power and control. If this power takes over ‘life itself’, then how can it be resisted? Researchers have started to discuss what practices and forms such a resistance would entail (Fleming, 2014; Moisander et al., 2017; Vallas and Christin, 2018), and argue that even for entrepreneurial subjects ‘par excellence’ (Scharff, 2016), resistance ought to be possible as ‘no form of power is infallible’ (Fleming, 2014: 893). This article presents a study of Swedish freelance...
    • "Glimpses of resistance: Entrepreneurial subjectivity and freelance journalist work" (2019)
      (p.4) Even before neoliberal became a mainstream concept, Foucault (2008) argued that it would come to regulate not only the economic system, but that it would permeate our very souls. Under neoliberal governmentality, individuals are governed according to economic principles under which all aspects of life are ruled by economic values. In Foucault’s (2008) words, ‘the individual’s life itself’ is constituted as ‘a sort of permanent and multiple enterprise’ (p. 241). As a result of this new mode of being, workers are no longer molded into submissive ‘docile bodies’ without agency (Foucault, 1977), but rather agentic subjects ready and willing to...
    • "Glimpses of resistance: Entrepreneurial subjectivity and freelance journalist work" (2019)
      (p.5) So, if biopower works through such ‘positive’ means as autonomy and supposed self-realization, how can it be resisted? McNay (2009) stated that from a biopower perspective, traditional liberal ideas concerning both control and resistance become outdated, as discipline and freedom become ‘intrinsically connected’ (p. 63). However, scholars interested in Foucauldian notions of subjectivity argued that the ongoing constitution of subjectivity is precisely where resistance and struggle take place, as the subject is never completely constrained. To see subjectivity as the site of struggle, however, makes the target of resistance problematic: against what or who is such resistance directed? Traditionally, the...
    • "Glimpses of resistance: Entrepreneurial subjectivity and freelance journalist work" (2019)
  • O'Neill, John
  • Oksala, Johanna
    • "Affective Labor and Feminist Politics" (2016)
      (p.289) Foucault’s claim that there is no outside to power relations also morphs in Hardt’s and Negri’s writings into the claim that there is no outside to the process of capitalist production. “Production becomes indististinguishable from reproduction,” “subjects are at the same time producers and products of this unitary machine,” and it is “no longer possible to identify a sign, a subject, a value, or a practice that is ‘outside’” ð2000, 385Þ. While such a comprehensive understanding of capitalism as a sphere of biopolitical production with no outside seems to have radical political potential in breaking with narrow economism and in...
    • "Affective Labor and Feminist Politics" (2016)
  • Paus, Eva
  • Porter, Roy
    • "Foucault's great confinement" (1990)
      (p.47) Central to Foucault’s interpretation of the successive construals and exclusions of madness is the idea of a ’great confinement’, a great internment, activated, from the mid-seventeenth century, in context of political absolutism and Enlightenment rationality (Foucault, 1965: 61). Foucault treats the ’great confinement’ as a European movement, though one assuming diverse institutional forms in different monarchies (Foucault, 1965: 43, 49). Those whose lives affronted bourgeois rationality - beggars, petty criminals, layabouts, prostitutes - became liable to sequestration higgledy-piggledy with the sick and the old, the lame and lunatic.3 Such problem people, though different from normal citizens, were identical amongst themselves....
    • "Foucault's great confinement" (1990)
      (p.49) Foucault’s use of the category ’unreason’ brilliantly captures the ontological and social alienation of the madman in contemporary discourse: he was like a wild animal (not a human), he was idle (not a bourgeois) (Foucault, 1965: 72). Two comments are, however, called for. First, about labour. I do not find prominent in eighteenth-century English discourse the couplings Foucault emphasizes between sanity and work, madness and sloth.9 Less still was there any concerted attempt to put the asylum population to work (the contrast with nineteenth-century practice is stark indeed).’° In later studies, especially La volont6 de savoir (1976), Foucault detached himself...
    • "Foucault's great confinement" (1990)
  • Raffnsøe, Sverre; Gudmand-Høyer, Marius; Thaning, Morten S
    • "Foucault’s dispositive: The perspicacity of dispositive analytics in organizational research" (2016)
      (p.272) As in many other fields of research, the legacy of Michel Foucault has become almost ubiquitous in management and organization studies (Carter et al., 2002; Rowlinson and Carter, 2002; McKinlay and Wilson, 2012; Välikangas and Seeck, 2011). This overarching presence appears to be especially marked within British organization studies (Carter, 2008) and within Critical Management Studies in particular (McKinlay and Wilson, 2012). Across this reception, one particular attraction to Foucault’s philosophical style has been its ability to push organizational analysis in new directions and beyond a preoccupation with already established categories. Foucault is regarded as a way to ‘reject the notion...
    • "Foucault’s dispositive: The perspicacity of dispositive analytics in organizational research" (2016)
      (p.274) Foucault’s dispositional analysis can be articulated as a history and a typology of connected social technologies, as well as a potent analytical approach to social reality. As an interconnecting, broad, and diversified analytical tool, the notion permits an alternative access to the circumstances under which organizing and organizations take place. Deferring attention from the organization as an entity to a larger social field, without reducing the former to a given, even more fundamental entity (e.g. society), dispositional analysis elucidates conditions for organizing and organizational processes, which managers and concrete organizations as well as organizational theory need to address and take...
    • "Foucault’s dispositive: The perspicacity of dispositive analytics in organizational research" (2016)
  • Raffnsøe, Sverre; Mennicken, Andrea; Miller, Peter
    • "The Foucault Effect in Organization Studies" (2019)
      (p.156) Since the establishment of Organization Studies in 1980, organizational scholars have drawn inspiration from the writings of Michel Foucault. Across the subsequent decades, his oeuvre has had a remarkable and continuing influence on the field. This influence has certainly not been uniform. Nor has it been a simple matter of ‘applying’ Foucault’s concepts and analyses to the domain of organization studies. For Foucault is in many respects a nuisance for scholars of organizations (Mennicken & Miller, 2014). Indeed, he had little interest in formal organizations, even though he was deeply concerned throughout his lifetime with the administering and organizing of...
    • "The Foucault Effect in Organization Studies" (2019)
      (p.162) Contrary to a thoroughly ‘disciplined society’, or a society in which everything happened in accordance with discipline, a ‘disciplinary society’ for Foucault is a society in which discipline has a decisive impact and plays the role of an important form of normativity, yet never fully rules, but exerts an influence, rivalling other form of norms and dispositions (Raffnsøe et al., 2016b, p. 189–190). Even when discipline and surveillance may be ever-present, ubiquitous or even allpervasive, they are only present as dispositional devices that may act on our actions or perceptions (Raffnsøe, 2013a).
    • "The Foucault Effect in Organization Studies" (2019)
      (p.175) Organization scholars ought to draw more attention to the complex constellations within Foucault’s work, the intricate relationship between power and freedom, and the potency of indirect action. Fruitful in this context would also be a closer engagement with Foucault’s notion of ‘dispositive’ and its analytical potential, which until recently has been largely overlooked by organizational scholarship (Raffnsøe et al., 2016a). Yet, the notion of dispositive (dispositif) ‘forms a crucial constituent of societal analysis in Foucault’s oeuvre on par with the more familiar analytics of discourse, discipline, power/knowledge, subjectivity, and subjectification’ (Raffnsøe et al., 2016a, p. 274). Seeking ‘to lay bare...
    • "The Foucault Effect in Organization Studies" (2019)
  • Rowlinson, Michael; Carter, Chris
    • "Foucault and History in Organization Studies" (2002)
      (p.527) For English-speaking Foucauldians, any questioning of Foucault or his influence is ‘demonstrative of the worst excesses of Anglo-Saxon empiricist small-mindedness’ (O’Farrell, 1989: 20). In assessing Foucault’s influence on the treatment of history in organization studies we knowingly court accusations of an excessive commitment to empiricism. But our argument is that the invocation of Foucault has exacerbated the separation of organization studies from history, both as empirical research using documentary traces from the past, and as historiography.
    • "Foucault and History in Organization Studies" (2002)
  • Sakolsky, Ron
    • "“Disciplinary Power,” The Labor Process, and the Constitution of the Laboring Subject" (1992)
      (p.114) If one is to apply Foucault’s concept of “discipline” to the labor process, discipline must be understood in Foucauldian terms as constitutive of that process in the first place. 
    • "“Disciplinary Power,” The Labor Process, and the Constitution of the Laboring Subject" (1992)
      (p.115) Rather than focusing on “power as property” questions, Foucault’s “strategic” concept of power is concerned with how power is exercised and the effects of that exercise on individuals. In analyzing control, he focuses his analysis somewhat in the same vein as Max Weber’s earlier work (1947) on discipline as “automatic obedience,” concentrating on the “disciplinary power relations” that are actually constitutive of the laboring subject in the first place, rather than on questions of the relative independence of power relations from production or the effect of the capitalist mode of production on the laboring subject. Foucault concerns himself with constructing a...
    • "“Disciplinary Power,” The Labor Process, and the Constitution of the Laboring Subject" (1992)
      (p.117) According to Foucault, in “disciplinary institutions” the application of power produces varying degrees of docility in three ways: “hierarchical observation,” “normalizing judgement,” and their combination in “examination” (1979, 17G94). While Foucault’s primary concern in Discipline and Punish is to diagram the disciplinary power grid of panopticism in relation to the prison, he does, however, connect it to the contemporaneous rise of the factory system.
    • "“Disciplinary Power,” The Labor Process, and the Constitution of the Laboring Subject" (1992)
      (p.118) Foucault’s emphasis is not on workplace supervision per se, but on surveillance itself as a disciplinary mechanism, and this is what Zuboff builds upon in her theory of the information panopticon. In the capitalist workplace as a consolidated site of disciplinary power, faced with a desire to eliminate “downtime,” computerized management systems are increasingly designed to act as technological watchdogs while at the same time masking class conflict in claims to objectivity associated with the assumed truth value of hard data. While management has always been preoccupied with meeting output quotas, in the past output increases might be achieved through...
    • "“Disciplinary Power,” The Labor Process, and the Constitution of the Laboring Subject" (1992)
  • Savage, Mikel
  • Siebert, Sabina; Mills, Vince
    • "The quest for autonomy: a Foucauldian perspective on work‐based research" (2007)
      (p.310) It could be argued that the parallels between workers and inmates are too far-fetched; however, the techniques of surveillance and the operation of disciplinary powers, especially the notion of self-discipline discussed by Foucault, can be extended to operate in the organisational context. The Panopticon can serve as a metaphor of power exercised over the researcher in the workplace; either in relation to the research process, or to the research findings. Power, according to Foucault, is multidirectional and forms a network of interconnected relationships. It does not ‘belong’ to the elite and is not exercised over the inferior subjects. Disciplinary power...
    • "The quest for autonomy: a Foucauldian perspective on work‐based research" (2007)
      (p.311) In Discipline and Punish, Foucault (1991) poses a question: how does one use power in a positive way? This question appears to be relevant to the power that the worker/ researcher is subject to in an organisational context. Drawing upon the positive use of power, Stewart Clegg (1998) carries out an interesting analysis of power in organisations. He claims that effective management extends people’s discretion, and discretion, in turn, empowers people. Consequently, empowerment enables openness and dialogue, and can ‘give people a voice’.
    • "The quest for autonomy: a Foucauldian perspective on work‐based research" (2007)
  • Thompson, Paul; Ackroyd, Stephen
  • Vallas, Steven P; Christin, Angèle
  • Villadsen, Kaspar
    • "‘The Dispositive’: Foucault’s Concept for Organizational Analysis?" (2019)
      (p.2) A new concept has arrived in organizational research inspired by Michel Foucault; the uncanny term ‘the dispositive’. The field is already populated by a number of well-known concepts derived from Foucault, including ‘discipline’, ‘governmentality’, ‘biopower’ and ‘technologies of the self’, which have all become part of the critical vocabulary in organization studies. Indeed, infusing analytical concepts into organizational analysis has been a significant effect of the adoption of Foucault by organization scholars since the late 1980s. The most recent addition to this range of concepts, ‘the dispositive’, is presented as a solution to longstanding problems in organizational analysis, since the...
    • "‘The Dispositive’: Foucault’s Concept for Organizational Analysis?" (2019)
  • Välikangas, Anita; Seeck, Hannele
    • "Exploring the Foucauldian interpretation of power and subject in organizations" (2011)
      (p.13) According to the Foucauldian stance, it is essential to study ethics as a form of practices, i.e. what managers and workers actually do in their everyday activities (Clegg et al. 2007; Starkey & Hatchuel 2002). This viewpoint is very similar to the idea which Foucault expressed. He pointed out that in order to understand subjectivity, it was crucial to study practices: “[I]t is not enough to say that the subject is constituted in a symbolic system. […] It is constituted in real practices – historically analyzable practices” (Foucault 1997a, 277). Thus study ethics should not, according to Foucault, begin by...
    • "Exploring the Foucauldian interpretation of power and subject in organizations" (2011)
      (p.8) Another key feature, by which Foucault sees power as functioning in his genealogical writings, is the theme of pastoral power, a power relationship often found in the Judeo-Christian tradition (Foucault 2007, 175, 130). Foucault addressed this topic in greatest depth in his lectures at Collège de France 1977–1978 (see Foucault 2007). Pastoral power is a power relationship, where the pastor aims to modify the spirit and will of the guided person in a certain direction with the help of spiritual guidance and subjects’ confessions (Foucault 2007, 181; Foucault 1981; Elden 2005). During the confessions, the pastor aims to gain more...
    • "Exploring the Foucauldian interpretation of power and subject in organizations" (2011)
  • Wang, Jing
  • Willmott, Hugh
  • Wray-Bliss, Edward
  • du Plessis, Erik Mygind
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