In This room of Tamara, we seek conversations with our past and future. We talk to ghosts from to past, to Marx, Lyotard, Foucault, and Fieire. Others too. In this room you find essays and articles, that chase a story from one discipline to the next. We invite you to send your articles and essays. In future issues, in intend to include any interesting comments that reviewers care to share about our features.
Academic ‘labour’ within the Higher Education landscape is changing as universities are increasingly managed as business organisations. In the contemporary neoliberal academic context, departments and individuals are required to develop forms of accountability based on quantitative metrics regarding performance, budgets, human resource management and income generation. Drawing from Foucauldian theories of power, this article explores the contentious implementation of workload allocation models in the UK Higher Education sector not only as an illustration of a superimposed managerial tool of control but also as an instrument of resistance. This article suggests that in order to counteract the systematic failure of neoliberal academia at the individual and collective level, these performance management tools can be used as forms of empowerment and resistance. Further, it is recommended that these instruments are designed in a collaborative way to ensure fair and transparent allocations of tasks and responsibilities, and to avoid unmanageable workloads.
There is no doubt that health management can improve employee well-being and can have positive outcomes for the organization. But, the mere goodness of such programmes has to be questioned. First, the paper shows how health management activities fit in processes of discipline in our society as extensively analysed by Foucault particularly in his genealogical works. Second, it discusses possible normative implications of such a Foucauldian analysis. What is the alternative to taking care of employee health in organizations?
In this article we argue that, to date, the knowledge management literature has insufficiently addressed the construct of power. The power literature is reviewed using three categories: power-asentity, power-as-strategy and power-is-knowledge. We find that much of the knowledge management literature, while not directly addressing power, aspires to the dictum "knowledge is power", which corresponds to the power-as-entity approach. Drawing on the work of Foucault we go on to show that, while the power-as-entity approach is important, it is not sufficient. Foucault's work demonstrates how our understanding of knowledge management can be enriched by adopting a power-as-strategy approach. Further, the work of post-Foucauldian power theorists, especially Flyvbjerg (1998), shows that while knowledge is power, "power is also knowledge"— and thus the nature and context of power shapes organizational knowledge. We argue that Foucault's inseparability of knowledge and power provides a foundation from which it can be shown that the inversion of the "knowledge is power" dictum to "power is knowledge" has significant implications for the theory and practice of knowledge management.
Boje feminism is an alternative to Foucault feminism. One difference is Foucault feminism is discursability formation, whereas Boje feminism is storyability formation of the body, its discipline, and the power/knowledge relationship. A second difference is where as Foucault Feminism is about micropolitics of power/knowledge, Boje Feminism is far wider focus on macropolitics, even global sociopolitics of late modern capitalism. This parallel storytelling develops the differentiation between collective memory groups (gender, race, socioeconomic, class, etc) construct out of direct experience, and what Hirsch (1999) calls 'postmemory,' such as the trauma children of survivors of Holocaust live with. My feminism enters into investigation of trauma events women endure in sweatshops is possible for me, because of its resonance with my own trauma as a soldier in the Vietnam War. I explore here why this is so for me. This article is presented in left and right column, my column and her columns. After a bit of standard introduction. the columns are meant to intervibrate, to resonate, to interpenetrate, one another, as two voices, as many voices within me and her
We propose in this article to take a story approach to organizational analysis. This implies that organizational life is perceived as polyphonic, equivocal, dialogical, unfinished and unresolved. We describe this approach as antenarrative inquiry in that it seeks to question established truths and moralities embedded in the narratives of the present. Antenarrative inquiry thus suspends beginnings, middles and ends in narratives and gives room for other voices. We propose Foucault’s power analysis, genealogy, as a method for antenarrative inquiry. We demonstrate the ideas of genealogy by relating it to Ricoeur’s work on narrative and time where experience is portrayed as a mimetic circle where endpoints lead back to pre-narration. We argue instead that organizational life is result of complex chains of interactions, negotiations and struggles. Genealogical scrutiny thus shakes up the mimetic circle and opens up for new interpretations of organizational life by revealing the power relations embedded in the conditions in which this life is storied and re-storied.
The association of critique with distant historical sources has been highlighted by Michel Foucault. At the heart of what Foucault calls the ‘critical attitude’ are notions of parrhesia or philosophical criticism with roots in pagan antiquity. This article discusses the significance of these ancient sources for critical management studies. Recent times have seen a revival of interest in critique in this sense, suggesting powerful ways of framing the tasks of critique. Yet we suggest there may be other uses for the Socratic example in management criticism than have hitherto been recognised. We emphasize the distinctive challenges of critique today, turning to Michel Foucault and C.Wright Mills- both indebted to Socrates but as more than mere followers – to illustrate a tactical sensibility that can be of help to the challenges of management criticism today.
The paper advances two propositions. First, that organization theory (OT) comprises a heterogeneous body of knowledge which, in effect, is a history of the (on-going) power struggles that produce it. And, second, that OT harbours different concepts of power and associated value-orientations through which it is possible to interpret the diversity and development of OT. These propositions give priority to the politics and ethics of knowledge production, and not differences of ontology, epistemology or levels of analysis. Its pluralist stance accommodates value-orientations which prompt and justify knowledge oriented towards `rationalization’, `explication’ and `emancipation’.
Contemporary organizations feature absence of boundaries and are increasingly defined by loose couplings, pluri-vocality and network configurations. What Foucault (1995) addressed as a former society of discipline is transformed and replaced into what Deleuze (1995) refines as a society of control that incorporates its subjects into new and ever changing lines of subjectification. This transformation of dispositifs (Deleuze, 1992; Foucault, 1980) and authoritative discourses (Bakhtin, 1982) that compose (and is composed of) a contemporary way of living induces in other words new types of embodied organizational knowledge and ways of organizing, which have consequences for how subject positions are (re)configured in everyday corporate lives. Such identity work is rarely studied in local discursive practices of today’s modern and emergent corporations. The aspiration in the present article is to scrutinize local practices in a dialogue based leadership development forum in university settings. This provides insights into the lived lives and identity work in Aalborg University representing a temporary, polyphonic and cross-disciplinary research project in a modern corporation. The project was an example of a loose-coupled and temporary arrangement/organization that invited a diverse group of participants to engage in the co-production of knowledge in/on leadership communicative practices. The participants were professional leaders from diverse organizations in the North of Jutland together with researchers and candidate students from the study programs of communication and philosophy at Aalborg University.
This short essay will be an attempt to analyze the exchange of money and commodities in terms of framework offered by phenomenology. Marx’s Capital is an utterly phenomenological work in the Hegelian sense of this notion. Marx conceptualizes henomenology as a method of exposing the real-world phenomena that is prior to abstract philosophical inquiry. In the first volume of Capital Marx introduces explanatory categories of the German Idealism to “purely” economical and social issues. This sense his analysis is close to the one found in Michel Foucault’s The Order of Things. Foucault, who is mainly preoccupied with understanding the establishment of certain subject (in this context the modern economic subject), deals here with the notion of wealth and elaborates changing relations between money and prices between 15th and late 17th century, as well as such issues as mercantilism, utility and creation of value. There are significant differences between Marx’s and Foucault’s approach. Whereas Foucault’s analysis is oriented towards the hermeneutics and deconstruction of the notion of exchange as a constitutive activity of the subject, Marx is mainly preoccupied with the description of the activity of exchanging and its consequences. However, even though conclusions of Capital and The Order of Things differ significantly, the method of analysis reveals many similarities. Thus, both texts operate with a structure of deeper understanding of exchange as a multi-layer process of signification, accumulation, and transformation. The essay is an attempt to briefly analyze all of these functions of the exchange process as well as to indicate a new interpretation that arises from the framework offered by both authors.