One ongoing theme in management theory focuses on mitigating the dehumanizing effects of organizational systems and related forms power over employees. Perhaps paradoxically, the alienating tendencies of neoliberalism resulted in various humanist and emancipatory theories intended to mitigate that alienation, which operate in a way that almost exclusively benefits the organization and subtly yet profoundly subjugates the worker. Critiques of contemporary management theory and practice, most notably by critical management studies and psychoanalytic theory, made important contributions in revealing many of the pernicious mechanisms and resulting effects of human relations approaches. However, in our assessment these critiques still struggle to respond to the emergent socioeconomic and political structures of neoliberalism. As an alternative, this article considers Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) work on faciality in order to re-examine the form and function of those structures in a way that explains their perniciousness and suggests that there is a space within those structures for a more liberated form of subjectivity.
Organisational purpose is an important topic. It comes up regularly in leadership and management conversations. We pay attention to a tendency to consider purpose as something static, abstract and reified. Despite a natural desire to simplify, and referencing Peirce, Stacey and others, we show the complex shifting of meaning. It is relational, emerging within, and between, people. Context, the passing of time and local interpretations are important themes in considering the utility of what we might call purpose. Here we use a reflective autoethnographic approach to illustrate our ideas, arguing against the separation of subjectivity and objectivity, and for a process-oriented way of thinking of purpose in leadership and management
The central aim of this study is to provide a critical analysis of oppositional practices in the workplace by exploring the role of worker subjectivity in shaping and articulating contemporary strategies of resistance. First, a theoretical analysis will be presented which seeks to challenge many of the dualistic assumptions that have underpinned traditional studies of resistance. It is argued that the re-entry of subjectivity into the analysis of resistance provides a means for escaping these dualisms and retrieving the analytical and empirical significance of oppositional practices. The argument suggests that although subjectivities are indeed effects of power, and that individuals are positioned in relation to dominant discourses - and therefore constituted as having certain interests - power is not fixed and thus cannot completely or permanently determine identity. This instability of power makes apparent certain fragilities within these dominant discourses and makes them liable to threats and seductions from subject positions within different or competing discourses, it is suggested that these fractures and competing subject positions afford small but important spaces for resistance. The second half of this essay presents a detailed case study of the Acme School. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed to explore the subjective experiences of resistant members of Acme toward recent government reform initiatives. Two dominant strategies were identified: 'resistance through distance' and 'resistance through persistence' and it was demonstrated that an understanding of different subjectivities is vital to appreciating how these distinct strategies emerged.
Recent theories of technology have argued that in order to take constructivism seriously we need to understand technologies as organizational texts, replacing the study of technological artefacts with an appreciation of the ways in which these ‘texts’ are read, or interpreted, in specific situations. Whilst such approaches offer an effective critique of determinism in explanations of technological change, they also raise some interesting questions around the nature of the human subject which have been given a less comprehensive treatment in the literature. This paper contributes to the development of a thoroughgoing antiessentialism in theories of technology and organization by considering Deleuze and Guattari’s radical constructionist critique of the subject. Placing the technocentric metaphor of ‘the machine’ at the heart of subjectivization, Deleuze and Guattari’s decentring of the human subject offers a fully symmetrical anti-essentialism, capable of accounting for the non-human forces at work in the constitution of human subjectivity.
This paper is about estrangement, about exile: about waiting to be called into existence. Waiting. In transit. Homesick. Lost. The paper offers an attempt to examine the position of women as foreigners, as strangers in a male world. Despite the criticisms of Kristeva's work for its lack of attention to class, gender and race, her ideas have currency for the examination of these areas. Other criticisms have mentioned the extent to which she deals with her own subjectivity in her writing. However, this seems to be a very unreasonable criticism. It is precisely Kristeva's own experiences which makes her supremely capable of this particular analysis and, for me, it works to open up not only a gendered space but also a class wound.
Drawing upon the genre of ethnographic fiction, this paper explores the challenges that occur when third- and fourth-tier colleges and universities seek accreditation from AACSB. Deans and change leaders normally see the process of achieving accreditation in terms of bureaucratic and behavioral change. This paper argues that more focus must be placed on understanding how the demands of accreditation challenge faculty members’ self-image. Therefore, achieving accreditation requires individuals to have a change in their self-identity so that behavioral change can follow.
In this paper we discuss the meaning of newness in research in the times when new paradigms of science are emerging and the sciences have become more and more fragmentary. In the positivistic and monolithic era of social science, before Kuhn and year 1966, methodologies and methods interpreting newness were simpler. In this paper it is argued the newness is more and more in the text itself, and that the dynamics of texts comes from interrelations between the subject of the text (the researcher self) and the object of it (the research audience). Scientific knowledge becomes new when it is substantiated and connected to the prior one.
Writing the research reports is political by nature but so is also its reading. While citation index makes researchers powerful, in gaining decisions whom to refer the colleagues make political choices that are bound to some political contexts they live and career. Building a theoretical frame is not a pure and objectivistic thing but many ways a path of choices that build the research field. Behind is a lot of social capital of the academia and at the same time the text shows and even builds it. Again, it is less and less the empirical facts itself that contributes to newness, but the ways to conceptualize and contextualize empirically based knowledge.
In the times when subjectivity is grown into science and pure empirical data does not work in the same way it used to be, becoming a researcher with the right to access science text publishing is not only professional but more and more narrative by nature. The credibility and trust is of a lot of worth at the society of today, not least in academia. Personality, biography and social context of a researcher are perhaps becoming more important than it used to be and that makes the issue that the impact of the researcher on has grown. Gatekeepers of science and administrational processes that they guide form criteria according to which researchers are selected and promoted further. That way individual background issues like gender and ethnicity may either grow or diminish the credibility of the individual researcher and have a lot of impact on the fact on who passes the gate of becoming a knowledge holder in the future.
In the paper we also argue that subjectivity is more and more compensated by inter-subjectivity in writing because of joint texts. In gate-keeping about who enters the knowledge holder-limit this states as well.
A theoretical perspective has been developed in Brazil, based on literary criticism and psychoanalysis, which proposes that there is a “perverse” subjectivity in Brazilians, in contrast to the classic European neurotics. Such subjectivity, forged throughout the 19th century, comes from the shaping of different social systems, as a function of the way in which Modernity was installed as a project. From literary pages to an academic interpretation of Brazil, this results in a country of contrasts, in which the “myth” of “cordial man”, which defines the Brazilian people as being generous and placid, is mixed with the harsh reality of its social inequality and violence. In the field of alterity, while internally such contrasts lead to a relationship that annuls the difference, the invisibility of the “other”, externally the relationship with foreigners is one of full acceptance that everything comes from outside, even in the field of ideas, the impacts of which are felt, for example, in Brazil’s business administration schools that are totally influenced by the American model. Starting with a reconstitution of the objective shaping of “perverse Brazil”, supported by both Brazilian and international works from the philosophic, psychoanalytical and literary fields, this article intends to show how, paradoxically, a contemporary reflection has been developing that points to the perversion of advanced modern societies, which leads to a questioning of why, despite such different cultural bases, these societies are also pointed out as being perverse nowadays. Although it is not intended to reach any definitive conclusions, this article starts from the hypothesis that this happened because local perverse features embraced universal enlightenment ideals that proved to be unsustainable with the globalization process of the modern capitalist project.
This article is based on an empirical study of employees’ experience of downsizing at a US air carrier called Vimanas Airline (a pseudonym) and includes forty two semi-structured interviews with captains and co-pilots who worked at that airline. The product of a fruitful collaboration between an experienced researcher and former Vimanas co-pilot, the paper explores how a new regime of corporeal power and panoptic organizational discourses produced commercial pilots’ subjectivity by first creating loyal company employees who actively participated in their own acculturation. Later, after airline restructuring, pilots modified their thinking and behaviour in an effort to maintain some sense of power, dignity, agency, and identity, resisting managerial efforts at further colonization. It became clear that complex and partly competing reality construction processes were at play. Contrary to previous research finding employees to often be complicit rather than resistant to managerial control efforts, particularly during times of corporate crisis, this study reports airline employees both participated in, yet later resisted managerial control efforts. Prompted by one of our respondents we refer to this colonization process as ‘bodysnatching’ with reference to the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.